Low Blood Pressure

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies

Low Blood Pressure Treatment Remedies


The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Low Blood Pressure?

Measurements of blood pressure are taken in millimetres of mercury (abbreviated as mmHg).

If the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure are 100 mmHg and 80 mmHg respectively, the blood pressure is read as 100 over 80 (100/80).

Normal blood pressure should be between 90/60 and 140/90.

Blood pressure is not always constant; it may vary between heartbeats, depending on your breathing rhythm, physical condition, stress level, body position, or current medication.

Blood pressure is lowest during the night and rises sharply after waking up.

Low blood pressure is characterized by abnormally low blood pressure reading in the arteries.

If your blood pressure falls below 100/60 mmHg, you are said to have low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure is healthier than high blood pressure; however, extremely low blood pressure may cause fainting, dizziness, or light-headedness.

When your blood pressure drops way below 100/60 mmHg, the brain and other vital organs are starved of blood.

This explains the light-headedness, dizziness, and fainting which are synonymous with low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension.

To properly treat low blood pressure, you must understand the cause of your condition.

Low blood pressure may cause inadequate blood flow to body organs leading to heart attacks, strokes, or kidney failure.

Low blood pressure implies that your blood pressure is below normal.

This may or may not show symptoms.

To measure your blood pressure, the doctor uses a device known as sphygmomanometer.

Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

Low blood pressure may be a pointer to some other underlying problem.

Symptoms may be experienced when you rise up from a lying or sitting position.

That condition is referred to as postural (orthostatic) hypotension.

In orthostatic hypotension, the symptoms are felt when you stand up due to the constricting of blood vessels in response to gravity.

This occurs because your blood vessels do not adjust or align themselves with the upright position which allows a drop in the blood pressure.

This is the major cause of light-headedness reported by persons diagnosed with low blood pressure.

Some persons experience symptoms of low blood pressure after having a meal.

This is known as postprandial hypotension.

Postprandial hypotension refers to a sudden fall in blood pressure that occurs after eating.

This condition is often associated with older adults.

This is because after a meal, blood flows to your digestive tract.

The body responds to postprandial hypotension by narrowing blood vessels, and increasing the heart rate to realize normal blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure Causes

The causes of low blood pressure are as many as its symptoms.

Bradycardia (a condition of extremely low heart rate), heart attack, heart failure, and heart valve problems, are some of the most prominent heart problems that cause low blood pressure.

When your body loses water at a rate higher than its absorption rate, you become dehydrated.

Any form of dehydration, including mild dehydration may result in low blood pressure due to low blood volume.

If you happen to lose a lot of blood due to an internal bleeding or major injury, the amount of blood in circulation reduces significantly.

This consequently leads to a drop in blood pressure.

One other cause of low blood pressure is septicemia.

Septicemia occurs when a severe infection invades the bloodstream.

Anaphylaxis is triggered by certain medications, foods, latex, and insect venoms.

This reaction causes itching, hives, a swollen throat, and breathing problems as well.

A deficiency of certain nutrients such as folate and vitamins B-12 may also lead to low blood pressure.

A lack of these nutrients triggers off a condition that undermines the body’s ability to produce adequate amount of red blood cells.

This is a common cause of low blood pressure.

Some medications may also low blood pressure.

Such medications include diuretics, alpha blockers, beta blockers, and many others.

Diuretics (also known as water pills), include furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide.

Alpha blockers include labetalol and prazosin (Minipress) while beta blockers include atenolol, propranolol, and timolol.

All these may lead to low blood pressure.

Pramipexole (Mirapex), a drug for Parkinson's disease, has also been linked to low blood pressure.

A few antidepressants including imipramine (Tofranil), doxepin (Silenor), trimipramine (Surmontil), and protriptyline (Vivactil) are also responsible for some cases of low blood pressure.

Using tadalafil (Cialis) or sildenafil (Viagra) alongside heart medications may also lead to low blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure Diagnosis

Diagnosis for low blood pressure focuses on finding the underlying cause of the condition, signs and symptoms.

This is necessary for correct treatment and identification of any other problem likely to cause low blood pressure.

Your doctor may recommend a number of tests to reach a diagnosis.

Such tests include blood pressure tests, blood tests, electrocardiogram (ECG), and many others.

A blood pressure test is measured using a pressure-measuring gauge and an inflatable arm cuff.

This test takes into consideration systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.

The doctor may order for blood tests to acquaint him with information regarding the patient’s overall health.

Blood tests may also reveal cases of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), anaemia, as well as diabetes, which may all lead to low blood pressure.

ECG is a non-invasive test where soft and sticky electrodes are attached to your chest, arms or legs.

This test reveals the heart’s electrical signals as some machine records the results on a screen or graph paper.

An ECG test may also help in detecting other aspects including any abnormalities with the heart rhythm, structural abnormalities, heart rhythm irregularities, and any other problems to do with blood and oxygen supply to your heart muscles.

Persons with fluctuating heart rhythm abnormalities may be asked by their doctor to put on 24-hour Holter monitor for the purpose of recording the electrical activity of their hearts.

One other test that your doctor may find necessary during diagnosis of low blood pressure is the echocardiogram test.

Just like the ECG test, it is also non-invasive and helps capture your chest’s ultrasound.

An echocardiogram test shows elaborate images of the structure of your heart and its function.

The echoes of ultrasound waves are recorded on a transducer after transmission.

A computer is then used to come up with moving graphics on some video monitor based on the information from the transducer.

Sometimes, your doctor may need to carry out a stress test during diagnosis of low blood pressure.

In a typical stress test, your heart is made to work a little harder as your heart is monitored with echocardiography or electrocardiography.

These tests make it possible to monitor one’s blood pressure.

One other non-invasive test used to diagnose low blood pressure is the valsalva manoeuvre which analyzes your blood pressure and heart rate.

During this test, the doctor may ask you to take a deep breath before having you blow the air out.

This helps to monitor the autonomic nervous system for any improper functioning.

The tilt table test is also used by doctors during diagnosis of low blood pressure for persons who experience low blood pressure after rising up from a sitting position.

This test is also suggested for the neurally mediated hypotension (low blood pressure arising from faulty brain signals).

Low Blood Pressure Treatment

Treatment for low blood pressure is dependent on the underlying cause of the signs and symptoms.

Your doctor will always try to find out the primary health problem triggering your condition.

This could be diabetes, heart failure, dehydration, or hypothyroidism.

If the underlying cause for a patient’s low blood pressure is still unclear or unknown, the doctors choose to raise the patient’s blood pressure and strive to reduce the symptoms.

Experts recommend using more salt to raise blood pressure.

This is because sodium raises the blood pressure for persons diagnosed with low blood pressure.

However, it is important to note that too much sodium may cause heart failure, and you must seek your doctor’s advice before increasing your salt intake.

Your doctor may also suggest certain medications to treat patients diagnosed with low blood pressure.

The medications may be used either singly or alongside other medications.

Doctors also recommend a number of lifestyle changes and home remedies to reduce the symptoms of low blood pressure.

Drinking more water and reducing alcohol consumption helps in the management of low blood pressure.

Alcohol dehydrates the body and lowers blood pressure.

On the contrary, water hydrates the body and boosts its blood volume.

Following a healthy diet is important in managing and treating low blood pressure.

A healthy diet should include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean chicken.

If the primary cause of low blood pressure is a bleeding stomach ulcer, your doctor will recommend that it be surgically repaired.

Doctors also recommend a number of self-help techniques to help cope with low blood pressure.

When rising up from a sitting or lying position, do it slowly.

While on your feet, consider crossing your legs, tensing your muscles, or standing on tip toes.

This allows blood flow to your heart and reduces symptoms felt while standing up.

Low Blood Pressure Prevention

Prolonged bed rest is considered one of the causes of low blood pressure.

You can prevent such cases of low blood pressure by avoiding extended hours in bed.

Increasing salt and fluid intake may help in prevention of low blood pressure caused by dehydration.

This is because fluids hydrate the body and salts tend to raise the blood pressure.

Studies have shown that eating small but frequent meals other than large meals helps in preventing postprandial hypotension.

Postprandial hypotension refers to low blood pressure experienced after a meal.

Avoiding caffeine during the night and limiting intake of alcohol is a big step towards keeping off low blood pressure.

To reduce the risk of neurally mediated hypotension, doctors advise against standing for extended periods of time.

Neurally mediated hypotension refers to a type of low blood pressure that occurs as a result of poor communication between the brain and the heart.

Try standing up gradually or engaging in small physical movements (such as stretching in bed) before anything else.

Wearing compression stockings (support stockings) provides extra pressure to legs, feet, and abdomen.

This improves circulation and boosts blood pressure.

Lying down after meals may also prevent low blood pressure.

Always ensure that your bed’s head is slightly raised above its tail end.

Studies have confirmed that this, to some extent, helps to reduce the risk of low blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure Statistics & Facts

Low blood pressure (also known as hypotension) only becomes a problem when it negatively impacts the body.

There is no fixed figure at which one’s blood pressure is considered to be low.

This is because the point at which individuals are diagnosed with low blood pressure varies from one person to another.

The heart’s pumping action combined with the size of arterial blood vessels puts blood under some pressure.

This is known as blood pressure.

Doctors use a sphygmomanometer to measure a patient’s blood pressure during general check up.

Treatment for low blood pressure depends on the underlying cause of the condition.

Low blood pressure could be a sign of a more serious condition yet to be diagnosed.

The condition is largely reported in persons on medications for blood pressure.

Certain drugs (such as diuretics) used to treat high blood pressure may lower your blood pressure to a very low level leading to low blood pressure.

One study has shown that drinking too much caffeine and reducing your water intake causes dehydration which consequently leads to a drop in blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure Treatment Remedies plus

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Low Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure (also known as arterial blood pressure) refers to the measure of force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels or the arteries.

Blood pressure measurement takes into consideration systolic pressure and diastolic pressure.

Systolic pressure is the pressure exerted on the walls of blood vessels when the heart beats as it squeezes blood into the arteries.

Diastolic pressure on the hand refers to the pressure exerted upon the walls of the arteries when the heart rests in between beats.

A person with a blood pressure reading of 90/60 or lower is said to have low blood pressure (hypotension).

Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

If your blood pressure is naturally low, you may not experience any symptoms.

The most common symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, lack of concentration, blurred vision, nausea, and fatigue.

Other symptoms are depression, thirst, shallow breathing, and light-headedness.

In some cases, persons with low blood pressure may also experience fainting and feelings of confusion.

Other persons diagnosed with low blood pressure also reported sleepiness, nausea, and weakness.

Low Blood Pressure Causes

A number of medical conditions have been identified as possible causes of low blood pressure including pregnancy, heart problems, endocrine problems, and many others.

During pregnancy, the circulatory system of a woman expands leading to a drop in blood pressure. The blood pressure returns to normal after pregnancy.

Endocrine problems that may cause low blood pressure include thyroid conditions (such as parathyroid disease), Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).

Diabetes, to some extent, may also trigger low blood pressure.

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that causes low blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure Treatment

For cases of low blood pressure associated with certain medications, treatment is simple.

Doctors usually suggest altering the dosage or stopping the medication altogether.

Midodrine (Orvaten) is one such drug that doctors recommend to treat cases of chronic low blood pressure.

Orvaten restricts your blood vessel’s ability to expand which helps to raise your blood pressure.

Wearing compression stockings like those used to dampen the pain of varicose veins are also suggested by doctors as effective treatment option for low blood pressure.

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