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6 Lifestyle Tips To Prevent Low Blood Pressure

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When it comes to blood pressure, everyone panics about hypertension or increased levels of blood pressure. But the fact is hypotension or low blood pressure is also quite common among people these days and it can be equally dangerous, if left untreated. ‘A sudden drop in blood pressure can be worrisome and potentially dangerous.
It can make you feel fatigued and dizzy. You might even faint if the supply of blood to the brain is insufficient,’ says Dr Sanjeev Chaudhary, Associate Director & Unit Head, Cardiology, FMRI. Apart from medication and other pharmacological ways to treat hypotension, you can try these expert tips to prevent low BP in future.


1. Drink plenty of fluids
Orthostatic hypotension (reduction of 20mmHg of diastolic BP and 10mmHg of systolic BP) is a transient drop in BP that is more often caused due to dehydration. So, an immediate and most effective remedy for preventing it is staying hydrated. Water expands blood volume and within a few minutes mediates a blood pressure raising effect, thereby improving symptoms and increasing your orthostatic endurance. It is recommended that at least 8 glasses of water should be consumed everyday.
2. Eat small, frequent meals: When you eat one large meal at a time, your digestive system gets loaded with work. As a result, blood flow is more directed towards the digestive tract. This can reduce blood flow to other parts of the body resulting in drop in blood pressure. Instead, if you eat smaller frequent meals, the digestive system will not be loaded at once and the blood flow will be well regulated. A study by Puvi-Rajasingham and Mathias CJ suggested that recommendation of small, frequent meals should be an important non-pharmacological measure to manage postprandial hypotension (drop in blood pressure after meals).
3. Lie down with your head elevated
Many a times, your BP can lower while you’re sleeping (nocturnal hypotension). Doctors usually recommend such people to sleep with their bed elevated to an angle (at least 10-20 degrees). This reduces the transient drop in BP caused by standing up after sleeping.
4. Be careful while standing
Avoid getting up suddenly after you wake up from sleep or after sitting for a long time. This can cause blurred vision or sudden black out and increase your chances of fainting.
5. Exercise regularly
Physical activity, like in all other conditions, helps to prevent orthostatic hypotension. Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body and reduces blood pooling to a particular system. Apart from general exercises like walking, jogging, cycling and swimming, isotonic exercises like light weight lifting are also recommended because they reduces the rate of blood flow back to the heart.
6. Optimize salt intake
Although salt helps retention of water, people with hypotension can be more sensitive to sodium supplementation. Speak to your doctor to know how much salt intake is optimum for you. As per standard recommendations, you should have 10 to 20 g of salt/day. Also, eat foods rich in potassium (bananas, spinach, etc) because if you increase salt intake, it may cause potassium loss.
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