So you have high blood pressure and you want to try a low-carb or keto diet? Congratulations! It may be the most effective thing for lowering your blood pressure naturally. In some cases it may even normalize your blood pressure completely.
However, there are two minor potential issues you may need to be aware of before you start.
1. Blood-pressure medication
If you’re on blood-pressure medication and start a low-carb diet, there’s a risk of the diet working too well! That could mean you experience low blood pressure. Yes, it’s true. You may become too healthy for your current dosage of medication.
This blood-pressure lowering effect with low carb nutrition can happen within days, but it may also take months or even a year to reach full effect.
If you feel symptoms of low blood pressure, such as feeling weak, tired or dizzy, you should immediately check your blood pressure. If it’s low, e.g. below 120/80, you should contact your doctor to discuss if lowering or stopping your medication is appropriate for you.
This is something most doctors should be able to handle. But if you need to find a doctor with good knowledge about the handling of medication on a low-carb diet, check out our low-carb doctors map and directory.
We also have a detailed guide about blood pressure drugs.
2. Salt and bouillon
When starting a low-carb diet we often recommend getting extra fluid and salt, perhaps in the form of bouillon – especially during the first two weeks. The reason is to minimize early side effects that can otherwise be troublesome when starting low carb, e.g. headache.
You should only take this bouillon if your blood pressure is well controlled, as for some it may increase blood pressure marginally.
If your blood pressure is high despite medication you should not take extra salt or bouillon. Doing so could raise the blood pressure even higher, and it is not wise to risk that.
The good news is that any side effects will usually pass within days to a couple weeks as your body switches from using glucose to using fat as its main fuel.
How to normalize your blood pressure
Find a low-carb doctor
A low-carb diet for beginners
A keto diet for beginners
Low carb for doctors
Are you a doctor or do you know one? Here’s our low carb for doctors resource, with information on how to safely handle medications on a low-carb diet:
Low carb for doctors