Many women complain of experiencing dizziness and low blood pressure during periods. Follow these 7 tips to deal with it.

Ever felt like your period symptoms just won’t quit? From cramps to overwhelming fatigue that makes you want to crawl back into bed, dealing with menstruation can be a bit challenging. But did you know that some women also struggle with low blood pressure during periods? Yes, that is true! Feeling dizzy when you stand up or suddenly feeling like you might faint are some of the few symptoms of it. If you are also going through the same thing and wondering how to deal with it, we are here to help! Keeping your body hydrated, managing stress, and eating iron-rich foods are some tips that can help you.

Symptoms of low blood pressure during menstruation

Low blood pressure or hypotension, is when your blood pressure is much lower than expected. It can happen either as a condition on its own or as a symptom of other conditions. These are common symptoms of low blood pressure during periods:

  • Fast or slow heartbeats
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Feeling weak, tired, and lethargic

What causes low blood pressure during periods?

Dizziness, fainting, and low blood pressure during periods can cause a lot of discomfort and weakness. Here are 6 causes of these symptoms:

1. Hormonal changes

Hormonal fluctuations in the body during periods cause a significant influence on your blood vessels, causing them to widen and consequently reducing blood pressure. “Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels are considered one of the potential factors contributing to lower blood pressure levels,” explains Gynaecologist Dr Shruti Ugran. Due to a drop in estrogen levels, you may feel dizziness, low BP, and fainting.

stomach pain
Hormonal balance during periods can result in low BP. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Heavy blood flow

Menstruation involves the shedding of the uterine lining, which can result in blood loss every month. While some women experience light blood flow, some experience heavy blood flow during periods. Significant blood loss, especially in women with heavy periods, can lead to low blood pressure, causing dizziness and fainting. This is the most common reason why women feel tired and weak during periods. Women with heavy blood flow should definitely consult with a gynecologist.

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3. Anemia

Anemia is a condition where there is a deficiency in red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood to carry oxygen throughout your body effectively. As per a study in BioMed Research International, anemia can take a toll on cardiovascular health. During menstruation, women can lose significant amounts of blood, leading to iron deficiency or anemia. “Low blood pressure during periods may result from anemia because the body struggles to maintain adequate blood volume and circulation due to reduced oxygen-carrying capacity,” says Dr Ugran. Thus, anemia due to periods can contribute to low blood pressure during menstruation.

4. Hypoglycemia

Hormonal imbalance during periods may cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. This is because estrogen hormone levels make you sensitive to insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels. People with diabetes are more susceptible to hypoglycemia than people who do not have diabetes. Low blood sugar during periods can reduce energy production, resulting in low blood pressure and causing symptoms like dizziness, weakness, and fainting.

5. Dehydration

Another key contributor is dehydration. Many people experience dehydration during their periods due to increased fluid loss and sometimes reduced fluid intake. A study published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality and Outcomes found that dehydration can lower blood pressure and contribute to feelings of dizziness and faintness.

Thirsty woman
Dehydration may lead to low BP. Image courtesy: Freepik

6. Dysmenorrhea

Severe menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) can trigger the release of certain chemicals in the body that may lower blood pressure and cause fainting spells. Pain itself can also lead to vasovagal reactions, where blood pressure drops suddenly in response to pain stimuli.

How to treat low blood pressure during periods?

Here are 7 tips to manage low BP during periods:

1. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can exacerbate low blood pressure, especially during periods, and other symptoms such as dizziness, and nausea. To manage these symptoms, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water—around 2 to 3 litres a day—is essential. You can also drink oral rehydration solutions (ORS), as it work wonders in restoring hydration levels. Apart from this, coconut water and lime juice can also help. Avoid high-sugar drinks such as carbonated drinks and canned fruit juices and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as they can contribute to dehydration.

2. Stay active

Make sure to engage in regular light to moderate physical activities like walks, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises for at least 30 minutes a day. During exercise, your heartbeat starts to increase, encouraging your heart to pump more oxygen-rich blood and improving blood pressure levels. Always listen to your body and avoid strenuous activities if you feel overly fatigued during your period.

Desk yoga
Stretch to release tension in your body. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Increase salt intake

“Increased salt and sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure. Due to this, moderate salt intake during periods can help manage and maintain low blood pressure,” suggests Dr Ugran. However, it is vital to note that salty food should be consumed in moderation to avoid further complications. Include homemade pickles, papad, and homemade fritters, as options for moderately high sodium intake and keep drinking water.

4. Compression socks

Wearing compression socks can help manage low blood pressure caused due to periods, according to a study published in the Korean Journal of Anesthesiology. It helps improve blood circulation in the legs, by applying gentle pressure to areas like legs and ankles. Remember, compression stockings are recommended for those with moderate symptoms.

5. Manage stress

Stress is one of the known causes of hypertension or high blood pressure. However, it can also worsen the symptoms of low blood pressure and menstrual discomfort. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or gentle stretching exercises to help manage stress levels during your period.

6. Eat balanced meals

Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day can help stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent drops in blood pressure. Include complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet to provide sustained energy and prevent hypoglycemia.

A woman following a healthy diet
Follow a healthy diet to manage periods symptoms. Image courtesy: Freepik

7. Iron-rich foods

Heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to iron loss and anemia, which can exacerbate symptoms of low blood pressure. Incorporate iron-rich foods such as spinach, red meat, beans, and fortified cereals to maintain iron levels and support healthy blood circulation.

Follow these tips to manage low blood pressure during periods!

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