Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Depending on the reason for your low blood pressure, you might be able to reduce or prevent symptoms.

  • Drink more water, less alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating and can lower blood pressure, even if you drink in moderation. Water, on the other hand, combats dehydration and increases blood volume.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Get all the nutrients you need for good health by focusing on a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean chicken and fish.

    If your doctor suggests using more salt but you don't like a lot of salt on your food, try using natural soy sauce or adding dry soup mixes to dips and dressings.

  • Pay attention to your body positions. Gently move from a prone or squatting to a standing position. Don't sit with your legs crossed.

  • Before arising in the morning, breathe deeply for a few minutes and then slowly sit up before standing. Sleeping with the head of your bed slightly elevated also can help fight the effects of gravity.

    If you begin to get symptoms while standing, cross your thighs in a scissors fashion and squeeze, or put one foot on a ledge or chair and lean as far forward as possible. These maneuvers encourage blood flow from your legs to your heart.

  • Eat small, low-carb meals. To help prevent blood pressure from dropping sharply after meals, eat small portions several times a day and limit high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and bread.

    Your doctor also might recommend drinking caffeinated coffee or tea with meals to temporarily raise blood pressure. But because caffeine can cause other problems, check with your doctor before drinking more caffeinated beverages.

April 22, 2017
References
  1. Hypotension. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/book/export/html/4880. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
  2. Low blood pressure. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Low-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301785_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
  3. Kaufman H, et al. Mechanisms, causes and evaluation of orthostatic hypotension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
  4. Understanding blood pressure readings. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
  5. Kaplan NM, et al. Ambulatory and home blood pressure monitoring and white coat hypertension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
  6. Kaufman H, et al. Treatment of orthostatic and postprandial hypotension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.