What is Low Blood Pressure? (Hypotension)
Hypotension is commonly termed as low blood pressure and often results due to inadequate supply of blood to various organs. Abnormally low blood pressure usually causes dizziness and fainting. In extreme cases, it might be life-threatening as well.
Low Blood Pressure Chart
Blood Pressure Reading
|Systolic (Top Levels)||Diastolic (Bottom Levels)|
|Normal Blood Pressure Range||90-110||60-80|
|Low Blood Pressure Range||70-90||40-60|
|High Blood Pressure Range||140-190||90-100|
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
The following are some of the most common symptoms of low BP:
- Concentration disorders
- Pain in the chest
- Increased thirst
- Confusion majorly in older people
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Weak and rapid pulse
- Losing consciousness when getting up from bed and sitting or standing.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure?
Listed below are the common causes of low blood pressure:
- Loss of blood: Loss of blood can reduce the amount of blood in your body and support slowing down the vital functions. Be it major bleeding or internal injury, blood loss can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. Moreover, excessive menstrual bleeding might also be one of the reasons.
- Heart diseases: Disorders associated to heart muscles, low heart rate, heart failure and other cardiovascular problems are the major causes of low blood pressure. Moreover, heart valve problems also contributes towards lowering of blood pressure.
- Dehydration: Sudden loss of water and salt from the body drops your blood pressure. The release of more water than its intake can cause conditions like weakness and fatigue. There can be several causes of dehydration including vomiting, nausea and excess of sweating.
- Allergy & infection: Septic shock is a condition where the infection enters the bloodstream causing a severe drop in the pressure levels. Several allergic reactions including anaphylaxis causes swollen throat, itching, breathing problems and a deadly drop in the blood pressure levels.
- Pregnancy: The blood pressure usually drops during pregnancy, as it leads to the expansion of the circulatory system. However, the levels return to the pre-pregnancy levels after the child is born.
- Lack of nutrients: Vitamin B12 and folic acid (vitamin B9) are known for the production of red blood cells in the body. Deficiency of these vitamins in your body can reduce the supply of oxygen to various organs, resulting in the reduced blood pressure.
- Hormonal problems: Majorly, thyroid conditions can trigger the level of blood pressure. These thyroid conditions include parathyroid disease, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency) and sometimes diabetes as well.
Complications Of Low Blood Pressure
- Dizziness: Even a minor drop in the blood pressure can make you feel dizzy and might cause fainting. Although this woozy feeling is not life-threatening, the frequent unsteady feeling can affect your body functions resulting in slowing them down.
- The risk of injury: As discussed, low blood pressure often leads to fainting and increases the chance of an injury. In addition, this might may even slow down blood coagulation and reduce the efficiency of blood clotting factors.
- Lack of oxygen: Lack of supply of oxygen to your body may result in the poor functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous system. It might result in reduction of Haemoglobin present in the blood that supplies oxygen to the entire body.
- Shock: There is a high possibility that low blood pressure can lead to shock resulting in organ failure and co-ordination problems.
- Kidney problems: This condition might also pause the blood filtration process in the kidney. Hence, low blood pressure can give rise to hitches such as kidney stones and kidney failures.
- Damages: Studies have shown that excess of low blood pressure can sometimes lead to myocardial infarction (heart attack) and even go up to your nervous system. Moreover, low blood pressure may damage your nerve or even lead to stroke.
Diagnosis Of Low Blood Pressure
- Blood tests: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and Anemia (low red blood cells) are regarded as some major causes of low blood pressure. Certain blood tests help in determining these levels.
- ECG: An ECG helps in detecting abnormalities in your heart rhythm, blood streams and water supply to your heart muscle. Therefore, by knowing the rate of blood flow in your heart, it can help in detecting low blood pressure.
- Stress Test: Stress test is directly or indirectly related to low blood pressure. In this test, a person’s heart beat is increased by either making him exercise or by giving specific medications. Later, the heart rate is detected either by an electrocardiography or echocardiography.
- Echocardiogram: This device gives details about the functions of your heart and its structure that keeps a check on the heart rate and blood flow to the heart. Echocardiography includes ultrasounds of your chest that are studied by a transducer and a monitor.
- Valsalva Maneuver: The test keeps a check on your blood rate and blood pressure. It includes a session of deep breaths which analyses your autonomic nervous system.
- Tilt Table Test: The test is majorly done to diagnose neurally mediated hypotension. Tilt table test keeps an eye on your body’s reaction with respect to the changes in its position.
How to Lower Blood Pressure? – Treatments
- Salt: Salt can instantly trigger blood pressure levels. Similarly, they increase the risk of high blood pressure in adults. Therefore, limiting your intake would be preferable and do not forget to visit your doctor.
- Water: Adequate intake of water and other sources of healthy fluids can increase blood volumes and prevent dehydration. It will also support balancing your blood pressure and protect against problems leading to low blood pressure.
- Compressed stockings: Wearing a compressed stocking can offer relief from swollen varicose veins. In addition, the elastic stocking will facilitate reduction in assembling of blood in your legs and provide a better flow.
- Medications: Several medicines are available in the market to treat orthostatic hypotension. Drugs such as midodrine and fludrocortisone help in boosting up the blood volume. However, before consuming any of these medicines, make sure you consult your doctor.