Many patients suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure but there are times when people present with low blood pressure. There are a lot of resources out there to help people with high blood pressure but very few articles that provide information to people with low blood pressure that are trying to find out how to raise their blood pressures. I will attempt to provide a comprehensive and detailed explanation of what low blood pressure signifies and how to raise blood pressure when necessary. I am writing this article for patients and people with no medical background. I will not be using any medical terminology without explaining it in plain English. How to raise blood pressure depends on your specific situation. First, I will explain what causes your blood pressure to rise and fall.
What causes blood pressure to rise and fall?
There are 3 major things in your body that control your blood pressure. You need to understand how they work together to maintain your blood pressure. This will help you properly understand how to raise your blood pressure when it needs to be raised.
- Blood vessels
- Blood volume
As you probably know, heart is basically a pump that pumps out blood to your blood vessels. The force with which the heart pumps out your blood directly cause pressure on your blood vessels and that pressure is your blood pressure. When your heart pumps blood with more force than needed, it causes your blood pressure to rise. When your heart muscle is weak and does not pump with enough force, it causes your blood pressure to fall.
Your blood vessels have to withstand the force of the blood being pumped out of your heart. If your blood vessels are relaxed and elastic, they make your blood pressure lower. If your blood vessels are constricted and stiff, they can raise your blood pressure.
Finally, the volume of blood circulating in your body also affects your blood pressure. If you have too much blood circulating in your system, that could be the reason of your elevated blood pressure. If you do not have enough blood circulating in your system, you may have low blood pressure.
When we talk about treatment for low blood pressure, we need to remember that anything that affects blood pressure does so by changing one of the three things.
What to do for low blood pressure when you have no symptom from it
Low blood pressure symptoms arise when your brain or any other vital organ does not get enough fresh blood. When you have absolutely no symptom from your low blood pressure, you probably do not need to know how to raise your blood pressure. Blood pressure of the general population varies greatly. What is generally considered low blood pressure may be normal for you. In fact, some researchers have shown that a lower than normal blood pressure may be beneficial to you if your body is well adjusted to it. However, for you to go without treatment for low blood pressure, you must meet certain physical requirements. You need to be otherwise healthy and well. You need to be physically active and able to perform cardio exercise without any dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain or shortness of breath. You need to be able to run or climb stairs without difficulty. If you are physically fit and active and still do not have any symptom, you may not need to think about how to raise your blood pressure.
How to raise blood pressure when you have bad infection
Severe infection can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when your body gets overwhelmed. Infection can affect all three things that cause blood pressure to rise and fall.
When disease-causing organisms invade your body, it tries to fight the infection by activating your immune system. If your immune system kills those bugs before they proliferate, you may not develop any serious infection. If the bugs continue to multiply despite your immune defense, the infection can worsen quickly. When it happens, it triggers your body to activate more and more immune defense mechanisms. That can ultimately reach to a state of widespread immune over activation. While that is more ammunition to kill those invaders, the war also takes its toll on your body. Your blood vessels relax to circulate blood more to expedite the fight against invading organisms.
As you recall, your blood vessels play an important role in raising or lowering your blood pressure. When blood vessels relax, blood pressure goes down.
At first, your heart tries to raise blood pressure by pumping harder and faster. That is why your heart beat go up when you have infection. When your heart muscle gets tired from the overwork, it can no longer compensate and you may have a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Your body also tries to raise blood pressure by increasing blood volume. When you have a bad infection, your body releases various substances in your body. Some of these substances control your kidneys and tell them to decrease urine production. When you make less urine, you have more water in your blood. That is how your body tries to raise blood pressure by increasing blood volume. Ultimately, other things play out to lower your blood volume and your blood pressure drops. When you are infected, your appetite goes down. When you do not eat or drink much, you get dehydrated and your blood volume goes down. When you have fever, you sweat a lot and lose water decreasing your blood volume.
When you understand what makes your blood pressure fall, you can learn how to raise blood pressure in that particular situation.
You can start with the easy things you can do to raise your blood pressure at home or avoid having low blood pressure in the first place. You can drink plenty of water and eat properly. When you have enough salt and water in your body, it helps to raise blood pressure by increasing blood volume. You will learn the details of how salt and blood pressure are related in the next scenario. For now, just learn that keeping yourself hydrated is important. You can also take medications to lower your fever. When your fever goes down, you lose less water by evaporation. Drinking fluids and keeping cool are easy things you can do early on to help raise your blood pressure.
When things worsen and your blood pressure starts to fall, you need specialized treatment to raise your blood pressure. At this stage, your body is going into a state of shock. This is a medical emergency. You need to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department and let the experts figure out how to raise blood pressure. I will briefly describe what they will do to help raise your blood pressure. First, they will infuse saline water into your veins to get your blood volume up quickly. They will also start antibiotics to fight the root cause of your problems. If that does not work, they will start some medications to help constrict your blood vessels. Remember how constricting your blood vessels raise your blood pressure. If that is not enough, they may start other medications to force your heart muscles to pump harder. That is how the experts raise blood pressure in situations of dire medical emergency.
How to raise blood pressure when you are tired all the time
Treatment of low blood pressure may be required if you have symptoms from it. When your blood pressure is low all the time and your body is unable to adjust to it, you have symptoms of low blood pressure. You may feel tired all the time or you may have dizziness or lightheadedness. You may even faint on a hot day. You may feel tired climbing up stairs or you may feel like passing out. If you have these symptoms and your blood pressure is low, you may need to find the cause of your low blood pressure before figuring out how to raise blood pressure.
Unlike the sudden drop in blood pressure with bad infection, the low blood pressure that makes you tired is of slow onset. There are several different diseases that eventually affect your blood volume or your blood vessels that result in low blood pressure. Hormonal imbalance is a frequently encountered problem that can cause slow onset long-term low blood pressure. The most important hormone that helps raise blood pressure is the adrenal hormone. It is made in the glands called adrenal glands. You have a pair of adrenal glands inside your body and they are located on top of each kidney. Adrenal hormone helps regulate the salt and water in your body and help raise your blood pressure when needed. It also directly and indirectly affects your blood vessels and help control blood pressure. The exact mechanism of how adrenal glands raise your blood pressure is complex and hard to explain in just a few paragraphs.
When you have low blood pressure all the time and have symptoms with it, you need to schedule a visit with your doctor to start a thorough investigation. Your doctor may have to refer you to see specialists before finding the exact cause of your low blood pressure. In some cases, everything comes back normal and they never find out why your blood pressure is low. In such situations, there are several things you can do to raise your blood pressure. Your doctor can prescribe certain medication that help retain salt and water in your body. You can also increase your salt and water intake to raise blood pressure.
How to raise blood pressure by eating more salt and drinking more water
This method is only recommended in certain specific situation such as the one described above. The balance of salt and water in our body is very crucial to our survival. When salt is dissolves in water, the resulting solution have certain physical and chemical properties that are critical for bodily functions. Salt water in our blood has a property called osmotic pressure. It is the force created on membranes that only allow certain molecules to pass through. Certain sections of our blood vessels are made of such membranes at the microscopic level. It allows water molecule to pass but does not allow the salt molecule. Salt draws water. When you eat more salt, you get thirstier and you drink more water. The water goes inside the blood vessels and increase blood volume but salt remains inside. This increases the pressure on your blood vessels and this is how you are able to raise your blood pressure by eating more salt. At the same time, eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure by the same mechanism.
I hope you have learned how to raise blood pressure in certain different situations. This is a very important medical topic and I am sure you have may questions. Please share this article with your friends and family and do not hesitate to post your questions and comments below. I cannot give you any specific medical advice but I can answer your general questions about how to raise blood pressure in different situations.