Skip to content

Hypotension/Low Blood Pressure

Hypotension/Low Blood Pressure

Hypotension/Low Blood Pressure

Symptoms, Causes & Natural Treatment

Hypotension is persistent low blood pressure < 90/60 which may cause symptoms such as dizziness and fainting.  Low blood pressure isn’t as common as high blood pressure and has a number of reasons why it may occur.

There are three main types of hypotension:

  • Orthostatic hypotension: Hypotension brought on by a sudden change in body position, most often going from lying or sitting to standing.  Can be contributed to by a number of mechanisms.
  • Neurally-mediated hypotension: hypotension that occurs after standing for long periods of time. Most commonly occurs in children or young adults.
  • Severe hypotension: brought about by sudden blood loss (shock), infection or severe allergy

Causes of Hypotension / Low Blood Pressure

Hypotension may be idiopathic or caused by a number of factors such as:

  • Certain medications (anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, diuretics, hypotensives, analgesics)
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Shock (from severe blood loss, severe infection, stroke, heart attack, anaphylaxis)
  • Low blood sugar
  • Seizures
  • Panic attacks
  • Disorders such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease

Risk factors

  • Over 65 years of age
  • Pregnancy
  • Medication or recreational drug use
  • Adrenal fatigue / exhaustion
  • Subclinical or overt hypothyroidism
  • Dehydration: impacts on blood pressure due to reduced blood volume
  • Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar
  • Nutritional deficiency: iron, protein, B-vitamins, sodium, calcium

Signs and Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure

  • Dizziness and light-headedness (especially on rising)
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting

TREATMENT STRATEGY FOR LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

Depends on underlying cause and risk factors

  • Identify / address underlying causes
    • Dehydration: assess fluid intake, exercise, perspiration, etc
    • Dietary factors: assess iron, protein, sodium and calcium intake/status
    • Adrenal function
    • Thyroid function
    • Low blood sugar
    • Medications
  • Tone and stimulate circulation

Diet plan guidelines for Hypotension / Low Blood Pressure

  • Ensure adequate blood glucose levels and avoid hypoglycemia:
    • Small, regular, low-GL meals with complex carbohydrate and adequate protein and healthy fats
    • Avoid sugary foods and refined carbohydrates
  • Ensure adequate sodium intake: ideally from a good quality Celtic sea salt. Increasing salt intake to 10-20 g per day may be indicated in hypotension. Also, including salty foods such as olives, pickles, tamari, sauerkraut, etc. may be beneficial.
  • Ensure adequate fluid intake: 1.5-2 L per day
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: causes dehydration
  • Avoid stimulants

Supplements that support Hypotension / Low Blood Sugar

Adrenal and nervous system support

  • Vitamin C
    • B-complex – B5 in particular is important for adrenal health
    • Magnesium
  • Support thyroid function (if indicated)
    • Tyrosine
    • Iodine if deficient
    • Zinc
    • Selenium
  • Blood sugar regulation
    • Chromium

Support and tone circulatory system:

  • Vitamin C
    • Bioflavaniods

Herbal Medicine Treatment that supports Low Blood Pressure

  • Adrenal tonics – licorice, rehmannia
  • Adaptogens – Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng, withania, rhodiola

Lifestyle / Physical measures

  • Regular exercise program
  • Avoid fatigue and stress
  • Avoid changing positions quickly – postural hypotension
  • Avoid tight clothing around the neck
  • Avoid standing still for long periods
  • Acupuncture may be useful

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE TREATMENT OF LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

Low blood pressure is a condition that affects a number of Australians and tends to be more prominent especially in women.  As with high blood pressure, understanding what mechanisms are driving the condition is important to be able to treat effectively. 

Hypotension can be contributed to by poor gut health, nutrient deficiencies, endocrine and hormonal imbalance, methylation deficiencies and dietary and lifestyle factors.  Studies show that B12 and folate levels can directly improve patients with low blood pressure. 

At our Perth clinic of Advanced Functional Medicine we treat patients with hypotension.  Addressing insufficient methylation, nutrient deficiencies and gut health has scientifically and clinically proven to improve the status of an altered blood pressure.

We would love to hear your story.  What adjustments have you made that have positively improved your blood pressure?  Have you corrected nutrient imbalances and gut dysbiosis to improve your blood pressure?  What supplements have you taken or diet changes have you made that have helped the most?  Please leave a comment below.

Book Appointment

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper – ND

Jarrod Cooper - ND is the founder of Advanced Functional Medicine Australia. He is a Naturopathic Doctor with extensive functional medicine training from leading practitioners in the USA and worldwide.

He is leading the way with advancements of functional medicine, clinically implementing worldwide best practices in Functional Medicine throughout Australia.

Jarrod consults in person from Perth, Western Australia and also online via Telehealth throughout Australia and worldwide.

If you are looking for personalised treatment, we highly recommend contacting Jarrod Cooper’s Advanced Functional Medicine clinic in Australia.

Leave a Comment