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Postural Hypotension since Paleo

by (22913)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:13 PM
Created June 23, 2010 at 7:51 PM

I have a friend, very fit individual who changed diet only and now gets lightheaded when standing

what nutritional deficiency can cause this? He's low carb lacto paleo

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400 · July 04, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Seconding this... adding salt, also taking potassium can help

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22913 · June 24, 2010 at 2:03 PM

No such thing as insufficient carb intake IMO

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2517 · June 23, 2010 at 8:43 PM

My first instinct would be to go with calorie deficiency. It's been my problem with Paleo -- I don't get nearly as hungry as I did, and in not being hungry, I have the problem of not eating as much as I'm supposed to be.

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22913 · June 23, 2010 at 8:26 PM

He's high fat, low carb for 3-4 months now could be calorie deficiency

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8 Answers

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414 · October 12, 2010 at 7:07 PM

I have had this problem too. It started after I lost a bunch of weight in the beginning of the year, and I naturally have very low blood pressure. I started fainting and getting seriously lightheaded every time I stood up. My cardiologist suggested staying hydrated, which made a big difference.

Then, after I went Paleo, it started happening again. I consulted with a nutritionist, who checked out my food logs. He suggested a fat imbalance is often a cause of postural hypotension. I have upped my fat intake with the "healthy" stuff - olive oil, almonds, etc, - and it has also made a difference.

Hope that helps!

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1932 · June 24, 2010 at 7:22 PM

When you eat low carb, especially at the beginning, it tends to have a diuretic effect. This, in effect, lowers the blood volume, which then lowers the blood pressure. When the blood pressure is low, it takes a few minutes for your body to "catch up" when rising from a sitting or lying position. Note to original poster: this is not a "nutritional deficiency" :-)

Have your friend add a little salt to his foods, and have him rise a little slower. His body will soon grow accustomed to the reduced blood pressure and it will learn to compensate for the lowered blood volume. This is not a dangerous condition.

NOTE: I am not a doctor. It's entirely possible he's dying of some strange malady of which I know nothing, but the people I know who have gone low carb (including myself) have this exact situation occur almost without exception.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a
400 · July 04, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Seconding this... adding salt, also taking potassium can help

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4896 · June 24, 2010 at 2:57 PM

I've been having a similar problem. I am always on the low blood pressure side, but recently it got worse... I am drinking a lot (could it be too much?), not counting calories, eating meat with fat and adding fat whenever I can.

I think I will use the suggestion of using more salt... I am eating carbs (even if pretty low, mostly from cream/cheese and veggies) so I am pretty sure it can't be too low carbs.

Have your friend had a chance to check his blood pressure at the moment? Could the weather be an issue? I know I feel much worse when there is a serious heat wave. Could it be over-training on cardio-like exercising? That's what hits me sometimes.

I would advise more observation - checking daily blood pressure at set times plus at moments of particular light-headedness and look for patterns.

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10 · June 23, 2010 at 9:52 PM

Possibly dehydrated. Lack of water can cause this.

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10 · June 23, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Insufficient sodium intake

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588 · June 23, 2010 at 8:06 PM

I used to get that when not eating enough fat. It can also be a problem if not enough food is eaten, but there may be something else happening. How long has he been low-carb?

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2517 · June 23, 2010 at 8:43 PM

My first instinct would be to go with calorie deficiency. It's been my problem with Paleo -- I don't get nearly as hungry as I did, and in not being hungry, I have the problem of not eating as much as I'm supposed to be.

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22913 · June 23, 2010 at 8:26 PM

He's high fat, low carb for 3-4 months now could be calorie deficiency

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11478 · June 23, 2010 at 10:31 PM

Great suggestions so far. Also consider:

1) Iodine deficiency leading to hypothyroidism, or

2) Over-training

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642 · June 23, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Might be over-taxed adrenals due to insufficient carbohydrate intake.

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22913 · June 24, 2010 at 2:03 PM

No such thing as insufficient carb intake IMO

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