What is Low Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure becomes low when it recedes the set mark of normal blood pressure range which is 120/ 80 mmHg.
If the systolic and diastolic pressure falls below 90 and 60 mmHg correspondingly, it is considered low. It is not deemed generally an issue of concern.
However, chronic hypotension or low blood pressure can be fatal. It can lead to feeling light- headed, loss of consciousness or blackouts, inadequate blood flow to the brain and may even be deadly often.
This condition is usually an indicator or symptom of other serious ailments for e.g., plaque accumulation, cardiac diseases, and other age- linked health problems. Thus, it becomes crucial to treat hypotension in its early stages, so that other critical diseases can be avoided.
Types of Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension can be categorized into the following main types :
As discernible from the name itself, this type of blood pressure is associated with posture. It is identified by abrupt lowering of blood pressure, because of changing the posture by a person.
For instance, normal blood pressure while sitting or lying may transit quickly to lower degrees on standing. It can lead to lack of blood to the brain causing dizzy feeling or even blackouts.
This condition is triggered by using certain medications, prescriptive or recreational, and other medical ailments such as hepatic diseases. These causes can disable proper downward flow of blood while standing.
This type of hypotension is also called neurally mediated hypotension or vaso- vagal syncope.
It is diagnosed by signs of losing consciousness, sudden shocks and blackouts occurring due to lack of blood flow in the brain and heart.
It results in deficit of proper signals from the nervous system to regulate dilation and narrowing of blood vessels needed to balance blood pressure.
This condition typically occurs after consuming large meals.
Since, the digestive mechanism demands more blood flow in this situation, blood vessels get dilated.
Generally, the heart starts to pump more blood to keep the blood pressure constant.
However, it is not so for the individuals suffering from hypotension, and thus they feel dizzy and drained of energy.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure along with respiration rate, body temperature and pulse rate are an indicator of status of health.
Lowering of blood pressure implies abnormality in cardiovascular system which may result in inadequate oxygen and blood supply to the body. There are several reasons attributed for hypotension to occur.
Here we enlist some major causes which trigger low blood pressure:
1.Anaemia: This health problem is characterized by low red blood cell count, resulting in diminished ability of blood to carry adequate amount of oxygen.
2.Pregnancy: Variations in blood pressure is common during pregnancy owing to several hormonal and bodily changes occurring in the body. But it retreats to normal range after parturition.
3.Cardiac ailments: The brain sends signals to the heart to maintain normal blood pressure if it goes abnormal at all. However, the heart can lose the ability to revert the blood pressure to normal level and render constant blood flow.
4.Hormonal imbalance: Disruption in the normal function of endocrine gland which is responsible for secreting various hormones, whose imbalance can result in hypotension.
5.Other causes: Kidney diseases, septicaemia, and side- effects of medications can lead to hypotension.
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
The condition of hypotension does not have any clear manifestations associated with it.
However, chronic low blood pressure can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Feeling dizziness
- Acute tiredness
- Mental confusion
- Blackouts and loss of consciousness
- Sudden shocks
- Faded pulse rate
- Cold, sweaty skin
Diagnosis of Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is diagnosed using an instrument called Sphygmomanometer. It comprises an inflatable cuff which is fastened around the upper arm of a person.
Inflation and deflation of this cuff cause the contraction and relaxation of blood vessels and blood pressure is measured between these two points.
Electrocardiogram is also utilized to deliver accuracy in the measurement of blood pressure.
Treatment of Low Blood Pressure
- Amplify your sodium intake
- Increase water intake
- Restrict your alcohol consumption
- Daily physical exercises
- Petite, occasional meals with lesser carbohydrates
- Be careful while changing the posture
- Quitting any medication which exacerbates your hypotension
Management of Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension is a controllable condition that can be corrected by employing heart healthy diet specifically designed to normalize low blood pressure levels.
On diagnosing this condition take meals and foods high in sodium and potassium and keep yourself hydrated.
More severe cases of hypertension are treated by medications such as fludrocortisone. It is a steroidal drug given in tandem with other medicines to maintain the blood pressure.
Another medicine called Midodrine is a vaso- constrictor which operates to oppose dilation of blood vessels and thus increasing blood pressure.
This drug is exclusively recommended in postural hypotension cases.
Low blood pressure or hypotension is a familiar health issue which springs mainly due to the gruesome lifestyle we follow.
However, it can be managed by adhering to healthy diet, physical exercises and stress- free mind.
If you have chronic hypotension, it is preferable to see the doctor as soon as possible.