A blood pressure reading below 90 mm Hg for the systolic or 60 mm Hg for the diastolic is generally defined as low blood pressure. However, what’s low for one person might be normal for another. Symptoms of low blood pressure can differ from none at all to dizziness and even fainting, occasionally posing a severe threat to life.
Multiple factors, from dehydration to severe medical issues, can cause low blood pressure. Identifying the underlying cause is crucial for appropriate treatment when needed.
Let us delve deep into the matter, along with treatments and symptoms.
What is Low Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure, medically termed hypotension, occurs when your blood pressure reading is notably lower than anticipated. Systolic pressure (the heart’s pressure as it pumps blood into the arteries) and diastolic pressure (the heart’s resting pressure between beats) represent blood pressure. The standard blood pressure level is below 120/80 (measured in mmHg).
When your reading falls under 90/60, doctors consider it indicative of low blood pressure. It’s essential to note that both low and high blood pressure risks tend to increase with age, owing partly to natural changes in the body during aging. Looking for the nearest expert who can help with the situation is recommended. Carry your pharmacy discount card to steer clear of expensive checkups.
Understanding these measurements is crucial as they provide insight into the heart’s function and the pressure within arteries. While a reading below the norm may indicate hypotension, it’s also important to consider individual variations and consult a healthcare professional with your Rx Discount Card for proper evaluation and guidance.
Types of Low Blood Pressure
Various classifications of hypotension exist, each determined by the timing and underlying causes of low blood pressure.
When transitioning from lying to sitting to standing, often leads to dizziness or lightheadedness, colloquially known as “seeing stars.” It’s prevalent among older adults, with age and pregnancy commonly associated with an overall decrease in blood pressure. Conditions like Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, affecting the autonomic nervous system, frequently trigger this type, affecting 30-50% of Parkinson’s patients and about 30% of individuals with diabetes.
It involves a blood pressure drop after meals, which is more common in older adults and those with autonomic dysfunction. Neurally mediated hypotension stems from abnormal reflex interaction between the heart and brain, triggered by prolonged standing or strong emotional responses.
Severe hypotension emerges during shock due to severe injury or infection, causing organ dysfunction from inadequate blood supply and oxygen. Some medications, heart, nerve, and liver issues, hormone imbalances, and vitamin deficiencies can also induce chronic low blood pressure. Understanding these classifications with the assistance of experts aids in identifying causes and seeking the proper treatment. Don’t forget to use your free prescription discount card to cut down the checkup cost.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure?
A sudden decline in blood pressure can occur in various situations, such as rapidly standing up, post-meal episodes, sudden fear, or shocking events. These instances may trigger a swift drop in blood pressure.
Furthermore, certain conditions can lead to prolonged periods of hypotension, potentially hazardous if left unaddressed. Pregnancy, due to increased blood demand from both the mother and the developing fetus, and impaired circulation following a heart attack or heart ailment are among these conditions.
Dehydration resulting from severe vomiting, an inability to retain fluids, or intense diarrhea, alongside endocrine disorders like diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, and thyroid disease, may contribute to persistent low blood pressure. Autonomic dysfunction, involving nerve damage controlling bodily functions, prolonged bed rest, and shock (a critical state where vital organs lack sufficient oxygen), are other potential causes.
In extreme cases, anaphylactic shock due to a severe allergic reaction, substantial blood loss from injury, or blood infections can precipitate sudden drops in blood pressure.
Moreover, specific medications can also induce low blood pressure. Drugs like beta-blockers, nitroglycerin (utilized in heart disease treatment), diuretics, tricyclic antidepressants, and erectile dysfunction medications can provoke hypotensive effects.
If a medication you’re prescribed causes extremely low blood pressure, consulting your doctor with the best prescription discount card is crucial. They may suggest adjusting the dosage or switching to an alternative medication, often ameliorating the hypotensive effects. However, understanding these triggers and associated conditions helps in timely recognition and appropriate management to mitigate the risks of low blood pressure episodes.
What are the Symptoms of Hypotension?
Symptoms of hypotension may not always be evident, but they can indicate inadequate blood flow to vital organs. You might experience feelings of fatigue, an overall sense of weariness, or a lack of energy when your blood pressure is low. Additionally, lightheadedness, dizziness upon standing, or a feeling of imbalance may occur.
Nausea and general discomfort in the stomach, accompanied by the urge to vomit, can also manifest during episodes of low blood pressure. Clammy or sweaty skin to the touch might be another indicator. Furthermore, persistent feelings of sadness or low mood, interfering with daily activities, could be linked to hypotension. In severe cases, loss of consciousness, commonly known as fainting or syncope, may transpire. Additionally, experiencing blurred vision, where eyesight becomes unclear or hazy, might also be associated with low blood pressure episodes. Recognizing these signs aids in prompt intervention and management of hypotension-related symptoms.
Treatment of Low Blood Pressure
Managing low blood pressure typically involves a blend of lifestyle adjustments and, when necessary, medications tailored to individual symptoms.
Primarily, lifestyle changes often prove effective in mitigating chronic low blood pressure. Adjusting your diet to include more salt, increasing non-alcoholic fluid intake, and moderating alcohol consumption can be pivotal. Increasing fluid intake becomes essential during hot weather or battling viral illnesses like colds or the flu. Consulting your doctor to review prescribed and over-the-counter medications can identify potential contributors to your symptoms.
Regular exercise promotes blood circulation, while mindful movements like gently pumping your feet and ankles before standing up improve circulation. Practices like elevating the head of your bed with bricks or blocks can aid in managing symptoms during sleep. Avoiding heavy lifting, straining during bowel movements, and prolonged standing further supports minimizing low blood pressure episodes.
Simple adaptations like avoiding prolonged exposure to hot water, employing support in the shower, eating smaller, frequent meals, and resting post-meals can alleviate dizziness episodes. In some cases, compression stockings may help restrict blood flow to the legs, maintaining more blood in the upper body.
If lifestyle changes don’t yield sufficient improvement, medications may be necessary. When we talk about medications, fludrocortisone aids in sodium retention, and fluid retention by the kidneys and proves beneficial for certain types of low blood pressure. However, it may lead to potassium loss, necessitating sufficient daily potassium intake. Midodrine, another medication, stimulates receptors in arteries and veins to elevate blood pressure, particularly in individuals with postural hypotension related to nervous system issues.
Understanding these treatment avenues and their personalized application is crucial in effectively managing and alleviating the challenges of low blood pressure. Always consult a healthcare professional with the best pharmacy discount card for tailored advice and treatment plans.