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I have low blood pressure. A good day for me, it's 90/60. Which usually is good news, but I have all the problems that come along with it. Mainly dizziness and faintness. I've asked my GP for help and the only thing he told me to do is eat more salt! I don't like salting my food, it tastes bitter.

I can't take the meds that I need (klonopin,xanax) regularly because they slow my heart rate down and make the problem worse.

Anybody have any ideas? I was wondering if taking baths with seasalt would help. Does that work, would my body absorb the salt? That's the only thing I've come up with. HELP!

Croix

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Is it due to one of your other meds? Or have you always had low BP. You should count yourself lucky......

I had low BP due to a med I was on. And I agree - it isn't fun. Every time you stand up too fast, or walk too fast, you feel like you are going to pass out.

You can buy salt tablets. Athletes use them all the time for when they are sweating too much and losing too much salt.

I had this problem too.  Have you had your potassium checked? I was low on that and now take potassium and it is helping.

that's all I got.

Breeze

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did he even test your CBC or electrolytes?

have you always had low blood pressure?

this is really shitty - considering HE is the one that should be monitoring this to make it better.

i dont really know about your body absorbing the salt...

ive read that 'lightly' salting your food will help - and drinking a shitload of water.

also, eating small meals throughout the day really helps.

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Croix:  Do you eat the foods that have a lot of sodium in them?  That might be more pleasant than adding salt to your food.

Tomatoes (canned and fresh)

Canned soups

Most cheeses

Preserved meats:  ham, bacon, sausage, hot dogs, pepperoni

Packaged foods (mac & cheese, rice mixes)

Olives and tapenade

Pickles

the obvious snack foods:  chips, pretzels, etc.

But the more I think about this, the more I wonder if salt is the way to go.  It seems like an unhealthy way to get your BP up.

This is a puzzler.  I'm going to do some research and come back.

olga

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Yes, I have always had low blood pressure. No, it's not med related. I'm just finally fed up with it.

Salt tablets? That you eat all by themselves? Ooh, how do you not gag on those? But, if that's what it takes, I'll try.

Um, the last time I had bloodwork done (6 mos ago) Everything came out fine. No deficencies or anything.

Tallulah, if I could eat 6 small meals a day, I wouldn't be chubby,lol. But yeah, I guess I should eat more frequently to keep my levels of everything steady.

Olga, I thought about that, but those are pretty unhealthy foods. Thanks for the research/help though.

Yeah, I'm slightly aggrivated at my doctor and that all he told me to do is eat more salt. But then, he doesn't have to deal with almost daily dizziness. Prick.

Maybe I should buy one of those salt licks you get for deer and just lick it once every hour or so...

Croix

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oddly, my doctor told me to do the same thing.  happily, i love salt.  can't get enough (goes with having adrenal problems apparently i dunno.)

i actually eat salt out of my hand.  not mortons, i eat sea salt.  i've even become sorta a salt fan, heh.  my favorite is celtic sea salt.  it's kinda gray.  it's a lot easier to consume in mass quantities than regular salt.... it's not as sharp.  hard to explain.

i also drink V8 which is like a salt bonanza.

but, yeah... i don't have another solution as i was told to do the same thing.  maybe try a fancy salt and see if you like it more?  there really is a difference.

as for absorption through skin... i dunno.  i know you that the body absorbs magnesium when people take baths with epsolm salts.  i tried to find out if the body can also absorb salt that way, but all i could find was hippy mumbo jumbo about moon cycles.  i guess you can always try it and see.  just remember to not make the water too hot.  if you're sweating you won't absorb what's in the water.  (i take an epsolm salt bath almost every day, awesome for aches and stuff.) 

sorry your doctor is an unsympathetic turd.

best,

penny

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Croix:

I used to have extremely low blood pressure like yours. Most of the time the nurses could barely get it, sometimes they actually couldn't. And, like you the attitude of doctors would drive me nuts. "Oh, I should be so lucky," they'd say, "I'd live to be 100!" Not exactly consolation when you are feeling faint and dizzy all the time. Yeah, I wish it were you, MF.

When I got on Effexor, my blood pressure went up (this is a well-known SE of it). Intiallly a good thing. Brought it up to normal. Then a few years into it, my blood pressure became borderline high; probably somewhat genetic, my mother has a real problem with high blood pressure. So, I've been on a med for it since then.

Earlier this year, I went off Effexor and switched to Cymbalta (which also has high blood pressure as a possible SE). No difference, I still had high blood pressure. Then started Lamictal and titrated off Cymbalta. Immediately, my blood pressure started to go down. Maybe eventually I'll be able to get off the antihypertensive med, maybe not.

Okay, finally finished with MY story. Sorry. ;)

Now, as to what you can do. There are a ton of foods that have a lot of salt, from cereals to celery (no shit, celery is high in it) that don't taste "salty". Olga and I both are aware of all the foods with high sodium, because we both need to watch our salt intake.

Here is a list of the average sodium content by food type: http://www.alsosalt.com/sodiumcontent.html. I'm sure there are plenty of such lists available on the Internet; just the 1st I came across and it looks pretty complete.

Since you're concerned about a healthy diet, check out the vegetables. A few are naturally high in sodium, like celery and artichoke. Penny Century's suggestion of V8 is also a good one. It's loaded with salt, tasty, and has lots of good stuff in it for you. Check other juices, as well.

Additionally, there are a lot of foods you might not normally think of as salty, that can still be part of a healthy diet, for example:

* cereal

* soups

* salad dressings

* pasta sauce

* salsa

With the last three, obviously you add them to your healthy diet. These are just off the top of my head. There are plenty of more; check the link. And start looking at the sodium content on the food labels. You'll find that it is everywhere, and in large amounts.

One other suggestion. Check out some seasoning blends. My roommate is a Cajun, and we always have a great Creole Seasoning in the house...really adds a good flavor to anything. It's high in salt, so I have to use it sparingly. But you could be using something like this and many other seasoning blends to add salt without it just tasting like you dumped a box of salt on your food. You taste the seasoning more than you do the salt.

By the way, the brand of Creole Seasoning we use is Tony Chachere's -- most of the time you'll find this not in the spice section of the market, but wherever you might find the seasonings from Louisiana, usually next to the condiments.

BTW, I don't know about the salt bath idea. I doubt it would help, but I just don't know scientifically. I think you'd be better off trying add salt through your diet.

Good luck! I know exactly what you're going through. No fun.

revlow

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I had this problem for years and it does make you feel dreadful- i'm so sorry. the salt on the food thing is really to help retain fluid in your system- the fluid is really the goal- drinking a lot  can really help- even sugar free popsicles were a favorite fluid for me- jello counts too!

a couple of pretzels or saltines should do it- i don't like salting my food either so i tried to find a salty snack once in a while- peanut butter crackers etc.

my low bp got worse with some of my eating disordered behavior- don't know if this is any issue for you but thought i'd just point it out.

my mom used to say "if you have low blood pressure, you live forever but you feel lousy the whole time!" she had it too.

Feel better good luck.

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Revlow, thanks for the link. I'll probably have to try the V8 thing, as I already eat lots of foods that are salty. I just don't like adding salt on top of the finished product.

I laughed when I read your suggestion about your roommate and cajun seasonings. I thought everyone on here knew I was Cajun and live in Louisiana. Really we got Tony's and other salty seasonings out the hooha here. We put that shit on popcorn. I season the shit outta the food that I cook because well, that's what I was taught and that's how we eat down here. That's why I was looking for other ideas. You'd think I'd be getting plenty of salt in my diet, but apparently a shitload is not enough. I would literally have to eat salt by the handful to add more to my diet.

But I guess I could be better hydrated, if that's the whole point.

I hate,hate,hate it when the nurses say "Damn, I wish I had your blood pressure". No you don't, dipshit. At least that's what I wanna say.

No, tallulah, I don't like those sport drinks. They taste sour to me. I drink mostly tea (sweet) and Dr.Pepper.

My mom has high blood pressure and is on medication for it. I don't know if that means mine will eventually rise on its own, but I'm 28 and I've had this problem since I was wee little. My dad would always tell me to go eat a banana. I guess that's where the whole potassium thing came from... It never worked,lol.

MrsLoony, your mom is right.

Thanks guys,

Croix

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Croix:

Oops. I probably should've known by your name that you'd be a Cajun!

I hate, hate, hate comments like those you mentioned. If I had a nickle for everytime I heard the same thing from doctors and nurses, well...I'd have a whole bunch of nickles.

Odd that you eat the way you do and still have low blood pressure. I wonder if there are any medical conditions that could cause low blood pressure? Anyone know if there is something else Croix should be getting checked out?

Do you have any idea how much liquid you drink per day? And keep in mind, sodas like Coke don't count; they can actually be dehydrating. Think it's the sugar and the caffeine, not sure. I'd imagine your Dr. Pepper falls into that, and maybe sweet tea as well? Maybe someone else has some knowledge of why, what this sodas being dehydrating business is all about.

I do know it's true. Had one frightening experience with my stepdaugher when she was about 11. She played soccer, and every day/night before a game her father and I would ask several times, "Are you drinking enough water?" This time she seemed to be, was lugging her large sports bottle everywhere with her.

Well, by the end of the game the next day, she was a mess -- won't bother you with the details. Suffice it to say it was quite scary. Fortunately, one of the other moms at the game was an R.N., and she immediately was able to tell my stepdaughter was suffering from heat exhaustion. We were able to bring her back with and ice packs at the field and a cool shower at home. (It hadn't gone into the true heat stroke, so an ER trip wasn't needed.)

In the middle of this, we were able to determine that no, she hadn't been drinking water the whole day before -- she'd been filling up her sports bottle with Coke! Over and over again. Eee gads! It was some pretty serious consequences.

Okay, again...sorry for my long story.

Keep shaking that Chacere's on everything!

revlow

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I have low blood pressure. A good day for me, it's 90/60. Which usually is good news, but I have all the problems that come along with it. Mainly dizziness and faintness. I've asked my GP for help and the only thing he told me to do is eat more salt! I don't like salting my food, it tastes bitter.

I can't take the meds that I need (klonopin,xanax) regularly because they slow my heart rate down and make the problem worse.

Anybody have any ideas? I was wondering if taking baths with seasalt would help. Does that work, would my body absorb the salt? That's the only thing I've come up with. HELP!

Croix

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey there Croix!

Me too!  Can't remember the exact number but I know it's 80 over something.  Doc once remarked I had the blood pressure of a corpse and actually recommended adding more salt to my diet...hellooooo....SALT is my number one food group!!!

Ha!...or maybe not ha.  Not sure what causes it.  Alls I know is that because of a sketchy eating disordered behavioral past, they always think I'm starving myself, which is completely not true now. I eat more than gals twice my size.  Mom is 85 pounds, so I inherited a pretty decent metabolism....

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OK, so I just got back from the store. I bought a large bottle of V8. Will have one or two glasses a day and start drinking more water. Yeah both the tea and dr pepper are both just caffeine and sugar.

I've never had an eating disorder so I know it's not from that. I don't know. I guess some people are just prone to it.

Thanks for the help guys.

If anyone else has any ideas, let me know.

Croix

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OK, so I just got back from the store. I bought a large bottle of V8. Will have one or two glasses a day and start drinking more water. Yeah both the tea and dr pepper are both just caffeine and sugar.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup. You may want to keep track of it for awhile. My roommate used to be almost a complete non-water drinker. For various health reasons, he decided to up his water consumption. He kept track of it for some time, eventually getting to the point where he is now drinking about 68 oz. day (approx 2 liters).

Me? I couldn't even say. I've been a big water drinker all my life. Always have a large glass with me, whether I'm home or at work. At home, I've got them placed upstairs and downstairs in strategic places. I have no clue how much I drink in a day, just know it must be a lot. Years ago, when I was living alone, I had a water delivery service. The water guy was always amazed how much I'd go through. Said it was more like the average for a family of four.

Anyway, bottom line: It's a good thing you're going to up your water intake.

;)

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Heya Croix,

(Sorry my ancestors kicked yours out of Acadia, friend)

Hypotension NYD.  Crappy diagnosis.  Not b/c of prognosis but b/c of the day-to-day crappiness of living with it.

We (docs) hate it too, b/c there's not a whole hell of a lot to be done, pharmacologically speaking.

Except, hey, patient, east more salt and stay very, very hydrated.

In young healthy people, the most likely cause is dehydration, followed by vasovagal -- like fainting, but all the time.

There are others, and you've had a blood count and lytes that came out normal, which is good.

Meds of course, but you've covered that.

If you have any new symptoms, other tests might be indicated, but in general this is what your body thinks is "normal" for no apparent reason.

So, eat/graze all day long, and drink a lot of water.

And whatever else might work for other sufferers.

--ncc--

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I'd second thr above recommendation to eat graze through the day. My low BP was often associated with low blood sugar- i'd go hours without eating and then grab a candy bar- this was not a good idea (not that i don't still do it)- but keeping levels steady is always a good thing.

The only other thing I can think of that you might want to have checked is your thyroid function. A lot of women are hypothyroid and this can effect other body systems.

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Ok, so drink my V8, add more water, and graze through day...will do. Maybe I'll even drop a few pounds!

Thank you all. ncc, yeah I will definetly go get more blood work done if it gets worse or get new symptoms. Promise.

Give me a week or so and I'll let ya'll know how it's going.

Croix

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, thanks revlow. That was a little scary. I guess I really should high-tail it to the docs office for a complete blood workup. It has been a while. Just to be on the safe side. I appreciate you passing along the article.

Croix

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