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How to Raise Blood Pressure

Two Methods:During an Acute BoutFurther Action

Raise blood pressure by using basic first-aid awareness to alleviate the problem. If you are the patient, these points will enable your feeling better. As the caregiver, you provide a knowledgeable, calming influence to bring the patient past this crisis. A little medical familiarity goes a long way when the condition looks dangerous. However, in more perilous situations, a few strategic steps can save the day until medical personnel arrive.

Method 1
During an Acute Bout

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    Assess the situation. If this happens often, it may be chronic. Consider the health of the person at hand. Is this a result of sickness? Was anything unusual going on at the time that could have had a lowering effect on blood sugar levels? What's more, stay relaxed. There may not be a bigger problem at hand.[1]
    • You will need to ascertain if the symptoms point to dangerously low blood pressure. Generally the symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, unsteadiness, dimming or blurring of vision, weakness, fatigue, nausea, cold, clammy skin, fainting, and pale skin.[2]
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    Insist the patient drink plenty of water or other fluids. When blood volume is increased and dehydration is alleviated, hypotension may disappear.[3] Sports drinks containing electrolytes return lost minerals to the body, too. Drinking these or water will keep dehydration from happening.
    • Another way of spiking blood pressure (temporarily, that is) is to drink caffeine. Scientists aren't quite sure how or why it does this, but it's thought that it either blocks hormones that widen your arteries or pumps up your adrenaline levels, directly causing a rise in blood pressure.[4]
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    Provide something salty for the patient to eat. The excess salt helps to make blood pressure rise. That's why heart patients are usually on low-sodium diets.
    • Sodium is known to raise blood pressure (and sometimes greatly), so doctors generally recommend limiting it. Check with your healthcare professional before you up your intake -- if you consume an amount that's not good for you, it can lead to heart failure (especially if you're older).[3]
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    Think of circulation needs in relation to blood pressure. Raise the legs and put on compression stockings, if available. These are the same stockings that people use to reduce varicose veins and they're just as good for reducing blood pooling up in the legs.[3]
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    Determine whether or not the patient has missed necessary medications. The problem could easily be failure to follow doctor's orders. Many medications lower or heighten blood pressure, even if just as a side effect. Certain combinations can also be more powerful than when taken alone.
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    Give any missed medications to the patient. Make sure they (or you as the case may be) understand the importance of not missing doses. Or not taking too much!
    • In addition to their regular meds, know that acetaminophen (Tylenol) and certain anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants can also spike blood pressure levels. If you have some readily available, consider adding it in this instance.[5]
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    Pump your feet and dance around on your hands a few times before standing up. It's common for even healthy individuals to experience a dip in blood pressure when they rise after long periods of sitting. When going to stand (especially upon getting out of bed), sit up straight first and rise slowly.[6]
    • If you're able, get regular exercise to promote blood flow. If it's a chronic issue, keep up the exercise and eat small meals often.

Method 2
Further Action

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    Contact the patient's physician if the blood pressure reading was dangerously low. A medical professional's advice will be invaluable during this situation.
    • Thoroughly explain the circumstances of the lower blood pressure to the physician. If the patient can talk, have them describe the symptoms as vividly as possible.
    • Do exactly what the physician suggests. In cases of dangerously low blood pressure, the physician may want the patient to go to the emergency room.
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    Take blood pressure readings, if possible, when the crisis is over. If it's still too low, you may need to seek further medical attention. Slightly below 120/80 is considered ideal.
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    Reassess the patient and the readings after an hour to determine if the patient is out of the woods. Do they display any symptoms? How do they feel? Keep up the liquids even if they aren't thirsty.

Tips

  • You should make it a point to drink plenty of water throughout the day on a regular basis.
  • If low blood pressure is a problem, you should invest in a home blood pressure monitor.
  • Taking a multivitamin helps nutrition levels which, in turn, maintain appropriate blood pressure levels.
  • Compression stockings are a necessary aid in maintaining good circulation.

Warnings

  • Low blood pressure may cause lightheadedness. This can also bring on chills and, in severe cases, can bring on shock.
  • Remember, dehydration is dangerous and can kill the patient. Therefore, think fast in the case of sunstroke or other lack of fluid occurrences.
  • Alcohol dehydrates the body and its functions. Consequently, don't drink it.

Article Info

Categories: Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure