Supplements and Low Blood Pressure
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5 months ago
Daywalker • 180
@_245

Some of us take supplements (not a replacement for eye drops, laser, or surgery of course) to complement the existing standard care/treatment and for overall health. Some of us also have low blood pressures which can impact ocular perfusion pressure (another risk factor for glaucoma and progression), so I am curious if anyone with low blood pressures stopped taking supplements (either all or specific ones) and noticed their blood pressures (either systolic or diastolic or both) go up?

If so, by how much did it go up (and was that sustained) and which supplements seemed to have an impact for you?

glaucoma hypotension • 376 views
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I have low BP at baseline prior to taking any supplements and the blood pressure is mostly the same 2 years into taking a lot of supplements. Had a sleep study that verified episodes of SBP 78-85 during sleep. I found that citicoline whether 500 mg or 1000 mg, would reliably raise my blood pressure by 10 or 15 points or so during the day. I now only take 500 mg an hour or so before sleep to try and mitigate nocturnal blood pressure drops.
I gave up melatonin (was only low dose) as it finally became obvious that it was worsening an issue with sleep apnea despite being a very thin person. Have to wonder if the too deep sleep was also bottoming the BP. After stopping it, intense morning headaches stopped. Really regret having been on it so long. As far as supplements otherwise having the most impact, it seems to be Niacinamide 2 grams split through the day, Ca Pyruvate 2250 mg split through the day, Taurine 500 mg per day, Magnesium oxide 250 mg to 500 mg mid-day. Certainly take others but these are most recent and seem to be making a difference.

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6 months ago
erikamit • 40
@_303

It's an interesting question, but there is extremely little scientific data on this topic. Most people who have measured hypotension actually have hypertension and are taking drugs to lower their blood pressure. All the research that I have found about reducing hypotension has to do with adjusting the drugs to treat hypertension. And for reducing hypotension that is not related to medications, nothing. No research, except for this article that says don't ever try to raise blood pressure: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002939410000346

Keep in mind that the only accurate way to know if you have low blood pressure, nocturnal hypotension, or extreme dipping is through ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). If you have a self-tonometer to measure your eye pressures at home, and you suspect you have hypotension (or hypertension), you might find an ambulatory blood pressure monitor useful. These devices cost about $2000 for a clinical grade model (and may require a perscription). If you own your own, you can do an ABPM study whenever you change your medications or supplements to see what effect might happen. An ABPM study is incredibly informative and recommended for any hypertension suspect, as well as glaucoma patients who are on hypertension medications, but the devices are underused in the US because of the insurance payment limitations.

I used an ABPM to confirm that topical latanoprost did not affect my blood pressure. Next up is testing 2 supplements known to have the usually undesirable side effect of raising blood pressure, licorice and gingko. Testing one at a time, of course, to see if they can bring blood pressure up to an acceptable level. Without the ABPM, though, there is no way I would ever know if the supplements have any effect on nocturnal blood pressure and dipping. Hawthorn extract is another supplement that naturopaths recommend for blood pressure regulation. But there is no way to tell if any of these ideas will work for you, or even be safe for you, without ABPM.

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I like the Suntech Oscar2 on Medical Device Depot’s website - definitely interested in that. And the cheapest of the available ABPM on their website.

Several questions: 1.) Was the purchase process fairly easy on their website?
2.) Did they require a doctor’s prescription?
3.) Any other bureaucratic hurdles you had to go through? 4.) The software that is included - once you install it on your computer, is there any annual fees you have to pay? Or is it truly yours (“free”) from that point onward?

5.) Anything else I should know before I plunk down $2,000 on this device?

Thank you for all this information. Hopefully, it helps others as well who are trying to be proactive with their health.

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Great answer!

RE:

licorice

I assume you do not want deglycyrrhizinated licorice. It is recognized that glycyrrhizin in licorice root is a risk for people with hypertension, but in this case I assume you want to use licorice with glycyrrhizin to see if it will raise your BP.

Please keep us informed! Thanks for contributing.

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That's an excellent point. Someone gave me some licorice supplements, but they were deglycyrrhizinated, so you're exactly right, they had no effect on blood pressure. Now I'm trying plain licorice tea. I know several people who tend towards high blood pressure who can't drink the stuff because of the blood pressure effects. I'm hoping that I see some of the blood pressure effects, too.

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Which ABDM do you own? (Make and Model). Where can I buy one?

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I use a SunTech Oscar 2, which I purchased new from Medical Device Depot. I chose this brand and model after seeing it had been used for quite a few research studies. There are several other good quality ABPM devices out there. Do some internet searching and research to see what sounds good. You may be able to get some cheaper ones used or on eBay. Things to watch for are to make sure the software is included, and that the reported night time comfort level is good. I find the Oscar 2 a small annoyance for sleeping. I don't notice the cuff, but the control unit strapped to the hip is slightly bulky for sleeping.

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