For CFSers: Have you found anything to help your hypotension?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kholmes, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I have trouble standing for any period of time, and my walking distance remains around 30 feet, maximum.
    Have you found anything to decrease your feelings of wooziness, shakiness, or weakness when you're standing or walking?

    Many doctors believe hypotension (low blood pressure) is what makes us feel like this.

    Dr. Peter Rowe has done some excellent work on hypotension, CFS, and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins.

    I've tried increasing my water and salt intake, but I haven't tried any prescription drugs for the problem.

    Has anything helped you?


  2. Empower

    Empower New Member

  3. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    My Naturopath recommended a good Adrenal supplement and it has helped some. I still have problems sometimes but not as much.


    ANNXYZ New Member

    Increasing salt AND taking minerals daily - calcium ,
    magnesium, potassium - keeps electrolytes balanced .

    Eating dill pickles and olives increases salt in your diet .
  5. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    for high blood pressure.

    I once took the depostion of a cab driver. He said he had hypertension. I asked if he took medicine for high blood pressure. He said no, just driving a cab at night made him very tense.
  6. KMD90603

    KMD90603 New Member

    I also have low blood pressure, and it can definitely be problematic at times. It's not extremely low, usually in the 98/60 range, however, I believe this adds to the weakness I feel. I notice it most when I go to stand up and I get that head rush.

    Haven't really found anything that helps. Increased fluids and sodium intake can help. Depending on how low your blood pressure is, they can give you meds. But I believe it usually has to be pretty low for them to give something for it. Sorry to hear that you are struggling with this so much. I think hypotension is strongly tied in to the weakness that we feel with CFIDS.

    gentle healing hugs,
  7. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Is it safe to drink salt water?
  8. vickiw

    vickiw Member

    I have those same symptoms: trouble standing for long, difficulty walking any distance, the wooziness, and weakness. If I walk too far or too fast, I feel like I'm literally going to die.

    My BP isn't especially low (114/56 last time, sometimes higher). My adrenals check out just fine after extensive tests. My doc says my symptoms are caused by low blood volume, which in turn causes postural orthostatic tachycardia. I tried increasing water, salt and minerals with no effect. So doc put me on Inderal which helped at first, but has become less effective as time goes on.

    The only thing that really helps alleviate those symptoms for me is to lie down. I find I recover faster if I keep my head fairly flat and elevate my feet.
  9. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member


    I have the same problem. My blood pressure has been down to 80/50 and its horrible, you feel so sick.

    I've managed to get it up to 105/70 by increasing my sea salt intake to 2 - 3 tsp per day, and taking a licorice suppliment.

    My doctor also prescribed me Florinef for it, but I've been reluctant to take it due to possible side effects.

    Take care
  10. Dlebbole

    Dlebbole New Member

    I very small dose of fludrocortisone has helped me. My BP runs about 80/50. I was incredibly thirsty all the time; I couldn't be far from water. When I started the fludrocortisone, I went from waking several times a night to drink (I'd drink 4 16 oz glasses during the night)and pee to not getting up at all!

    Initially, I felt a little stronger with a little more endurance. Oddly, it has not changed my BP at all. I can't really say that it has really changed my condition all that much, but I'm so grateful for not feeling so thirsty all the time. Diane
  11. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    Hey -
    I just added two supplements and wouldn't you know I have the opposite problem - it stimulated my blood pressure too much.

    So, I recommend Garlic - 1000mg 2x/day, been using Nature's Way softgels, and SeaVegg 1 capsule 3x/day.

    I had to stop those and hope that it comes down without having to go too much higher on the Norvasc. Bummer. I was kind of hoping that the Garlic would have the opposite effect, but my herb book says it can work either way (raising or lowering BP). Unfortunately I had to be one of the raising.

    One week and both systolic and diastolic are 10 points higher.

    Madame Curie
  12. kholmes

    kholmes New Member


    The low blood volume, rather than the low blood pressure per se, is most likely the problem.
    What exactly is orthostatic tachychardia?
    I, too, feel much better with my feet up. I'm trying some Chinese herbs recommended by my doctor of Chinese medicine (one is called Tang Kuei and Salvia formula), but I haven't noticed any difference with them yet.

    I haven't been able to find anyone with a tilt table in Albuquerque, but my regular M.D thinks hypotension is a problem for me.


    [This Message was Edited on 06/07/2006]
  13. mme_curie68

    mme_curie68 New Member

    Ortho. tachy (part of neurocardiogenic syncope) happens from a series of miscues in the body -

    You may get up so quickly (and it may not seem "quickly" to you) that your circulatory system's "pipes" don't constrict to force the blood upwards against gravity fast enough - so your bp drops due to lack of pressure,

    then the brain says "Uh oh - have to get the pressure up NOW" and signals the heart to start pumping quickly, but not efficiently - then, not enough oxygen getting to the brain because the circulatory system is in an uproar - then the body goes into conservation mode - fainting, a primitive, inconvenient and yet supremely effective way to get the human body laid out flat ASAP - to protect the core (heart, vital organs) and the controller (brain).

    The "tilt-table" test is what is used to diagnose.

    Keeping the feet elevated helps the body to conserve effort vs. gravity with a sluggish circulatory system.

    Madame Curie
  14. vickiw

    vickiw Member

    Hi Kholmes,

    postural orthostatic tachychardia (POTS) is when your heart rate increases when you stand up from seated or lying position. I think the rule of thumb is that it has to increase by 30 beats/minute to be considered POTS.

    My doc says POTS generally indicates low blood volume and the heart is trying to compensate by picking up speed.

    It's simple to test for it: first take your resting pulse. Then stand up and stay in one place for 5 minutes - don't move around (I find this REALLY difficult) and take your pulse again. Wait a few more minutes and take it one more time. If it speeds up by 30 beats or so and stays elevated, it inidcates a problem.

    The reason for not moving around while standing is that the muscles in your legs help the blood flow upwards. The idea is to see what the heart is doing on it's own.

    You really have to give it the time to do it properly. I had a nurse check for it once - I'd been sitting on the examination table for 1/2 hour (very tiring - not a good time to take a resting pulse). She said lay down, then took my pulse, said sit up and immediately took my pulse, then said stand up and took it a third time. All in less than a minute. Definitely the wrong way to do it!
  15. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    My low blood pressure is relatively minor, but I add some salt substitute (potassium chloride) to my sea salt so that I get both sodium and potassium.
  16. painandagony

    painandagony New Member

    I've had low bp my whole life too and no docs are ever concerned about it. Growing up I couldn't figure out why I had such difficulty standing while singing in front of the church, or the auditorium for school functions, etc. A way to keep from fainting was for me to constantly move my legs, shift weight from one foot to the other, etc.

    I was once in a double blind study for hypotension and cfs but I don't know if I got the drug or placebo. I didn't feel any better.

    It just seems like there are so many processes in our body that failed us that the cumulative effect was too much and we end up with cfs/fibro.

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