Tips For Living With Low Blood Pressure

How To Survive Living With A Low Blood Pressure

   A lot of women have low blood pressure. It's not dangerous, but can influence your life a lot -- from feeling sluggish to overeating. Mine is super low, still it took me years to realise all the little ways it has been impacting my life. So I wanted to share some tips about dealing with it!

Symptoms of low blood pressure:

   "Most women have cold hands and feet" said my doctor. "And a cold butt" added my husband. We laughed. Whenever I get my blood pressure checked at a new place, I get horrified questions like "are you even alive?" Older, more experienced doctors just smile and say "oh, hypothermia is really common among women." Many of my female friends have it, and I am surprise that many of them don't link many of the symptoms back to it.
  You can ask for a blood pressure test the next time you are at your doctor. At least in Germany most Apothecaries are happy to do it for free.
   Doctors often don't bother telling you about the effects of a LBP and what to do about them. It's a bit of a luxury disease, it's not dangerous like high pressure can be. However it can  influence the quality of your life, and cause stuff like:

Always feeling cold:

   Cold hands, cold feet, freezing really quickly. Sometimes I even feel cold when I'm in a bathtub full of hot water.

Being sluggish in the morning:

   Your blood pressure is at its lowest when you have just spend hours sleeping in the bed. I can't even close my fists tight in the morning, and it takes a while to get the blood circulating in my veins.


   "When I'm cold, I'll go to the fridge" -- said a friend with low blood pressure, and this was a huge revelation to be. Digestion creates heat in the body, and so the snacking starts as soon as you feel cold.

Feeling faint:

  I always thought this had something to do with my iron levels (I'm a vegetarian), till a doc sat me down and told me that my iron levels are perfectly fine (probably thanks to all the beets and nettles that I eat). It's the blood pressure that causes the dizziness, especially when I stand up quickly.


   When my blood pressure drops really low (usually because I haven't been drinking enough water), I get splitting headaches.

    All these things mean that I really hate the cold early mornings, and I suffer a lot in the winter. It's also harder to get me up and running!

How to cope with low blood pressure:

Drink plenty of water:

   This is crucial! Your blood pressure drops when you are dehydrated, leading to nasty headaches. I read recently is that the body can cope only with about a cupful of water at a time (drink more than that and it just passes through you), so it's important to keep drinking throughout the day. I usually carry a 300ml Sigg bottle in my bag at all times and refill it throughout the day. And I use the Drinkly app to remind me to drink it.

Kneipp baths:

   This has been recommended to me by almost every German doctor I have seen to stimulate my blood circulation. Kneipp developed many different types of water treatments for different types of aliments, and the one recommended for hypothermia is alternating low and cold water on the arms and legs. You start with warm water (as warm as you can tolerate), going from your palms up to your upper arms and from your feet till your thighs. After a few minutes you switch to cold water (as cold as you can tolerate) and again work your was from the feet and palms to the entire arms and legs. Alternate a couple of times to really get the circulation going!


    Raises the blood pressure and generally keeps you warmer! Ideally you should move for at least 30 mins very day, whether it is vigorous dancing, bicycling, walking at a brisk pace, or some kind of sport.

Dressed warmly:

   In the winter you might want to invest in one really good coat and warm shoes. Thermal underwear is amazing. I always wear thermal leggings under my trousers all winter (synthetic leggings are way warmer than cotton). Wool is much warmer than synthetics when it comes to sweaters and scarves. I own and wear thick wollen socks, wristwarmers, earwarmers, really warm scarves and caps, and of course gloves. I can't imagine surviving the winters without them.

A hot water bottle:

  I sleep with one most of the year. I recently got one with a felted wool cover as a present and it is amazing -- it doesn't feel too hot or icky cold.


   This does raise the blood pressure, but be careful as this also dehydrates!

Watch out with herbs and medicaments

    Some lower the blood pressure.


   Eating warm food helps. Ginger, cinnamon, etc make me feel warmer.

Short naps

   Anything over 30 mins and my circulation slows down and leave me feeling really sluggish for hours. 20 minute naps are the perfect length as I can just get up and go on with my day.

  Anyone of you has low blood pressure? How do you cope? Do share your tips in the comments.

Photo by Christophe Maclaren

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