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Are there supplements or non medication techniques to raise BP?

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Gingergrrl, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    I was wondering if there are any supplements or non-medication techniques that can raise low blood pressure? My BP has been staying low for days and today is around 87/57 in spite of taking Midodrine. Ironically, the higher dose of Midodrine does not raise my BP as well as the lower dose. I have the option (long-term) to attempt Droxidopa instead of Midodrine which I am now considering but it doesn't solve anything short-term.

    I was wondering if there are any non-prescription supplements that increase BP or if there are any other techniques? I have been really lethargic, sedated, short of breath when I stand and walk, and very weak overall. I feel as if I am at a high altitude (which I am not.) I know this is related to the low BP and when it is even ten points higher (like 97/67) I can feel the difference.

    I already drink Vitalyte and take salt stick tablets and these are the only other techniques that I know. I am open to any feedback or ideas! I guess I should add that I am open to other medications as well (but do not know of any outside of the ones I mentioned.)

    ETA: I can't take anything that causes tachycardia and am 100% intolerant of caffeine so this rules out a lot of things.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Licorice root
     
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  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I just tried to look up how much is taken as I didnt have any idea of that as I only knew it can raise BP.. but anyway, just found an interesting article on it. It sounds like it works like Florinef does (except of cause its natural) http://www.livestrong.com/article/480869-can-licorice-root-raise-blood-pressure/ (thou this article sounds scary, note.. anything which raises BP in someone, care needs to be taken not to take too much).

    I know some essential oils people with high blood pressure are supposed to avoid as they can raise BP but off my head I cant remember which ones if you want to try using those in an oil burner. (If if feeling up to it later I may try to look it up in my natural therapy notes from college).
     
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  4. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Salt... I add more salt to my food, mix it into my water... it's raised my bp on average to a nice normal - when I was always low-end normal most of the time pre-illness, and always low once I started to get sick unless I was in pain.
     
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  5. cturcot

    cturcot

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    Be careful with licorice root. I tried licorice root tea once because I too read it could help with low BP. It gave me severe heart palpitations that lasted for several days after I stopped drinking it. I only had one cup a day for maybe 2 or 3 days before the heart palpitations started. I searched on the internet for anyone having this type of reaction and couldn't find anything. I am generally fairly sensitive to drugs and supplements so start slowly but this reaction scared me.
     
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  6. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @taniaaust1 Back when I used to see an ND, she recommended licorice root for me and then changed her mind and told me not to take it and I wish I could remember why!!! So, I never tried it although I did try Florinef which was horrible for me. I just read your link and googled Licorice Root and it sounds good but potentially scary that it can drop your potassium and cause cardiac side effects. Maybe that is why my ND was ultimately against it for me? I am not sure what to think on this one b/c the blood pressure raising aspect sounds great and it doesn't seem to interact with Midodrine or anything that I am taking now.

    @PennyIA I already put salt on literally everything that I eat in addition to taking Salt Stick tablets throughout the day.

    @cturcot I am very sensitive to meds too and definitely would not tolerate Licorice root if it gives me tachycardia or heart palpitations. I assume that you stopped drinking the tea and never tried it again? Did you ever find anything else that raised your BP?

    Does anyone know the standard dosage of Licorice Root? I would start with a much lower dose than recommended if I did try it.
     
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  7. beaker

    beaker ME/cfs 1986

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    You don't say how much you are drinking. when I did the Flor. protocol. I took salt tablets and drank a gallon of water a day. (remeasured out so I knew what I was getting in and had to drink ) Oh and supplemented potassium script form.
    The fluids were the key to getting mine up a bit. They never got very high though. But maybe it would be enough to help you.
    In the end, for me I couldn't tolerate the Flor. and the salt made me nauseous. so that was a bust . But I still drink a lot of water.
    I wish I could get IV saline. But insurance won't cover it.
    If you could get that, it would be best.
     
  8. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @beaker I do not drink enough and this is solely my fault but I am doing the best I can which right now is trying to reach eight glasses per day. I do take a prescription potassium so I don't think that is an issue. I have no problems with the salt or adding Vitalyte to my water but I really struggled with Pedialyte b/c it tastes so awful.

    As far as saline, that was my worst experience yet. I don't want to repeat the story and bore everyone to tears who has already heard it. But in a nutshell, on my third IV saline treatment, I had a very dangerous reaction that my doctors think was flash pulmonary edema and possible cerebral edema (like my body just couldn't process the extra fluid- even though I have low blood volume) and I was rushed to the ER from the infusion center. I had very high hopes for the saline treatment but it is not an option for me.
     
  9. beaker

    beaker ME/cfs 1986

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    Have you tried adding any of the water flavor enhancers to the pedialyte ? I comes in many flavors and you can get it just about anywhere. stores have their own brands now. a couple squirts help the liquid meds/ sups. go down. ( some have added vitamins and such so you have to watch the ingred. )

    As for the salt. Not sure what "salt sticks" are. But I took these huge junking tabs of salt. Had to ask the pharmacist for them as they weren't kept out on the shelves ( at least here)
     
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  10. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    That's probably your issue there. If you have low blood volumne or things like POTS, drinking 3 Litres of water per day is often recommended. 6-8 glasses per day is what is recommended for healthies to drink. We need more then the healthy people do....

    I would assume if you just got some from your health food shop or look to see what is common at a supplement place, the standard dose would be easy to see on the bottles ie the recommended amount (but it may not help much, nothing probably would if you arent drinking enough).

    If you have issues with diarrhea at all.. maybe it wasnt recommended for that reason. It can cause loose stools.

    Florinef too drops potassium, it seemed to do everything Florinef does by the things that site said so hence my comment it appears to work like it .. but is natural so it may not cause the same bad effects you had with Florinef.

    anyway.. first thing I think you need to do is try to drink more. Its probably the most important thing if you have low blood volume at all going on which I guess can also cause low BP.
     
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  11. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Yohimbine.
     
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I think there was an Italian doctor I read about, maybe 25 years ago, who had ME and tried licorice root for it. I think he had success for a while but it wore off and I think there was some concern that you can adapt to it and leave yourself worse off in the long run.

    This is ancient memory that I'm dredging up and it may be rubbish but if I were considering licorice I'd want to look into that aspect of it, just be on the safe side.

    @charles shepherd, do you remember this? I think I would have read it in the MEA newsletter at the time. It might even have been you writing about it! So long ago I can't remember.
     
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  13. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    I took licorice root as part of a herbal tincture made by a qualified medical herbalist - she used to keep an eye on my BP, but as it was always low getting higher,and supporting adrenals was the aim. I took it for a few months and then we stopped it - my BP did improve, but alas not my symptoms.

    I don't think it should be taken long term, but I ahd no probelsmw ith it - but then I trust my herbalist and she knows I am very sensitive and we always go low and slow with everything.
     
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  14. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    I am in the same situation as Justy, as I take liquorice via a medical herbalist. I also have low BP and it, plus the T3 I take for my thyroid has raised it a bit, but not hugely.

    I haven't had any bad side effects. I didn't know about the potassium levels falling, but actually I have recently started eating bananas for my gastritis so maybe that helps!

    I sometimes take extra liquorice in the form of DGL for my gastritis but I think this form has been treated so that it does not raise BP, so if you do buy it for raising BP, don't use that kind. You can buy liquorice sticks which are natural and chew on them, but you won't know how much you are taking in that way of course.
     
  15. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Yes, @Gingergrrl, this is important. You can get licorice root in capsules that give the dose, but you need to get the right kind of licorice.

    Not ideal, but Benadryl often increases BP. I had to stop using it because my BP was going too high.

    Sushi
     
  16. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    My BP is very erratic today and I realized for the first time that it is dropping significantly when I stand (and pulse pressure worsens as well.)

    My husband adjusted the arm cuff (b/c sometimes I can't get it tight enough by myself) so I am confident these readings are correct. Sitting, it went as high as 99/63 (which is good for me) but when I stood up it dropped to 88/68 and after standing another 1-2 min it dropped to 85/61 and I had to lie down in order to both think and breathe.

    I am frustrated b/c I had a TTT at the hospital in Sept but it was really poorly done. First they messed up the IV line and had to send me back to my room and when I returned hours later, they were very rushed and entire test was less than 15 min. They had given me my Atenolol that day which I'm sure altered the results and then during the test they realized the BP cuff was not working so they disregarded some of the readings. At one point in the test my BP dropped to the 70's/40's (but this has never happened in real life.)

    My cardiologist said that regardless of the test, we need to raise my BP so I have been taking Midodrine but it just is not working. It is not doing anything negative but it just really isn't doing anything at all (except making me sedated!) I am seriously now considering Droxidopa which my cardio wants me to try but I would have to re-contact the drug reps and deal with more bureaucracy. I am no longer scared of the side effects b/c I can't walk or function in this current state and getting more dizzinesss and weakness.

    A friend recommended Provigil as another way to raise BP and I was wondering if anyone on PR has ever tried it? I have not done a google site search yet but planning to later. I really am open to anything but don't want to try a bunch of new things at the same time as I am hoping to get to try Valcyte.

    I am hesitant about the licorice root after doing more research and some of the warnings that you guys posted. I also read that licorice in the U.S. has removed the active ingredient that raises BP (glyczzerin- I know I am spelling this wrong!) and if this is the case, would it even be effective?
     
  17. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @beaker What are the water flavor enhancers? I am not familiar with them unless you mean something like Vitalyte? Salt Sticks are a pill/capsule that athletes use but I use them just to maintain salt and electrolytes. You can order them on-line. The blue bottle is without caffeine which is what I get.

    How many cups/glasses is three liters? It is almost 1 pm here and I haven't eaten or drank anything yet (except water to take meds) and I just don't know how to force myself to do it when I feel this bad. It's like I am just trying to get enough air and can't swallow anything else! By evening when I have drank 6-8 cups I do feel better so logically I need to do this but can't figure out a way. I know it must sound ridiculous.

    @adreno I read that Yohimbie can cause tachycardia so it didn't seem like a good one for me.

    @Sasha I have heard things like this, too, which makes me hesitant re: the licorice.

    @justy Is a "medical herbalist" similar to a naturopath in the U.S.? I am not familiar with this term.

    @Sushi I would have no idea if I was buying the right kind of licorice which would make me even more hesitant to try it and I don't have a ND right now to check with.
     
  18. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Perhaps in candy licorice, but as far as I know you can still buy it in capsule/tablet form. at a glance, this looks like the right form.
    There are quite a few threads on it. As I remember, most did not do well with it but of course some did! I tried it and it made me feel terrible.
    Can you add something to make it taste good? For instance, some find fizzy drinks easier to get down. You could get soda water, add something like a fruit extract (I use concenrated tart cherry from a health food store), and something like electromix, which is a powder that comes in a packet. The time you need electrolyte fluids the most is before you get out of bed. Drinking then might prevent some of the BP fluctuations you experience.

    One of the first drugs used to raise blood pressure in dysautonomia patients was sudafed (the kind behind the counter that has pseudoephedrine in it. It works for many. Have you ever taken Sudafed for other reasons--so you know if it bothers you?

    Really annoying about how they did you TTT!

    Sushi
     
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  19. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    P.S. Some find drinking through a straw easier.
     
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  20. justy

    justy Donate Advocate Demonstrate

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    Sorry Ginger no idea - I think a naturopath looks at various different ways of assisting health whereas a medical herbalist only prescribes herbs - they do a long training - sorry I don't know more about in the US.
     
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