Low Blood Pressure or Hypotension is not a disease, it is just a condition that may have developed as a result of some ongoing medication, underlying health condition, or simply a lifestyle choice. There are many reasons for your blood pressure getting low, and sometimes it is in your genes. Though this condition is not considered to be an ailment, it may result into severe complications if its root cause is left untreated.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure in human body keeps on fluctuating whole day through based on the resting pattern, diet, stress, and even surrounding temperature. All these internal and external factors affect the blood pressure level in your body. The problem arises when there is sudden rise or drop in pressure levels as these are the crucial periods when one would experience the severe symptoms.
Hypotension is the term used when pressure reading goes lower than 90/60. The ideal blood pressure in healthy individual is 120/80, but it may go low due to many reasons. The two numbers in the blood pressure reading are systolic and diastolic numbers. The higher one is systolic pressure indicating the pressure when the arteries are filled with blood while the lower number is diastolic pressure measured when the heart rests in between the beats.
Hypertension or high blood pressure may damage the heart functioning in long run, however there is no need to treat low blood pressure if there are no other symptoms. The treatment for low blood pressure becomes important when it occurs in old age or hinders the blood supply to brain, heart, and other organs due to some underlying health problem.
Some of the common causes of low blood pressure are
- Hormonal changes
- Hypothyroidism caused due to underactive thyroid.
- Heat stroke
- Heart failure
- Liver disease
- Parkinsons disease
- Medication for hypertension and depression.
Postural hypotension is also very common amongst the people of all age groups and it occurs when the person changes the positon like standing up from lying position. This can occur due to fatigue, dehydration, and lack of food. Postural hypotension becomes more frequent with age. Some would experience hypotension after having meals loaded with carbohydrates as blood is accumulated in vessels of intestine and stomach.
Symptoms you may watch for!
Extremely low blood pressure would restrict the blood flow to brain, heart, and other vital organs. This will lead to following symptoms
- Disorientation and confusion.
- Blurred vision
- Unsteadiness and fainting.
- Nutritional deficiencies
The severity of symptoms would depend on the amount of blood pressure dropped. Sudden drop would result into severe symptoms.
How to handle sudden drop in pressure?
It is most likely that you would not be in position to tackle the sudden drop of pressure once it has occurred. Therefore, you should take up the preventive measures much before it gets critical. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to hypotension then
- Leave whatever you are doing.
- Take a safe position by sitting or lying down.
- Have water or put a sugar candy in your mouth for instant hydration.
- Have lemon juice.
Above actions would settle the symptoms in some seconds or minutes. There is no need to undergo long term treatment if there are no further low blood pressure episodes. In case of frequent hypotension episodes, watch for the following warning signs
- Frequent episodes of low blood pressure.
- Fainting due to lack of blood circulation.
- Pale skin and confusion, which are recovered with lot of difficulty.
- Blue lips or breathing problem that doesnt settle after a while.
Medical practitioner will ask you about your medical history, family medical history, symptoms experienced in past, medication if any, lifestyle, and other such details. Later he will recommend you certain tests to rule out any underlying reasons. Treatment is advised for underlying health problem and not for low blood pressure.
Your body gives you warning signs in many ways. Listen to your body, care for yourself, and know when you need medical help to avoid major health problems in future.