What are the Symptoms & Causes of Low Blood Pressure?

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What is Low Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force or pressure which blood exerts on the walls of the blood vessels. To keep blood pressure in a normal limit is very significant. When blood pressure is lower than its normal rates, is called Low Blood Pressure (LBP), officially known as Hypotension. Low blood pressure has several negative impacts on the body.

Ranges of low blood pressure measured by systolic and diastolic pressure:

  • If the systolic pressure is > 90mmHg (regardless of the diastolic pressure), it is considered as low blood pressure
  • If the diastolic pressure is > 60mmHg (regardless of the systolic pressure), it is considered as low blood pressure.

Low Blood Pressure Facts

  • Low blood pressure decreases* flow of required amount of blood to the brain.
  • Low blood pressure without any symptoms, usually do not have any harmful effect on the body.
  • The causes of low blood pressure are decreased* blood flow and cardiovascular problem.
  • Low blood pressure or hypotension can occur due to certain medication.
  • Some medical conditions like low blood sugar levels, thyroid disorders, cardiac disorders, Addison’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and some other nervous system disorder may cause low blood pressure. These medical conditions are responsible for the miscommunication of the brain and the rhythmic contraction of heart.
  • The relation between pregnancy and low blood pressure are old. Pregnancy brings a big change in female circulatory system for example, blood vessels expand slightly and sudden blood sugar level drop leads to low blood pressure.
  • Severe hypotension or low blood pressure can cause heart disease like heart attack, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, valvular heart disease.
  • Low blood pressure can cause severe shock, which may lead a person towards death. Shock occurs when blood pressure drops down to a seriously low level, that sufficient blood cannot reach to the vital organs of the body, such as the kidneys and brain. Shock can be caused by major blood loss due to external or internal bleeding, burns*, severe infections or allergic reactions.
  • The treatment for low blood pressure depends on the condition and situation of a person. However, a healthy diet plan always helps to improve* this condition. You can make use of the diet plan for low blood pressure given below, which is proven* very helpful for low blood pressure:
  • Eat a diet higher in salt.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Increase* drinking water and other liquid foods during hot weather.
  • Consult with your doctor or show a pharmacist before taking any OTC drug for making sure that has nothing to do with your condition.
  • Regular exercise is good for low blood pressure.
  • Try to eating smaller meals but more frequently.
  • Quite smoking.
  • Wearing compression stockings for low blood pressure has proven* to be helpful. It is the same elastic stockings are used for relieving pain and swelling of varicose veins.

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure

Dizziness: Dizziness indicates low blood pressure. Dizziness occurs, when brain do not get adequate blood supply. When hypotension occurs, required amount of oxygenated blood cannot reach the brain sometimes for gravitational factors, thus sometimes it feels dizzy.

Dizziness

Lightheadedness: The brain is situated on the top of the body thus, blood flow have to resist the gravity to reach there. As a result, most individual with low blood pressure feels lightheaded. When your brain is not getting enough blood, your body may feel heavier than normal condition, thus your head will feel lighter than before. This condition may accompanied by vision problem and imbalance.

Unsteadiness: You may feel unexpectedly unsteadiness when this occurs. This condition sometimes accompanied by a feeling of faintness. It also may feel like that the floor is moving and it become hard to maintain balance. This occurs due to the in lack of blood supply in the part of the brain, which controls the center of balance.

Dimming or blurring of vision: Blurring vision also indicates hypotension. This symptom has found in many pregnant women. Your eyes may feel like dry and irritation will occur. If you use contact lenses, it will feel weak or caked.

Weakness: It is a condition where a person feels he/she is giving more effort than normally required for doing something but actual muscle strength remains normal. It occurs mainly for two reasons

1. Minimal oxygen supply in the cell
2. Low blood sugar level

Fatigue: Fatigue also known as exhaustion, languidness and tiredness. It is a feeling of tiredness, which is different from weakness, and has a slow start. Fatigue can improve* by periods of rest. This condition is the temporary powerlessness of a muscle to uphold best physical performance. Lack of blood supply and nutritional supply in the skeletal muscle causes this condition.

Fatigue

Nausea: Nausea can be define as an unpleasant feeling, which may be described as a sick feeling or a sense of imminent vomiting, which is often linked with a perception of epigastric or upper abdominal unpleasantness. Nausea may cause due to altered heart/cardiac arrhythmia (tachycardia or bradycardia).

Cold, clammy skin: Clammy skin means wet or sweaty skin. Sweating is a normal response of the body for overheating. Sweat has a cooling effect on our body. Clammy skin usually causes due to feeling anxious feeling, nervousness or due to stress.

Faintness: Fainting, also familiar as syncope, it occurs due to sudden loss of consciousness. This condition occurs due to the decreased* oxygenated blood flow to the brain. When brain do not get enough oxygenated blood it only distributes that small amount of blood only to the important organs and try to shutdown the less* important activities within the body, which requires more energy and oxygen. There are many different circumstances, which can cause fainting. It includes heart problems such as cardiac arrhythmia and low blood sugar.

From the obvious to the alarming and the downright odd, here is a list of medical conditions and prescription drugs that cause low blow pressure.

Medical Conditions Causing LBP

Vasovagal Reaction: This can be a emotional or fearful reaction to something by a person, but it can also be a clenching feeling or a reflex wherein straining is involved. Vasovagal Reaction is named mechanism of involuntary workings of the neurological system and hormones, such as that governed by the vagal nerve.

Postural Hypotension
When a person becomes hypotensive when they stand up. In people with Postural, their hearts are not able to circulate blood circulate open them standing; at this point, blood collects down towards the ankles?

Pregnancy: It is not uncommon for an expectant mom to have low pressure in the first or second trimester, as her blood is doubles in size so it can be shared. Other possibilities for the low blood pressure early on in pregnancy could a possible twin birth, anemia or dehydration, endocrine problems. Weight gain is the more common in the second reason, yes.

Heart Problems: If your heart is damaged, it can’t pump blood around as well; when it can’t push blood, you’re looking at low blood pressure. Pericarditis, a condition in which the lining of the heart is infected, will definitely blood flow to slow.

A previously damaged valve, pulmonary embolism, a blood clot or a slow heart also cause low blood pressure problems.

Adrenal Insufficiency: The Adrenal glands are the unsung heroes of the human body. We don’t really think about them or know much about them, but if they weren’t around, we’d be in a world of hurt.

Blood loss: Your blood and water are inseparable team. When one isn’t around as it should be, your body has problems. The more you bleed, the less* there is inside of you two be pumped through to the heart. Yes, if his onset mass loss of blood had immediately been rapid.

Septicemia – (Toxic Blood Poisoning): When the level of Septicemia and Sepsis occurring, the bacteria that is already in the blood is causing her own, the patient’s blood to release toxins, called “cytokines” and they cause inflammation.

These little cytokines fight off everything to protect* their territory. But when they see these bacteria in there, they attack her. They shove the blood vessels wide open so her blood can’t flow.

Medications That Can Cause Low Blood Pressure:

Dopamine Antagonists: These are a types of drugs used to treat* patients in the more advanced stages of Parkinson ‘s disease, also with Alzheimer’s and alcoholism.

The name is actually misleading, because what the medication does the opposite of what you think. Episodes for Perkin’s, those are when there are no dopamine. So the antagonist hits a receptor, forcing dopamine out which then relieves* the patient. Brand names: apomorphine (Apokyn).

Antianginals: Antianginal drugs are prescribed because of severe cardiac pain because of a condition called angina pectitis; she wasn’t getting enough blood up.

These are medications that relieve stress from the heart by easing blood flow through the myocardium and increasing* oxygen Antiangianls take stress off the heart and do a lot of wonder*. There are 3 types of Anti anginas, aneh fist Nitrates, that’ straight down to the Drugs: Ranolazine.

Antiarrhyrhmics: Drugs that help the drug keep a healthy and safe rhythm following a heart attack. They are actually able to shoulder the load of the heart, so the heart doesn’t have to beat as hard.

There’s different ways that Antiarrhyrhmics work, but they all like to keep the heart and its various parts very relaxed. They keep the blood vessels open nice and wide; and because high blood pressure lives off of constricting of vessels, the job of these Antiarrhymics is to not let high blood pressure have a job at all. Makes perfect sense.to me.

Tricyclic Antidepressants: These are the 1st generation psychotropic drugs, the timeline of which began in the 50s. A psychotropic drug includes all antidepressants, anxiety medication and anti-psychotics.

Anxiety Medication: All of the old anxiety medications. Thank you. And, ah, some of the anxiety, newer ones. And also low-potency FGA’s and clozapine. (Low-potency FGA’s means anti-psychotic medication).

The most dangerous risk in this category, especially with regards to secondary hypotension, particularly in the elderly. There have been quite a lot of deaths because of that exactly. Elderly person with secondary hypotension and she’s on an anxiety medication; happened just to stand up too fast and that’s how you die.

Final Words

A sudden on-set of hypotension can be extremely dangerous because of dizziness and fainting. Second hypotension doubles the risk of serious health hazards. Medication checks and regular BP checks are crucial, as are regular talks with your doctor.

When blood pressure is low, first organ to go wrong is typically the brain. Brain malfunctions is first because, it is situated on the top of the body thus blood flow have to overcome the gravitational force to reach there. As a result, most individual with low blood pressure feels dizzy or lightheaded, especially when they tries to stand, and sometimes they even faint. If blood pressure is too low, brain damage can occur. Hypotension occasionally causes breathing problem, chest pain and shock. Low blood pressure may also create other conditions, which are not occurred due to low blood pressure.

The symptoms of low blood pressure can easily be treated by making a few lifestyle and diet change. If medication is necessary, one should treat* it with medication.

Blood Pressure

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.