Natural health: I'm seven months pregnant and have low blood pressure; I have psorasis due to work pressure

Natural health: I'm seven months pregnant and have low blood pressure; I have psorasis due to work pressure

I’m seven months pregnant andhave low blood pressure. I occasionally feel weak, particularly if I stand forlong periods. My doctor says there is nothing to worry about. What would you suggest?

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can occur for a few reasons. It is important to take into consideration whether your baseline for blood pressure is usually on the low side, or if this is linked with the pregnancy itself.

Your doctor is obviously not worried about your blood pressure, otherwise you would have been immediately referred to the hospital or emergency ward. However, if you sense that this requires further testing or you are feeling anxious that something is not quite right, then please seek a second opinion.

In many cases, low blood pressure during pregnancy can be as simple as dehydration. It is also very common for blood pressure levels to decrease as a result of the increased demands on the circulatory system, particularly during the third trimester. Hormonal changes can also influence blood pressure fluctuations.

Hypotension may also occur as a result of having higher-than-usual potassium levels. This is similar to excess sodium being linked with high blood pressure, or hypertension. If you want to be on the safe side with your sodium/potassium balance, make sure you avoid drinking tea or coffee.

Foods that can help to regulate low blood pressure include celery, cress, and kelp. Juicing is a great way to get the benefits of these leafy greens and stalks, and this may be enough to help with weakness and dizzy spells. You can dilute the juice with water, and add lemon or lime to taste.

Natural health: I'm seven months pregnant and have low blood pressure; I have psorasis due to work pressure

I started a new job six months ago which I enjoy but find stressful. I thought I was managing the pressure well untilI developed psoriasis a few weeks ago. It’s mostly on my arms and torso. Is there a natural remedy I could take?

On a positive note, it is good that you are able to identify stress as a trigger for your psoriasis, as this gives you something to work with. Skin problems can be very difficult to keep on top of, and almost always indicate an internal issue, so it is important to consider what you are putting into your body as well as on your skin.

Psoriasis is a condition where the cells multiply 1,000 times faster than normal skin, building up and causing a scaly appearance. Low levels of selenium have been linked with the development of psoriasis, along with other conditions such as high cholesterol, arthritis, hypothyroidism, and depression.

Other nutrients that are typically low in sufferers of psoriasis include vitamin A and the mineral zinc.

Natural sources of selenium include wheat germ, wholegrain breads and cereals, eggs, mushrooms, legumes, brazil nuts, peanuts, asparagus,cabbage, celery, garlic, onion, potatoes, radish, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, seafood, chicken, rabbit, and organ meats. Many of these foods are also great sources of vitamin A and zinc.

Essential fatty acids can make a world of difference by helping to regulate cell production. Hemp hearts and hemp seed oil are a great source of essential fatty acids, and the oil is useful topically and internally fora number of dry and itching skin conditions.

The detoxification herbs — nettle, milk thistle and dandelion — taken as a herbal infusion, will help to support the elimination organs, particularly the liver, a crucial component of any skin healing regimen. This combination will help with your stress levels.

There is an external remedy which might help in the short and long term. Themba is a herbal cream made by The Little Herbal Company utilising Kigelia africana (also called the ‘sausage’ tree, due to the shape of the fruit) to help inhibit abnormal skin growth rates.

Apply the cream morning and evening to help with itching and flaking. Themba is available from health stores or online from The Little Herbal Company.

See: littleherbal-international.co.nz

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