What Are The Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may be induced by conditions that decrease tension in artery walls or decrease blood volume. Dehydration and bleeding are two examples of conditions that reduce blood volume. Conditions that reduce the amount of blood pumped by the heart — such as cardiomyopathy and heart attack — may be associated with lower blood pressure. Injuries to the spinal cord and side effects from certain medications can also reduce blood pressure.
Monitoring And Controlling Blood Pressure
Baroreceptors are specialized cells located within arteries that act as blood pressure sensors. Those in the large arteries of the neck and chest are particularly important. When baroreceptors detect a change in blood pressure, they trigger the body to react to maintain a steady blood pressure. Nerves carry signals from these sensors and the brain to
The heart, which is signaled to change the rate and force of heartbeats . This change is one of the first, and it corrects low blood pressure quickly.
The arterioles, which are signaled to constrict or dilate .
The veins, which are signaled to constrict or dilate .
The kidneys, which are signaled to change the amount of fluid excreted and to change the amount of hormones that they produce . This change takes a long time to produce results and thus is the slowest mechanism for how the body controls blood pressure.
Nonetheless, the ways that the body can monitor and control blood pressure have limitations. For example, if a person loses a lot of blood quickly, the body cannot compensate quickly enough, blood pressure falls, and organs may begin to malfunction .
In addition, as people age, the body responds to changes in blood pressure more slowly.
What Are The Treatments For Low Blood Pressure
The treatments for low blood pressure depend on what caused the condition. Your doctor will work with you to address the cause of the hypotension. In severe cases of hypotension, your doctor may give you IV fluids to raise your blood pressure.
Depending on a variety of factors, such as your age and the type of hypotension, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following: dietary changes, lifestyle changes and/or medications.
To make dietary changes, your doctor might tell you to:
- Stay hydrated by drinking more water throughout the day.
- Drink less alcohol.
- Increase your salt intake slightly because sodium raises blood pressure.
- Eat smaller, healthy meals and limit carbohydrates.
You can take several steps to avoid a sudden drop in blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make the following lifestyle changes:
- Wear compression stockings.
- Get up slowly after youve been sitting or lying down.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Sit up and breathe deeply for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
Your doctor might prescribe medications like:
- Fludrocortisone, which increases blood volume.
- Midodrine, which increases blood pressure.
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Q What Can I Do To Prevent Low Blood Pressure
Natural Steps To Manage Low Blood Pressure
Natural ways to achieve a healthy blood pressure depend on the cause of your hypotension. Its not always bad to suffer from hypotension indeed, in some cases its totally harmless and goes unnoticed. But when it causes annoying or dangerous symptoms, you can usually take simple steps to bring your blood pressure up or avoid future dips altogether.
1. Stay hydrated
Having a low volume of blood in your body is part of the problem in hypotension. By staying hydrated, you can help make sure there is enough fluid in your body to have a strong blood supply and to help your tissues and organs work the way they should. Simple ways to stay hydrated include:
2. Pay attention to body positions
Sitting up, standing up and standing for long periods of time can all trigger low blood pressure symptoms. Many people can use these tips and strategies to avoid or reduce their symptoms when changing positions:
3. Make simple lifestyle changes
In many cases, knowing what causes hypotension can help you avoid symptoms. Low blood pressure can happen when your blood vessels expand or when your blood pools during inactivity. Heat, inactivity and physical strain can lead to dips in blood pressure. You may benefit from some of these simple changes in lifestyle:
4. Eat for healthy blood pressure
Dietary suggestions for increasing blood pressure include:
5. Consider herbs and supplements
Herbs and supplements that may increase blood pressure or help you achieve a healthy blood pressure include:
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Making certain changes to your lifestyle and cultivating some new habits can help you raise your blood pressure to acceptable levels. These changes may include:
- Avoid sitting up or standing up quickly. Instead, do it slowly. You can also try moving your legs a bit before trying to sit or stand up to get the blood flowing.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time if possible. This is particularly important if you have neurally mediated hypotension.
- Avoid crossing your legs while sitting.
- Wear compression stockings. The stockings will apply pressure to your legs, helping blood move better in them. You should, however, consult your doctor before you start to wear compression stockings as a form of treatment.
Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways the NHLBI continues to translate current research into improved health for people with abnormally low blood pressure. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIs broader commitment to advancing heart and vascular disease scientific discovery.
- Testing Treatments for Cardiac Arrest and Trauma. The Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium clinical trial network tested treatments to address high morbidity and mortality rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and severe traumatic injury. ROC investigators compared different strategies for supplemental fluids in trauma patients who have low blood pressure. Other ROC studies found a link between low blood pressure readings and the need for emergency procedures.
- Understanding How Low Blood Pressure Affects Diverse Populations. NHLBI-supported researchers are studying low blood pressure in different populations. Investigators in the NHLBIs Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study found that people who have low blood pressure when standing up, known as orthostatic hypotension, are at higher risk for stroke. In a follow-up study of NHLBIs Honolulu Heart Program, researchers found older Japanese men who had orthostatic hypotension were nearly twice as likely to die within the next four years as those who did not have orthostatic hypotension. NHLBIs Cardiovascular Health Study found that orthostatic hypotension was common in older adults, increases with age, and is linked to cardiovascular diseases.
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How Is Low Blood Pressure Treated
Anyone who experiences low blood pressure or believes he or she may be experiencing low blood pressure should be evaluated by a physician. Even if low blood pressure does not cause any symptoms, the patient should still be evaluated. Treatment for low blood pressure varies depending on the cause. If the patient is already taking medication to treat high blood pressure, the dose of the medication may need to be adjusted. If fluid loss from diarrhea or vomiting is causing a drop in blood pressure, IV fluids may be administered to bring blood pressure back up to normal.
What Other Conditions Cause Low Blood Pressure
Sometimes, a bacterial or fungal infection from another part of the body enters the blood. This type of infection is called septicemia. It’s potentially life-threatening and may cause severe low blood pressure called septic shock that may damage organs. Septicemia may result from diverticulitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, or other infections.
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Emergency Treatments For Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure or hypotension can refer to any blood pressure below the established normal of 120/80 mmHg as per the American Heart Association 12. However, hypotension is typically only treated when accompanied by signs and symptoms such as dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting, unusual thirst, lack of concentration, blurred vision, nausea, cool or cold, clammy and pale skin, fast breathing, general fatigue and often increased heart rate. Treatments focus on the underlying cause of the low pressure.
How Low Blood Pressure Is Treated
Low blood pressure is typically not a serious problem unless it causes symptoms and complications like fainting, dizziness, confusion, and shock. In many cases, simple adjustments to ones lifestyle, diet, and habits are all that’s needed to treat low blood pressure successfully. In other cases, medication may be prescribed to raise the blood pressure back to a normal range.
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Foods To Raise Blood Pressure
It is important to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables to improve the state of your blood pressure. These foods contain beneficial nutrients and vitamins, but also help to keep you hydrated. If your blood pressure has dropped due to an iron deficiency such as anemia you should increase your intake of lean red meats and legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans.
Ginger is a great ally in improving hypotension as it favors blood circulation. Take a piece of fresh ginger, grate it and place it in a little water. Let simmer for a few minutes and the drink it. If you suffer from low blood pressure you can take this remedy twice daily. You can also have it included in different dishes to make raising your blood pressure tasty as well as effective.
While too much sodium will have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure, it can help raise it when low. Eating salty snacks such as peanuts or chips can help give you a quick spike in blood pressure levels. One home remedy for raising low blood pressure is to drink an isotonic drink which will help raise your sodium levels with healthy salts. However, be careful not to drink too much of them or it can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
Go to the doctor to find the underlying cause especially if you also have the following symptoms:
- You have hadseveral low blood pressure readings during medical analysis
- You often feel nausea and lightheadedness
- You feel dizzy or have had frequent vertigo
Ayurvedic Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
According to Ayurveda, low blood pressure is caused by vitiation of vayu in the body. It considers a nutritious, balanced diet with proteins and carbohydrates to be helpful for people with this condition. Dry fruits, chicken, rabbit, mutton, soups of black gram and meat, legumes, and fruits like mangoes, apples, bananas, and grapes are especially recommended. People with low blood pressure are also advised to avoid strenuous exercise.17
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Neurological Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Proper functioning of the central nervous system is necessary to maintain adequate blood pressure. The vagus nerve and adrenaline system of the body work together to affect blood pressure. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, veins expand, insufficient blood returns to the heart, and blood pressure may decrease. Vasovagal syncope is a term for a type of fainting that occurs when the vagus nerve is overstimulated. Vasovagal syncope may happen to those who are sensitive to pain or cannot stand the sight of blood. The vagus nerve is overstimulated in these cases and fainting occurs. This type of fainting may even occur when straining to urinate or while having a bowel movement.
In some kinds of spinal cord injury, adrenaline to the arteries is blocked. When this happens, the arteries remain wide open and adequate blood pressure is not maintained.
What Is Blood Pressure
As blood pumps through the circulatory system, it pushes against the walls of the arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood as it presses against the blood vessel walls. It is measured in systolic pressure and diastolic pressure .
Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. Normal blood pressure is considered to be below 120/80 mm Hg. In a blood pressure reading, the top number refers to systolic pressure, and the bottom number refers to the diastolic pressure.
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Treatment For Low Blood Oxygen
The treatment you may receive for low blood oxygen depends in part on what is causing it and whether it is acute or chronic. The first treatment usually administered for hypoxemia is administration of oxygen to increase the levels and prevent hypoxia from setting in. If the hypoxemia is acute, you may receive oxygen via a mask that fits over your mouth and nose, whereas if you require oxygen on a long-term basis, your doctor may prescribe oxygen tanks for you to carry around with you, and youll likely receive oxygen via a nasal cannula, a tube that inserts directly into your nose. Depending on what is causing the hypoxemia, it may be possible to treat with medications as well. Another major step you can take to prevent hypoxemia is to quit smoking and avoid breathing in second-hand smoke.
Low blood oxygen levels can have multiple causes as well as treatments. See your doctor to discuss options and work out the best individual plan to address your condition.
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To figure out your blood pressure rate, your health care provider takes blood pressure readings at different times. You need more than 1 reading because blood pressure changes depending on what you are doing and varies during the day. For example, your blood pressure can increase when you are nervous or in a hurry.
If your blood pressure is high while with your health care provider but normal otherwise, you may just be nervous. This effect is common. Even people already being treated for high blood pressure go through this.
What matters is what happens to your blood pressure outside your health care providers office. If you have high blood pressure, you should use a home blood pressure monitor. Ask your health care provider how to use the monitor correctly.
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Is Low Blood Pressure A Problem
For some people, low blood pressure is a sign of good health. These are generally people who are very fit and who have a slow pulse. For other people, low blood pressure is a problem.
Often, people with low blood pressure can be expected to lead longer lives.
However, people who experience continuing symptoms of low blood pressure should see a doctor. Sudden, severe low blood pressure can be associated with serious medical conditions.
Q What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
- Nutrition deficiency in the diet
- Certain antidepressants
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How Is Blood Pressure Generated
The left lower chamber of the heart receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it throughout the body. The heart fills with blood between heartbeats. This phase in the heart cycle is called diastole. When the heart pumps to push blood throughout the arteries, this phase is called systole. You can place your fingers on your neck or the inside of your wrist to detect your heartbeat. The pulse you feel is the contraction of the heart’s left ventricle.
When To Seek Medical Care
Go to the emergency room if you experience the following symptoms:
Pale skin that feels cold or clammy
Quick, shallow breathing
A pulse that is fast and weak
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Baroreceptor Signals Sent To The Kidneys
Kidneys participate in blood pressure control by regulating urine production. When kidneys pull more water out of the blood, blood pressure decreases. When the kidneys decrease urine output, water remains in the blood and blood pressure increases. The action of the kidneys on blood pressure is slow — acting over hours to days — compared to baroreceptor control and other systems that influence blood pressure very quickly.