Q How Do I Know If I Have Low Blood Pressure
Seek Help For Snoring
Loud, incessant snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea , a disorder that causes brief but dangerous breathing interruptions. Up to half of sleep apnea patients also live with hypertension, possibly due to high levels of aldosterone, a hormone that can boost blood pressure. Fixing sleep apnea could be helpful for improving BP, says Robert Greenfield, M.D., medical director of Non-Invasive Cardiology & Cardiac Rehabilitation at MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute.
Changing The Diameter Of Arterioles And Veins
Muscle tissue within the walls of arterioles allow these blood vessels to widen or narrow . The more constricted arterioles are, the greater their resistance to blood flow and the higher the blood pressure. Constriction of arterioles increases blood pressure because more pressure is needed to force blood through the narrower space. Conversely, dilation of arterioles reduces resistance to blood flow, thus reducing blood pressure. The degree to which arterioles are constricted or dilated is affected by
Nerves that contract smooth muscle in the arterioles, thus reducing their diameter
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Veins also play a role in the control of blood pressure, although their effect on blood pressure is much less than that of arterioles. Veins dilate and constrict to change how much blood they can hold . When veins constrict, their capacity to hold blood is reduced, allowing more blood to return to the heart from which it is pumped into the arteries. As a result, blood pressure increases. Conversely, when veins dilate, their capacity to hold blood is increased, allowing less blood to return to the heart. As a result, blood pressure decreases.
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Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including problems associated with low blood pressure. Learn about current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Low blood pressure is manifested by various symptoms. They can vary in degree, but also be part of another problem, so it is important to give consideration as well as seeking professional medical advice. Low blood pressure symptoms include:
- Tiredness and constant fatigue
- Dizziness or vertigo
- Having you the feeling you’re going to faint or in some cases even fainting
- Reduced concentration
- Pallid skin color
You are probably wondering how to raise low blood pressure because you have experienced a drop in yours. If this blood pressure drop is due to cardiac problems you will be able to feel the beating of your heart intensely. However, if the pressure drops due to something like internal bleeding, you will see different symptoms such as blood in your stool. When it is due to an infection, a high fever above 38 degrees may develop. If you experience low blood pressure, you should be attentive to any other symptoms and consult your doctor as soon as possible.
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Medication Used To Treat Low Blood Pressure
In cases of more severe or recurrent symptoms of low blood pressure, doctors may prescribe drugs to stabilize the system. These may include:
Fludrocortisone: It is a steroid that is prescribed when the body is unable to produce enough by itself, and is often prescribed in conjunction with other steroids such as hydrocortisone. It reduces inflammation in the body and causes the body to retain more sodium. It may cause some water retention, but this is not a cause for concern since it is necessary to build blood pressure. To maintain the sodium-potassium balance, a doctor might recommend consumption of potassium-rich foods such as apricot, bananas, spinach and broccoli while on this prescription. Once the effects of low blood pressure are no longer witnessed, you may be asked to discontinue the steroid, while maintaining lifestyle and diet changes.
Midodrine: A counter to blood vessel dilation, midodrine is a what is called a vasopressor and constricts small blood vessels to increase blood pressure. It is usually prescribed in cases of postural hypotension and the dosage is gradually increased over time to prevent side effects.
What Are Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because many people who have it dont have any symptoms. The only one way to know for sure if you have high blood pressure is to have a health professional measure it.
In rare cases, severe high blood pressure can cause or be accompanied by symptoms including:
- Blood spots in the eyes
- More common in people who also have diabetes
- Facial flushing
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How To Lower My Blood Pressure To Defeat White Coat Syndrome To Pass My Physical
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
The symptoms of low blood pressure may include:
These symptoms can occur when doing nothing. They are more likely to occur when changing position, such as standing up or when straining on the toilet.
However, often there are no symptoms and low blood pressure is often only identified as a result of a routine medical examination or during the course of an investigation for some other condition or underling illness.
Low blood pressure may be more serious in elderly people who may have an underlying illness or who may be at risk of a fall.
Check your symptoms with healthdirects Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Most doctors will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dehydration and unusual thirst
- Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue.
- Lack of concentration
Natural Ways With Potential
If you do an Internet search, youll find dozens of other natural ways to lower blood pressure. They may be effective, but the evidence is limited or questionable.
Take stress reduction, for example. In 2017, the American Heart Association issued a scientific statement on the role of meditation in cardiovascular riskreduction. The AHA determined the concept was plausible, but the studies included too few subjects and used different endpoints, which made drawing conclusions impossible.
Some studies showed significant benefit, and others showed none. There simply wasnt enough data to say that meditation consistently lowers blood pressure, says Dr. Laffin. More likely, anything that relaxes you decreases blood pressure temporarily, but isnt a solution for people with sustained hypertension.
The same issue applies to various foods, spices, herbs and vitamins. You will probably find a study or two on each that says it lowers blood pressure, but these have never been robustly studied, he says.
If you are serious about using natural ways to lower blood pressure, choose one or more methods that have stood the test of time.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor.
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Does Aspirin Lower Blood Pressure
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About 50 percent of American adults struggle to manage their blood pressure, but many people want to avoid prescription drugs to treat their high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a serious health condition and thanks to the Coronavirus , itâs become even more serious and is often referred to as the silent killer because it contributes significantly to many of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke caused by blood flow. In addition to genetics, high blood pressure is strongly influenced by a variety of lifestyle factors, which means it is possible for some people to manage their condition without prescription drugs. Aspirin, a common medication that is known to reduce the risk of heart attack, has been studied to see whether or not it might be able to help lower blood pressure. Does aspirin use lower high blood pressure, and what other steps can you take to control your blood pressure without prescription drugs?
Diagnosis Of Low Blood Pressure
A familiar instrument for diagnosis of low blood pressure is a sphygmomanometer, which has an inflatable cuff that goes around your forearm while you are sitting and supported. This cuff is worn at the heart level and must be the right size since a too large or too small cuff would result in the wrong measurement.
The inflation and deflation causes the blood vessels to constrict and relax in conjunction, and a doctor uses a stethoscope near the crook of your elbow to determine when the blood flow is constricted, and the time that it starts. The pressure diagnosed at these two times is what is noted as your blood pressure.
The pulse rate is also an important indicator of any abnormalities in blood pressure, and a doctor may repeatedly measure your pulse in addition to measuring blood pressure. A rapid, shallow beating of the pulse may indicate inability of the heart to pump adequate blood through the body. Sometimes, an electrocardiogram may also be used for accurate measurement of the heart rate, or a blood sugar test may be prescribed to determine any symptoms or effects of low blood pressure. A “tilt-table test” that simulates a change in posture while lying down on a table may also be prescribed to check for orthostatic hypotension.
Diagnosis depends on the outcome of these tests and is relatively simple to do. Medical history is also a consideration when determining if a person has signs of low blood pressure, or a more short-term incident.
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Low Blood Pressure When You Stand Up
Sometimes, changes in your posture can cause your blood pressure to drop, for example, going from sitting or lying down to standing up. You might feel the symptoms listed above when you stand up, such as feeling dizzy or faint. They will pass quickly as your body adjusts, but can put you at risk of falls.
This is called postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Its caused by changes to your arteries which happen as you get older and if youre taking medications to lower your blood pressure.
The animation below provides information on the causes, symptoms and potential interventions related to orthostatic hypotension.
Lifestyle Tips To Lower Blood Pressure
So, are you wondering how to lower blood pressure besides changing your diet? Reducing stress can lower blood pressure. Some other natural ways to lower blood pressure include getting better sleep, scheduling in more free-time and fun, surrounding yourself with encouraging friends and exercising on a daily basis.
Regular exercise and diet play a large role in the development of hypertension. Another one of the most detrimental components of the Western lifestyle is stress. Managing stress includes relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, journaling or art therapy.
You can raise your blood pressure to alarming levels just by thinking or stressing about events. Imagined events have as much physiological effect as real ones. In fact, this is the basis of post-traumatic stress disorder , and the improvement of performance in businessmen and Olympic athletic gains through visualization.
The best preventative measure to high blood pressure? A healthy lifestyle. Its common sense, really.
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Sudden Spike In Blood Pressure Can Be Serious
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force that blood applies to your arterial walls as it pumps from your heart throughout your body. It also represents how hard your heart is working to push the blood. When blood pressure is higher, it means the heart must work harder to push blood through your system. In turn, the risk of heart disease or heart attack increases.
According to 2014 data, high blood pressure accounts for roughly 1,100 deaths every day in the United States, and only about half of all people with high blood pressure have it under control.
Disturbingly, most people may not even be aware that they have the condition, or are at least on the verge of becoming hypertensive. Some risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- Eating a high sodium/low potassium diet
- Not getting enough exercise/physical activity
- Overactive thyroid
- Overactive adrenal glands
A normal blood pressure is in the range of 120 mmHg/80 mmHg . The higher number represents systolic blood pressure and the lower represents diastolic. Prehypertension arises when systolic and diastolic pressures exceed these numbers, and hypertensionor high blood pressurearises when blood pressure reaches 140 mmHg/90mmHg.
Sometimes, however, something causes blood pressure to spike unexpectedlyand the higher your resting blood pressure is, the greater your risk of suffering a severe cardiac event becomes. Therefore, knowing how to lower blood pressure fast is very important.
Do I Need To Take Medication On Days When Blood Pressure Is Good
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Where Can I Learn More
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health offers free, reliable information on a wide range of health issues in Spanish and English. The health promotion advisors can help Hispanic clients find affordable health care services in their community. Need confidential health information? Call the Su Familia Helpline at 1-866-783-2645 today.
How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Blood pressure is measured with a pressure cuff . The cuff is placed around the upper arm and then manually or electronically inflated. When it is inflated the cuff compresses the brachial artery, the major blood vessel of the upper arm, briefly stopping blood flow. The air in the cuff is then released slowly while the person performing the measurement listens with a stethoscope or monitors an electronic readout.
Blood pressure is expressed in two numbers:
- Systolic blood pressure : measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats
- Diastolic blood pressure : measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest between beats
These measurements can tell if your blood pressure is normal, high, or low.
- High blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or more
- Elevated blood pressure levels between 120/80 and 139/89 are considered prehypertension and mean a person is at higher risk for developing high blood pressure
- Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg
Adults 20 years of age and older should have their blood pressure checked during regular doctor visits.
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