8 Ways to Treat Low Blood Pressure

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Low Blood Pressure Treatment
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Low blood pressure (BP), or hypotension, is not as common or serious as hypertension. However, it could still cause health problems if left untreated. How much do you know about low BP? Know all about low blood pressure treatment and management, what to do in emergencies, and much more! 
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    What is Low Blood Pressure or Hypotension?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Is Low Blood Pressure Dangerous?
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    What Causes Low BP?
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    What are the Types of Low Blood Pressure?
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    Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
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    How is Hypotension Diagnosed?
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    Hypotension: Treatment & Management
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    Low Blood Pressure Emergency Treatment at Home
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    When To See A Doctor
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
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What is Low Blood Pressure or Hypotension?

Low blood pressure, medically known as hypotension, occurs when your blood pressure levels are below 90/60 mm Hg. “Your body regulates your blood pressure levels by collecting information from neurons called baroreceptors. These receptors send signals to your brain when your blood pressure levels begin to drop below normal. Your brain and nervous system then quicken your heartbeat and constrict your blood vessels to raise your blood pressure levels back to normal. However, when you have hypotension, your body is unable to bring your blood pressure levels back to normal, which leads to poor circulation.

Is Low Blood Pressure Dangerous?

Most cases of mild hypotension are usually symptomless and go undiagnosed. Mild hypotension is unlikely to cause any adverse effects. However, severe and untreated hypotension can cause dizziness, fainting, fall-related injuries, or death in rare cases, due to poor blood circulation to the brain.  

What Causes Low BP?

Several factors and health conditions can cause low blood pressure. Treating the condition usually improves blood pressure 

Temporary causes of low blood pressure

  • Dehydration

Low blood pressure can often be caused by dehydration. When you do not drink enough water, it could lead to low blood volume and thus low blood pressure. Dehydration can happen due to inadequate fluid consumption, exercise, hot temperatures, sickness, etc.

  • Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal

Foods rich in carbohydrates digest much quicker when compared to others and as such, need more blood to be digested. As a result, your body redirects blood to your gut from other parts of your body, which could cause a drop in your blood pressure levels.

  • Pregnancy

Some pregnant women may experience low blood pressure due to the expansion of their circulatory system. In most cases, the condition resolves itself after the woman gives birth.

  • Blood loss or hypovolemic shock

When massive amounts of blood or other fluids are lost due to an accident, injury, severe dehydration, etc., the volume of blood in circulation decreases. This makes the heart unable to pump blood efficiently, resulting in low blood pressure and causing multiple organ failures.

  • Alcohol consumption

Alcohol consumption affects your body in several ways. It causes dehydration, and fluid and electrolyte imbalances. It also interferes with the functioning of various hormones that regulate kidney function. All of these factors can have a negative impact on your blood pressure levels.

Serious and long-term causes of low blood pressure

  • Nutritional deficiencies

When your body does not get enough vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B9 (folate), or iron, it can lead to anemia (low hemoglobin). Low hemoglobin and red blood cell count can lead to low blood pressure. 

  • Hormonal imbalance

Sometimes, insufficient production of adrenal hormones (Addison’s disease) and excessive production of parathyroid hormone can also cause low blood pressure. Endocrine disorders like diabetes may also lead to low BP. 

  • Infection or sepsis

When you have a bacterial infection, the bacteria can sometimes enter your bloodstream (sepsis) and cause a drastic drop in your blood pressure levels. This can lead to multiple organ failures if left untreated. 

  • Heart problems

Cardiac problems like a slow heart rate, heart failure, heart attack, or physiological abnormalities in the heart valve can lead to lowered blood pressure levels.

  • Medications

Certain medications that are used to treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease, depression, hypertension, etc., may cause hypotension.


What are the Types of Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure can be divided into four types based on the cause. They are:
  • Orthostatic or postural hypotension

A condition where your blood pressure drops whenever you change your position too quickly, especially when you stand up after lying down or sitting for a while.
  • Postprandial hypotension

A condition where your blood pressure levels drop after you have a meal.
  • Neurally mediated hypotension

A neurological condition where your autonomic nervous system is unable to maintain normal blood pressure levels whenever you are standing or upright.
  • Multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension

A degenerative neurological condition where the autonomic nervous system gradually declines. This results in the brain being unable to regulate blood pressure levels. You can read more about the different types of hypotension here.

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure

The following are the symptoms of hypotension or low blood pressure:

  1. Dizziness or lightheadedness
  2. Nausea
  3. Blurred vision
  4. Fatigue or weakness
  5. Inability to focus or concentrate
  6. Fainting
  7. Rapid or irregular heartbeat

How is Hypotension Diagnosed?

Low blood pressure is often diagnosed using a sphygmomanometer or a BP monitor. Your doctor may perform additional screening like blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG), tilt table test, or cardiac stress test (treadmill test) to diagnose the cause of your hypotension.

Hypotension: Treatment & Management

  • Eat more salt

Sodium can help raise your blood pressure levels as it helps retain water in your body. Adding healthy sources of sodium like smoked or cured meats, salted nuts, eggs, etc., to your diet could be beneficial if you have low blood pressure.
  • Stay hydrated

Drinking more water or fluids can help your body maintain a high blood volume and avoid dehydration. This increases your blood pressure levels. Make sure to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water a day to avoid dehydration.
  • Make changes to your diet

Cutting back on a carbohydrate-rich diet and adding protein and fats can slow down your digestive system, which prevents your blood pressure from dropping after a meal. Also adding good sources of vitamin B12 (animal source foods like meat, fish, dairy, eggs, etc.), folate (green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, etc.), and iron (leafy green, nuts, pulses, beans, red meat, etc.) to your diet can prevent anemia and thus increase your blood pressure levels. Click here to read more about the foods you should eat and avoid when you have low blood pressure. 
  • Drink more coffee

Having a cup of coffee can raise your blood pressure for up to three hours after drinking it. The caffeine present in tea or coffee helps raise your blood pressure safely, without posing long-term risks to your heart health. However, if you consume caffeine regularly, it is unlikely to have much effect on your blood pressure levels.
  • Exercie regularly

Working out regularly can help improve blood circulation around your body. Improved blood flow can help you overcome the symptoms of low blood pressure like dizziness, blurred vision, fatigue, etc. However, avoid lifting heavy weights or changing your position too quickly as it can cause your blood pressure to drop.
  • Limit alcohol consumption

Consuming even mild amounts of alcohol can cause your blood pressure to drop for about 12 hours after drinking. Hence, if you have hypotension, avoid consuming alcohol as it can worsen your condition.
  • Wear compression socks

Compression stockings are elastic socks that cover your legs and sometimes thighs. These garments constrict your legs and the blood vessels within them. This increases your blood pressure and improves blood circulation in your upper body by restricting the blood flow to your lower limbs.
  • Medication

Your doctor may recommend certain medicines that increase your blood volume, improve red blood cell (RBC) count, or treat the underlying condition that may be causing your hypotension. Your doctor may also replace or discontinue some of your medications if your low BP is medication-induced. Low blood pressure that is caused by other conditions like hormonal imbalance, blood loss, infections, pregnancy, etc. can be resolved or cured by treating the underlying condition.  

Low Blood Pressure Emergency Treatment at Home

  • Lie down on a flat surface

If you are experiencing low blood pressure, lying down on a flat surface can help improve blood circulation. When you lie down, your heart can pump blood more easily. This can help alleviate symptoms like dizziness or blurred vision.
  • Drink Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) solution

ORS contains essential electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and other nutrients that prevent or treat dehydration. When taken with water, it helps restore sodium and fluid levels in your body, which contributes to raising your blood pressure.
  • Drink water or other fluids

Drinking water or other fluids like juices, milk, sports drinks, etc., can raise your blood pressure in emergencies. Fluid consumption improves your blood volume, which in turn improves your blood pressure levels.
  • Eat something salty

Licking salt, eating salty foods, or drinking a glass of water with salt can help your body maintain fluid balance and sustain normal blood pressure levels.
If you are still experiencing any symptoms of low blood pressure, seek immediate medical attention.

When to See a Doctor?

Most of the time, mild cases of low blood pressure go unnoticed or undiagnosed as they present with little to no symptoms. However, if you are frequently experiencing symptoms like dizziness, fainting, confusion, breathlessness, a rapid heartbeat or if your blood pressure readings are consistently low, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Low blood pressure or hypotension occurs when your BP levels are under 90/60 mm Hg.
  • Severe hypotension can be dangerous and may cause fainting, coma, or death.
  • Low blood pressure can be caused by several factors like dehydration, eating a high-carb meal, alcohol consumption, blood loss, pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies, severe infections or sepsis, endocrine health issues, heart problems, medications, etc.
  • Based on the cause, low blood pressure can be divided into orthostatic hypotension, postprandial hypotension, neurally mediated hypotension, and multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension.
  • Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, weakness, tiredness, blurry vision, confusion, irregular heartbeat, fainting, etc.
  • Low BP is diagnosed using a BP monitor. The cause of low blood pressure can be diagnosed using blood tests, ECG, imaging, tilt table test, cardiac stress test, etc. 
  • Hypotension can be reversed in some cases by treating the condition that may be causing it.
  • Low blood pressure can be managed by eating more salt, drinking more fluids, eating a low-carb diet that is rich in iron, vitamin B12, and folate, exercising regularly, upping your caffeine intake, limiting your alcohol consumption, wearing compression stockings, and through medication.
  • Low blood pressure can be treated in emergencies by licking salt, or by drinking water, fluids, or ORS solution.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if your blood pressure readings are consistently low or if you experience symptoms like dizziness, blurred vision, or fainting frequently.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading cardiologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate BP monitors and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Let’s treat blood pressure problems together.

Frequently Asked Questions

The fastest way to relieve low blood pressure would be through drinking more water or fluids, licking salt, or consuming oral rehydration salts (ORS).

Blood pressure levels below 90/60 mm Hg are considered hypotension. You may experience symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, or fainting at a blood pressure level below 80/50 mm Hg, at which point you should seek immediate medical assistance.

The following drinks can help improve low blood pressure:

  1. Juices high in sodium (tomato juice)
  2. Foods high in folate (kale, spinach, and leafy veg smoothies)
  3. Electrolyte replenishing drinks (lemon juice with salt, sports drinks etc.)

The following home remedies may help improve low blood pressure:

  • Eat more sodium.
  • Drink more water and fluids.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
  • Consume more caffeine.
  • Change your posture slowly.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B9 (folate) can help improve low blood pressure levels. These vitamins are found in meat, fish, dairy, eggs, green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, etc.

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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