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Low Blood Pressure – Should You Worry?

Low Blood Pressure – Should You Worry?

August 29, 2018

doctor checking blood pressure

While blood pressure is normally considered as high blood pressure and bad, low blood pressure exists too and it may also sometimes be bad. It’s a condition when your blood pressure is lower than normal and is also known as hypotension. Earth’s Wisdom today wants to discuss this less commonly known condition with our readers.

Blood pressure keeps changing naturally all through the day because our body keeps adjusting and balancing it constantly to ensure every organ including heart, lungs and brain is receiving ample blood and oxygen.

Low blood pressure is not necessarily dangerous and may not show any symptoms or signify any danger.

Your body position may also cause changes in your blood pressure. E.g. if you suddenly stand up, your blood pressure may drop for a moment. Also when you rest or are asleep, your blood pressure drops.

However, sometimes low blood pressure may be a cause of concern, e.g. in certain health conditions. This can result in too low blood and oxygen to some organs. Treating these conditions can help increase blood pressure.

What Indicates Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure shows the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Feeling cold
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Inability to focus

What’s Blood Pressure Anyway?

Before understanding what is high or low blood pressure, it will be helpful if you understand what blood pressure is. Blood pressure or simply BP as it’s more commonly known as is the force applied by blood on vessel walls.

BP is measured with two numbers of which the first or top number is known as systolic pressure. It is the pressure applied when heart is beating. As you know, heart pumps out blood to make it reach all the organs throughout the body.

The second or bottom number is known as diastolic pressure and it’s when the heart is resting between two beats. Typically this pressure is lower than systolic pressure. The unit of measurement of both these pressures is millimeters of mercury i.e. mm Hg.

A healthy blood pressure is around 120/80 mm Hg. It can change a bit even in healthy individuals. Hypotension is supposed to be a condition when your blood pressure is less than 90/60 mm Hg.

Ways to Increase Low Blood Pressure

Drink Adequate Water

Low blood pressure can sometimes be caused by dehydration.  Sometimes even mild dehydration can cause low BP in some people.

Dehydration can also be caused by losing water too fast, e.g. in severe diarrhea, vomiting, excess sweating, strenuous workout and fever. Even diuretics can cause dehydration.

Balanced Diet

If you are not getting nutrients in adequate quantities, your BP may lower. Low intake of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid can cause anemia which can cause low BP.

Smaller Meals

A big meal can cause low BP. This is more common in seniors. This is because blood flow towards your digestive tract increases. To adjust BP, heart rate increases too. So, eating smaller meals can avoid this rise in BP.

Increased Salt Intake

You should do this carefully and with the advice of your doctor because too much salt can lead to heart disease.

Compression Stockings

These stockings can prevent blood from accumulating in your legs and thus can relieve postural or orthostatic hypotension, i.e. low BP because of sitting too much, lying down or standing.

Conditions that Cause Low BP

These are:

  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration
  • Addison’s disease
  • Blood loss
  • Heart failure or heart attack
  • Problem in heart valve
  • Pregnancy
  • Head injury or trauma
  • Standing up suddenly
  • Liver failure
  • Parathyroid disease
  • Septic shock
  • Postural or orthostatic hypotension

What to Do?

If you have low BP once in a while, you don’t need to worry. However, if you have it all the time, you should see your doctor. Keep notes of your symptoms and what you had been engaged into while they took place. From these, your doctor can diagnose the cause of your low BP. If your medication is causing it, your doctor may prescribe you a different one.

 



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