What Is Low Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure is a medical condition that occurs when a person experiences a blood pressure that is less than 90/60. The first reading that is the one that is higher amongst the two is known as the systolic pressure that is the one in the arteries when the heart beats and fills with blood. The other measure is the diastolic pressure that is when the heart is resting in between the beats. The optimal blood pressure must be 120/80. The low BP range may not affect some and may cause few low blood pressure symptoms like dizziness and fainting in other people. Depending on the severity of the low blood pressure condition, it may also end up being life-threatening. Low BP symptoms may be due to various reasons, and it has to be necessarily treated immediately to prevent any mishaps.
What Are The Types Of Low Blood Pressure?
The types of low blood pressure are:
- Chronic low blood pressure – A low blood pressure condition that usually shows no symptoms and never severe is known as chronic low blood pressure. The cause for this is always unknown and non-specific.
- Postural hypotension – This is a kind of low blood pressure that occurs when someone rises from a lying down posture or a sitting position to stand, and develops a drop in the blood pressure. This is considered a failure in the nervous or cardiovascular system to cope with the sudden changes. This condition worsens as the person ages, and approximately 15% of the people over 65 have it.
- Neurally mediated hypotension – When someone stands for an extended period, they are likely to develop neurally mediated hypotension. Children experience this more than adults, and emotionally upsetting events are also seen to cause it.
- Postprandial hypotension – This kind of hypotension occurs right after eating. It develops in older people very commonly. People with Parkinson’s disease are at a higher risk of developing postprandial hypotension.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure?
The measure in the arteries of the heart during both the resting and active beating phases is known as blood pressure, and it varies throughout the day depending on the breathing rhythm, stress level, physical condition, body posture, medications, time of the day and what a person eats and drinks. It is usually lowest at night and increases by reaching its peak early in the morning. The causes of low blood pressure are:
- Large amounts of blood loss because of injury
- Body weakness
- Pregnancy is another cause. This is because there will be a high demand for blood in the body. This happens during the transfer between the mother and the growing fetus.
- Inefficient circulation of blood due to impaired heart valves or heart failures are another low BP cause.
- Anaphylactic shock is an allergic reaction
- Infection in the blood
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Thyroid disease
- Certain medications like beta-blockers, nitroglycerin, diuretics, tricyclic antidepressants, and erectile dysfunction drugs are the primary cause.
- Lack of essential Vitamins like B-12 and folic acid can lead to low blood pressure.
- Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration that will interact with the medications and cause hypotension symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure?
The various low blood pressure symptoms are:
- Lack of concentration
- Blurred vision
- Pale skin
- Shallow or rapid breathing
How To Test Low Blood Pressure?
The tests that are essential to determine the low blood pressure levels in the body are:
- Blood tests – One can find the blood test to determine the blood pressure levels by analyzing the blood sugar levels and the red blood cell count as they both impact the blood pressure measures.
- ECG– An electrocardiogram is a non-invasive and painless test done on the chest, arms, and legs by a cardiologist. It is done by fitting soft and sticky patches known as electrodes to the skin. These detect the signals from the heart and record them on graph paper or displays them on the screen.
- Tilt table test – This is the test to determine how the body reacts to various changes in position. It is done by making the person lie on a titled table such that the upper part of the body is raised. Then the stimulated movement from horizontal to the standing position is recorded with changes in the blood pressure values.
- Sphygmomanometer – This is a blood pressure monitoring machine that is a device composed of an inflatable cuff. This collapses and releases in a controlled manner with the manometer measuring the blood pressure.
What Is The Treatment For Low Blood Pressure?
The low blood pressure treatment will depend on the underlying cause and the person’s medical history, like:
- The first simple home remedy to treat low BP is to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. This is the immediate step when the person is experiencing signs of low blood pressure like diarrhoea and vomiting. Staying hydrated is the treatment for neurally mediated hypotension.
- Combat the postural hypotension with slow and gradual movements instead of doing things fast. The low BP treatment for this particular condition is to avoid sitting with the legs crossed.
- The most severe form of low blood pressure is shock-induced hypotension, and one must treat it immediately. The person has to be given sufficient fluids and blood to stabilize the vital signs of low blood pressure that are caused.
- In order to relieve postural hypotension, elastic stockings will prevent the blood from clogging the legs in all postures.
- Eating a balanced diet will help regulate the blood pressures and terminate the causes of hypotension in the body with all the required nutrients.
- Intake of sodium will raise blood pressure, and this will be an immediate treatment technique to treat patients experiencing hypotension symptoms like dizziness.
- The medications that help treat low-pressure symptoms are fludrocortisone, midodrine, alpha-adrenoceptor agonists, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, phenylephrine, and vasopressin.
There are many medical conditions, medications, and other external factors that affect low blood pressure, and patients should never be lethargic about the condition. Consult a doctor online if reaching out to the hospital is a problem and consumption of certain foods also affects blood pressure levels, and trying to raise blood pressures through diet is very important in meeting the nutritional needs of a person. Therefore, this is the long-term solution for managing the low blood pressure condition.