Tricks for everyday life with hypotension

Stimulating the circulation

If low blood pressure causes complaints, you should try first of all to get the circulation going again by leading a healthy way of life. The following non-medicinal measures increase the blood pressure, improve the complaints and prevent dizzy spells.

By means of some simple tricks and by changing habits in everyday life, a low blood pressure can be raised a little in most cases. If this is not enough, drugs can be applied to stimulate the circulatory system. It is only in very rare cases that a severe disease is behind low blood pressure.

 

Nutritional recommendation

Use more salt!
By increasing the intake of table salt, more liquid is bound in the body which causes the blood pressure to increase. Salt is especially helpful in the morning (such as bread with salted butter, salt pretzel or English breakfast, for example). You should keep to a low-salt diet only in case of pregnancy or if the heart muscle develops a continuous weakness (cardiac insufficiency) or if a severe functional impairment of the kidneys is established.

Drink more!
The more liquid circulates in the veins, the higher the blood pressure is. For this reason drink at least two to three litres of (unsweetened) liquid per day, such as water, diluted fruit juices or fruit or herbal tea, for example. Avoid excessive volumes of black tea or coffee. Please keep in mind that you should drink more than three litres a day sometimes in case of hot weather.

Avoid alcohol!
Alcohol encourages circulatory troubles in various ways. Slowly but surely it destroys the small nerves which actually should constrict the blood vessels when standing up. Moreover the alcohol affects the regulation of the balance in the brain stem and the cerebellum, and reduces the performance of the heart (alcoholic cardiomyopathy). In addition, alcohol increases the excretion of liquid. For this reason, keep your fingers off alcohol, if you are suffering from severe complaints caused by low blood pressure!

Have small meals more often!
Big meals concentrate the blood in the digestive tract. The complaints of low blood pressure are evident in particular during the first hour after the meal. Rather eat several small portions distributed throughout the day. An espresso (or coffee) or some sweets help some people not to drop into the “deep” after the meal.

Caffeine
A cup of coffee at the right time can get the circulation going – but not for a very long time, unfortunately. For a short period of time only caffeine acts on the receptors which are involved in the control of the blood pressure. But, then it’s over again.
Drinking coffee permanently is no solution either: In case of a surplus of caffeine, the receptors are regulated down, and the espresso has next to no effect anymore. Instead, the blood pressure drops even further to rock bottom when deprived of coffee.
A cup of tea keeps you awake for longer as the caffeine (theine) in the tea is bonded to the tanning agents. Thus, it unfolds its effect slower. The caffeine level varies less than in coffee; the blood pressure reacts slower. But, if you drink a cup of tea regularly, your body will get accustomed to the caffeine as well.

Other stimulants
The same applies for other stimulants as well: Guarana, energy drinks or sparkling wine. They act very well on the blood pressure for a short period, but cannot produce a lasting improvement. In addition, the high share of carbohydrates of energy drinks causes sensitive persons to bind a lot of blood in the abdominal cavity, and the blood pressure will decrease further.

 

Lifestyle

Cold jets of water!
Kneippism, such as water treading and cold jets of water, increase the blood pressure by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. (Brief) cold showering helps to overcome tiredness in the morning. A massaging brush used under the shower improves the blood circulation in addition. In contrast, hot baths are the worst thing you can do to your circulation: They decrease the blood pressure and increase dizziness and falls when standing up. For this reason, always have a cold shower after a bath. Apply dry brush massages also to get the circulation going.

More cushions!
Sleep with a raised upper part of the body (use two to five extra cushions to increase by 20 to 45 degrees). This action will prevent low blood pressure at night during which excessive volumes of water is excreted. Dizzy spells in the morning will occur less frequently.

Tight stockings!
Compression stockings (or compression tights) prevent dizzy spells by preventing the blood from rushing to the feet. In addition, the blood flow to the heart increases. Caution! Compression stockings have to be very tight to be effective – but they must not cause any constriction, which means the stockings have to be tailor-made and have to be changed in regular intervals because they wear out by and by.

Be attentive!
Fainting fits are frequently preceded with first signs, such as dizziness, heart hurry or sweating. Watch out for such signals of your body and sit, kneel down or squat before the pressure drops completely and everything goes black.

 

Body movement

Do some exercising!
By pursuing endurance sports (circulatory training) in regular intervals, the blood pressure does not increase extremely, but the body learns to deal with blood pressure fluctuations – the complaints improve distinctly.

Always jiggle your feet!
By stimulating the muscle pump in the calves, blood is pumped from the leg to the heart. For this reason, do not stand on the same spot for too long, but move up and down on the balls of your feet or walk about. A similarly positive effect is achieved, if you do some foot gymnastics when sitting down or actively rotate the feet a bit. If you cross your legs, you risk a blood stasis in the legs.

Take stool along!
If moving up and down on the balls of your feet is not sufficient and guided tours in a museum belong to your hobbies, there are small, very light and easy-to-handle stools or folding chairs. They permit a change between sitting and standing, and thus stimulate your circulation

Get up slowly!
In the morning sit on the side of the bed for about a minute first of all before you get up properly. If you get your circulation accustomed to the new demand gently, dizzy spells will become less frequent. 

What is hypotension?