Starting a low-carb or keto diet with high blood pressure
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 problems.
1. Blood-pressure medication
If you’re on blood-pressure medication and start a low-carb diet there’s a risk of getting low blood pressure. You may relatively quickly become too healthy for your medication.
This blood-pressure lowering effect on low carb can happen within days, but it may also take months or even a year to reach full effect.
If you feel weak, tired, dizzy etc. you should check your blood pressure. If it’s low, e.g. below 120/80, you should contact your doctor to discuss lowering or stopping your medication.
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 during the first week on low carb, e.g. headache.
You should only take this bouillon if your blood pressure is well controlled, as 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.
Any side effects will usually pass within a few days anyway.
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: