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What Causes Your Blood Pressure To Be Low

Risk Of Injury From Falls

What Causes Low Blood Pressure? â Dr.Berg

If your blood pressure is low enough, the drop can cause symptoms such as fainting or dizziness.This causes a significant risk of falling since youre not conscious to stop the fall. Additionally, youre not aware of how badly youve injured yourself during a fainting spell. This can lead to serious injuries, such as head trauma from hitting your head.

What Is Low Diastolic Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure is the force inside your blood vessels when your heart beats and relaxes. This force is measured in millimeters of mercury and is represented as two numbers.

The upper number, called your systolic pressure, is measured when your heart beats. The lower number, called your diastolic pressure, is measured when your heart relaxes between beats.

High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease or stroke, but low blood pressure can also be a problem.

The medical term for low blood pressure is hypotension. If you have hypotension, your systolic pressure measurement is under 90 mm Hg and your diastolic number is under 60 mm Hg. Doctors have started to raise concerns specifically about diastolic blood pressure below 60.

Some people can have low diastolic pressure even when their systolic pressure is typical. This condition is called isolated diastolic hypotension. Low diastolic blood pressure may be particularly dangerous for your heart.

Unlike the rest of your body, which receives blood when your heart pumps, the muscles of your heart receive blood when your heart relaxes.

If your diastolic blood pressure is too low, your heart muscles wont get enough oxygenated blood. This can lead to weakening of your heart, a condition called diastolic heart failure.

You may be at higher risk of this type of heart failure if you have coronary heart disease, which is narrowing of your heart arteries.

Symptoms And Causes Of Low Blood Pressure

Many different conditions and situations can cause low blood pressure, from standing up too fast to being pregnant. Sometimes, low blood pressure is linked to an underlying problem. Thats why its important to see your doctor right away if you experience the signs of low blood pressure.

Symptoms of low blood pressure can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression

Low blood pressure can be a sign of serious heart, endocrine or neurological conditions. If left untreated, the brain and other vital organs do not get the oxygen and nutrients they need. In extreme cases, this can cause shock, a life-threatening condition.

If you show signs of low blood pressure, your doctor will conduct an exam and may perform tests to determine whats causing the condition. Low blood pressure can occur with many other conditions.

Some causes of low blood pressure are:

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Causes For A Low Red Blood Cell Count

  • Iron deficiency anemia: The most common cause of low red blood cells is anemia due to iron deficiency. This can be caused by losing a lot of blood, a decrease in iron absorption from food by the body, reduced iron intake via your diet, malnutrition, etc. Pregnancy can lead to anemia due to the increase in demand for iron supply to the fetus.
  • Other types of anemia: A low red cell count could arise from other types of anemia, such as chronic diseases , autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and aplastic anemia.
  • Hemolysis: The breakdown or destruction of red blood cells is called hemolysis. Hemolysis can be caused by an autoimmune reaction to a blood transfusion, infection, or genetic diseases, such as sickle cell anemia.
  • Treatments: In cancer patients, chemotherapy or radiation therapy can cause mass destruction of red blood cells. The process involves strong chemicals and radiations that can be harmful to blood cells, thereby diminishing them.
  • Heavy menstruation: People who experience heavy period flow regularly may tend to have a low red blood cell count. If they do not compensate for the loss adequately through their diet, their blood count is reduced and does not get replenished, leading to a low red blood cell count.
  • How Common Is High Blood Pressure Amongst Diabetics

    What is Low Blood Pressure Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and More?

    Approximately 3 in 10 people with type 1 diabetes and around 8 in 10 people with type 2 diabetes develop high blood pressure at some stage of their life.

    The level of high blood pressure risk goes up for people of African-Caribbean or Indian origin.

    Furthermore, risk increases for those who are overweight, eat low fruit and vegetable levels, dont take much exercise or drink regularly.

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    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.

    What Causes Low Blood Pressure

    The cause of low blood pressure isn’t always clear. It may be associated with the following:

    • Pregnancy

    Who Gets Postural Hypotension?

    Postural hypotension, which is low blood pressure when standing up suddenly, can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons, such as dehydration, lack of food, or being overly fatigued. It can also be influenced by genetic make-up, aging, medication, dietary and psychological factors, and acute triggers, such as infection and allergy.

    Postural hypotension occurs most frequently in people who are taking drugs to control high blood pressure . It can also be related to pregnancy, strong emotions, hardening of the arteries , or diabetes. The elderly are particularly affected, especially those who have high blood pressure or autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

    Hypotension after meals is a common cause of dizziness and falls after eating. This is most common after large meals containing a lot of carbohydrates. Itâs believed to be caused by blood pooling into the vessels of the stomach and intestines.

    Several drugs are commonly associated with postural hypotension. These medications can be divided into two major categories:

    Common causes of naturally occurring postural hypotension include:

    Certain diseases can also cause postural hypotension. These include:

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    Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes

    The following can help normalize blood pressure:

    • Stopping smoking: Smoking harms the arteries and can cause high blood pressure.
    • Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein: Reduce or eliminate added sugars and processed foods.
    • Getting regular exercise: The American Heart Association recommends moderate-intensity exertion, such as walking at a quick pace. A person should do this for 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week.
    • Limiting alcohol consumption: Women should drink no more than one drink per day and men no more than two drinks per day. Drinking more than this can raise blood pressure.
    • Finding healthy ways to lower stress: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and other techniques to manage stress can help to avoid spikes in blood pressure.
    • Consuming less sodium: Excessively salty foods can cause sharp increases in blood pressure.
    • Reducing the intake of caffeine: Caffeinated drinks can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, and may make anxiety worse.

    Consult a doctor for personalized guidance.

    Causes Of Low Blood Pressure

    Concerns with Low Blood Pressure

    We always hear that low blood pressure is good for you. In most cases, this is true. You generally want to maintain a blood pressure equal to or lower than 120/80 mmHg, though this can vary slightly. If your blood pressure drops below 90/60, you may be at risk. There is a wide range of reasons why your blood pressure may have dropped. If you ever feel fatigued, dizzy, or other symptoms, one of these causes may be low blood pressure.

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    Medications That Can Cause Low Blood Pressure

    Medications might also cause your blood pressure to become too low.

    Diuretics, tricyclic antidepressants, and erectile dysfunction drugs can also cause hypotension.

    If a medication youre taking causes your blood pressure to become too low, your doctor may adjust the dosage or change the medication. This usually improves the hypotension.

    Hypotension doesnt always cause symptoms. But sometimes low blood pressure means your vital organs arent receiving as much blood flow as they need. If this happens, you might feel tired or unwell. Symptoms of hypotension may include:

    • fatigue, an all-around sense of tiredness or lacking energy
    • lightheadedness, or feeling like you might faint
    • dizziness, feeling off-balance when you get up from a reclined or seated position, or while youre standing
    • nausea, a sense of discomfort in your stomach and feeling like you want to vomit
    • clammy skin, when you feel damp or sweaty to the touch
    • depression, persistent feelings such as sadness or low mood that interfere with your daily activities

    Your treatment plan will depend on whats causing your hypotension. Your doctor will consider factors including:

    • the type of hypotension youre experiencing
    • the situations that may be causing hypotension for you

    For some people, low blood pressure may not cause any symptoms. In cases where treatment is needed, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medical treatment, or a combination of both.

    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.

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    Which Is More Important Systolic Or Diastolic Blood Pressure

    In practice, systolic blood pressure should be regarded as more important than diastolic blood pressure . In general, there is a high correlation between systolic blood pressure and heart health. However, both systolic blood pressure and DBP are important risk factors for heart disease.

    • Systolic blood pressure is the force generated on the inside of the blood vessels called the arteries when your heart contracts.
    • DBP is pressure placed on your arteries between beats when your heart is relaxed.

    According to a recent study, having DBP or systolic blood pressure thats too high is a health risk but for different reasons.

    • A high systolic reading increases the risk of heart attacks and heart disease more. Systolic blood pressure is most strongly linked with heart disease and heart failure but also with kidney disease and overall mortality.
    • A high diastolic reading was linked with a higher risk of disease of the large artery called the aorta that carries blood from the heart to the abdomen and chest. People with an elevated diastolic reading were more prone to develop an abdominal aortic aneurysm . The problem with such an enlargement is that it can lead to sudden rupture and a high risk of death.

    Research favored high systolic readings as the most predictive of a harmful cardiovascular outcome. As a result, these readings were given more weight in cardiology guidelines and in estimating risk.

    How Does This Condition Affect My Body

    What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure

    Under normal circumstances, your body can automatically control your blood pressure and keep it from dropping too much. If it starts to drop, your body tries to compensate for that, either by speeding up your heart rate or constricting blood vessels to make them narrower. Symptoms of hypotension happen when your body cant compensate enough to offset the drop in blood pressure.

    For many people, hypotension doesn’t cause any symptoms. Many people don’t even know their blood pressure is low unless they get their blood pressure measured.

    For people with symptoms, the effects depend on why hypotension is happening, how fast it develops and what caused it. Slow decreases in blood pressure happen normally, so hypotension becomes more common as people get older. Fast decreases in blood pressure can mean certain parts of your body arent getting enough blood flow. That can have effects that are unpleasant, disruptive or even dangerous.

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    How Is Fluctuating Blood Pressure Treated

    First, a doctor will determine the underlying cause. They will ask about a persons history and discuss their lifestyle and current medications. The doctor may also order or conduct tests.

    Medications can lower blood pressure and prevent dangerous fluctuations. A person may also be able to achieve this goal by making changes to their lifestyle.

    When To See A Doctor About High Blood Pressure Symptoms

    What To Do If Blood Pressure Is Too Low

    High blood pressure often does not cause any symptoms. So, if you are at the dentist or physicians office and are told that your blood pressure is high, it is important for you to check your blood pressure regularly while not at a doctors office. When blood pressure is very high, it can cause headache, dizziness, unsteadiness, visual disturbances, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Chronic elevated blood pressure causes decreased blood flow to vital organs. Over time this may cause dementia, blindness, heart failure, and kidney failure. When these occur in someone with high blood pressure, it is important to see your doctor, says Dr. Li. Its always best to catch it before these symptoms develop, so have your blood pressure checked regularly as part of an annual exam.

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