Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is a condition in which the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is too low. Blood pressure is measured as two numbers, systolic and diastolic, and is usually expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Low blood pressure is generally considered to be a systolic pressure of less than 90 mmHg and/or a diastolic pressure of less than 60 mmHg.
Signs or Symptoms of low blood pressure
Low blood pressure, can cause a number of symptoms, including:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fainting or near-fainting
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue or weakness
- Lack of concentration
- Cold, clammy, or pale skin
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Depression or anxiety
- Chest pain
It’s important to note that some people may have low blood pressure and not have any symptoms. In some cases, low blood pressure can be a sign of an underlying medical condition and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
It’s also important to note that some symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and not necessarily by low blood pressure. Some people may experience symptoms when standing up quickly due to orthostatic hypotension, which is a temporary drop in blood pressure that occurs when a person stands up after sitting or lying down.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact a healthcare professional to determine the cause and if any treatment is needed.
Causes of low blood pressure
Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Dehydration: Not drinking enough fluids can cause blood volume to drop, leading to low blood pressure.
Blood loss: Loss of blood from an injury or surgery can cause a drop in blood pressure.
Heart problems: Heart conditions such as a heart attack, heart failure, or an abnormal heart rhythm can cause low blood pressure.
Endocrine problems: Hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, or diabetes can cause low blood pressure.
Neurological disorders: Certain neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, autonomic neuropathy, or spinal cord injuries can cause low blood pressure.
Medications: Some medications such as blood pressure medications, diuretics, and antidepressants can cause low blood pressure.
Pregnancy: Low blood pressure is common during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester.
Age: As we age, our blood vessels become less flexible and are not able to adjust as well to changes in position, which can lead to low blood pressure.
In some cases, the cause of low blood pressure is unknown, this is called idiopathic hypotension.
It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms of low blood pressure or if you have any concerns about your blood pressure. They will help determine the cause and provide the appropriate treatment.
Treatment for low blood pressure:
Lifestyle changes: Drinking more fluids, eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and taking steps to manage stress can help to raise blood pressure.
Medications: If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to raise blood pressure, medication may be necessary. Medications such as fludrocortisone, midodrine and ephedrine are used to raise blood pressure in some cases.
Monitoring: Regular monitoring of blood pressure is important to track progress and make any necessary adjustments to lifestyle and medication.
It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms of high or low blood pressure or if you have any concerns about your blood pressure. They will help determine the cause and provide the appropriate treatment.