Recently we had a visitor over who told us her doctor said her blood pressure was too low and she needed to eat more salt. I asked exactly what her blood pressure reading was that was so hypo she needed to grab the salt shaker. After all, maybe she had adrenal problems which can inhibit the body’s ability raise sodium naturally in the bloodstream.
Her answer: 110/70. Lower than average, but certainly not a low blood pressure.
When I’ve looked at studies of primitive cultures (especially those who who don’t eat salt) 90/60 is the average blood pressure recorded. Same for children (primitive or otherwise). But 90/60 is not average among “civilized grown-up folk” (where average often isn’t ideal). Most people’s blood pressure is too high even though it is called “normal.” While, I think, what we call “high” is really more like “dangerous.”
I’m a daily runner and I can testify that running with a waking blood pressure of 90/60 is a LOT easier than running with 110/70. Exercise becomes enjoyable.
The reason, I assume, some people feel dizzy at 90/60 is because they are coming down from a higher blood pressure. E.g. If one eats a lot of salt before bed, their blood pressure goes up. Fasting throughout the night (plus a few trips to the bathroom) lowers the blood pressure quickly. Like blood sugars, a blood pressure roller coaster is very hard on the body. It almost might be better to just stay high. Maybe that’s why there’s the fad of drinking salt water first thing in the morning.
If one, however, stays away from salt and other stimulants that raise blood pressure, I think they’ll find 90/60 feels great.
For a while there my wife’s blood pressure would drop as as low as 70/40 after dialysis. For whatever reason, however, this has stopped happening. Nicole now averages around 90/60 after treatment, which slowly creeps (due to edema) up to 120/70 until the next treatment.
But when she did drop too low, she’d take 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. In a half-hour she’d feel fine. No one died. Of course, that’s not medical advice. I’m not a doctor, just a curly-headed Irish-Canadian with a diabetic blog.
Thinking Outside of the T1D Matrix,
-John C. A. Manley
P.S. Not only does salt raise blood pressure, but it also seems to raise insulin needs. Check out: Common Zero-Carb Ingredient May Double Your Long-Acting Insulin Needs
P.P.S. A special thank you to all those who support this blog through donations to KidneyKarma.com.