More Serious Or Lasting Causes
Some potentially more severe health issues can also cause low blood pressure, including:
- Nutrient deficiencies: These might involve vitamin B12 or folic acid.
- Neurally mediated hypotension: This disorder causes a drop in blood pressure after the person has been standing up for a prolonged period.
- Endocrine problems: These affect the regulation of the bodys hormones. One example is hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid.
- Heart problems: These can limit how effectively the heart pushes blood around the body.
- : This is a potentially life threatening response to a severe bacterial infection.
- Anaphylactic shock: This is a potentially life threatening complication of anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction.
In addition, loss of blood due to an injury can lead to low blood pressure.
Living With Low Blood Pressure
Medicines and lifestyle changes can help you live safely with chronic low blood pressure. Your doctor can recommend steps you can take to manage your low blood pressure. These actions can help control the condition:
Drink more water. This can help avoid dehydration.
Medicines and lifestyle changes can help you live safely with chronic low blood pressure.
Avoid alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are dehydrating, and alcohol changes how medicines work in your body.
Slow down. Take your time when standing up. If lying down, sit up first. Then wiggle your feet and move your legs. This will increase circulation and get your heart rate up so that you dont feel lightheaded when you stand up.
If your medicine and lifestyle changes do not reduce your low blood pressure symptoms, talk with your doctor about other changes you can make.
What Puts People With Diabetes At A Higher Risk Of Bouts Of Low Blood Pressure
Diabetes and age-related changes can result in damage to your nerves involved in monitoring blood pressure as well as your reflexes that help constrict blood vessels and increase heart rate to compensate for standing up or eating a meal. Your nerve sensors in your arteries that monitor blood pressure may not work as effectively if you have diabetes especially if you have poor blood sugar control making them more prone to a drastic drop in blood pressure.
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How Does Your Body Regulate Blood Pressure
Your body has complex feedback mechanisms to regulate blood pressure, including dedicated nerves and hormones that are part of the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the fight-or-flight reflex. Special nerve receptors in major blood vessels signal a drop in blood pressure and alert your sympathetic nervous system to boost its activity, increasing heart rate and constricting blood vessels. If anything impairs these mechanisms, your blood pressure can drop.
What Causes Low Blood Pressure
There are several causes of low blood pressure. Some are temporary and can be easily fixed.
Low blood pressure may also be a sign of a health issue or emergency condition. Treatment may be necessary.
Several health conditions can cause low blood pressure. These include:
- trauma or head injury
Diagnosing and treating these conditions can help balance blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend simple tests such as:
- blood tests to check hormone levels, blood sugar levels, and for infections
- an electrocardiogram or Holter monitor to check heart rhythm and function
- an echocardiogram to check your heart health
- an exercise stress test to check your heart health
- a tilt table test to check low blood pressure due to changes in body position
- the Valsalva maneuver, a breathing test to check for nervous system causes of low blood pressure
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How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Anxiety, stress or strenuous exercise can all cause temporary high blood pressure levels in both diabetics and non-diabetics. However, high blood pressure is diagnosed when you have several high readings.
Some people will find their heart beat rises, and therefore their blood pressure goes up, as a direct result of being tested. If you know this is happening, speak to the doctor or nurse as this should be taken into account.
It is possible to have blood pressure readings taken at home if this is known to be happening.
When Should You Get Help For An Abnormal Blood Pressure Reading
One high or low blood pressure reading by itself may not mean you need to call for help. If you take your blood pressure and it is out of the normal range, wait a few minutes and take it again. If it’s still high or low, use the following guidance.
911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out .
or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your blood pressure is much higher than normal .
- You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms such as:
- Severe headache.
- Your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher on two or more occasions.
- Your blood pressure is usually normal and well controlled, but it goes above the normal range on more than one occasion.
- Your blood pressure is lower than usual and you are dizzy or light-headed.
- You think you may be having side effects from your blood pressure medicine.
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What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low
So, what to do when your blood pressure drops too low? If you are experiencing symptoms of very low blood pressure, for example, dizziness or fainting, it is always advisable to seek medical opinion. As there are various factors that can be the reason why your blood pressure drops too low, the condition should be properly evaluated. It is important to assess the situation and rule out any related serious cause like sudden dehydration, internal bleeding, serious infection or an allergic reaction.
Here are some immediate steps that guide on how to raise the blood pressure if it is too low. These include
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Lie with the feet above heart
- Avoid standing for long as it acts as a trigger for hypotension
- Consume salt or salty food
Prevention And Management Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
There are some things you can do to help prevent and manage low diastolic pressure.
- Try to keep your salt intake to between 1.5 and 4 grams per day. An ideal number is probably about 3.5 grams. You can do this by reading food labels and avoiding added salt in your diet.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and include whole grains. For protein, stick to lean meats and fish. Avoid fatty foods.
- Drink enough fluids and avoid alcohol, which can increase your risk for dehydration.
- Stay physically active and start an exercise program. Ask your doctor what type and amount of exercise is safe for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If youre overweight, ask your doctor to help you with a safe weight loss plan.
- Dont smoke.
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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.
How Is Low Blood Pressure Treated
If your blood pressure is naturally low and isnt causing you any problems it probably wont need any treatment. If you have symptoms and your doctor or nurse feels that you would benefit from treatment, they will try to find the cause of your low blood pressure so that they can find the best way to treat it.;
The treatments will vary depending on the cause.
- A change in medications. If your GP thinks that your blood pressure is caused by a medication youre taking they might want to try an alternative medication or a different dose.
- Hormone replacement. If your low blood pressure is caused by a change in certain hormones, for example if your adrenal glands have been damaged, you may be referred to a specialist called an endocrinologist. They might prescribe hormone replacement medication.
- Medicines to stimulate your nerves. If you have a neurological condition, you may be given medicines to stimulate the nerves.
- Medicines for low blood pressure. These medicines narrow your blood vessels or expand the volume of your blood to raise your blood pressure. These are very rarely needed, as the treatments listed above and the changes you can make for yourself are usually enough.
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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:
What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low And How To Raise It
Falling down of blood pressure below the normal range is referred to as low blood pressure or hypotension. The normal blood pressure reading is 120/80mm Hg, and a person with low blood pressure shows a reading of 90/60mm Hg or low. Having a low blood pressure without any symptoms might not be much of a problem, but if the symptoms start showing up it means that the blood supply to the body is being affected. If this happens the doctor might diagnose the condition to get the cause.
It is important to know what to do if your blood pressure drops too low and how to raise it. But before that let us understand the causes of low blood pressure and understand why your blood pressure drops too low. Some of the conditions causing low blood pressure involve
- Chest pain or heart attack in a patient suffering from heart disease.
- Sitting and standing may lead to vertigo or dizziness in the patient with postural hypotension.
- Increase in urea and creatinine levels in the patient with kidney disease. This happens due to decreased blood supply to the kidney.
- Kidney failure, heart failure, lung failure, and brain failure.
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Symptoms Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
Symptoms of isolated diastolic hypotension include tiredness, dizziness, and falls.
Because low diastolic pressure decreases blood flow to your heart, you may also have chest pain or symptoms of heart failure. Heart failure symptoms may include shortness of breath, swelling of your feet or ankles, confusion, and heart palpitations.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have chest pain or difficulty breathing.
Symptoms of low diastolic blood pressure along with low systolic blood pressure include:
How To Raise Low Blood Pressure
When we talk about blood pressure we are referring to the force applied by the flowing blood on the artery walls. If your blood pressure is too high or too low, it can seriously threaten your health. To measure this pressure two values must be taken into account: a systolic value and a diastolic value. Normal blood pressure will oscillate between a systolic value of 100 to 129 mmHg and a diastolic value of 60 to 84 mmHg. Pressure values below these levels are considered to be low and may or may not be problematic. You can raise low blood pressure in two main ways: treating the underlying cause of low blood pressure and changing lifestyle habits. oneHOWTO goes into the specifics of how to raise low blood pressure, especially if you have been feeling adverse symptoms.
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Diagnosis For Low Blood Pressure
Your doctor will check your blood pressure and then ask you questions about any episodes youve experienced to find out if low blood pressure is the cause. Blood work or urinalysis can also provide results that indicate low blood pressure.
If your doctor suspects that another medical condition is lowering your blood pressure, youll need to complete more specific tests to learn more. If another condition is discovered, treating it can have a positive impact on your blood pressure.
Medications That Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
Several medicines may cause low blood pressure, including some medications used to control high blood pressure.
Working with your doctor or other health care provider to change your medication or adjust your dosage can help control low blood pressure. You should never modify a dose or stop taking a medication without first consulting your health care provider.
Alpha and beta blockers, diuretics, erectile dysfunction drugs, Parkinsons disease drugs and some types of antidepressants can cause low blood pressure.
Medications that can cause low blood pressure include:
- Benicar a prescription blood pressure medication
- Cialis an erectile dysfunction drug; risk is especially high when taken with nitroglycerin heart medication
- Cymbalta a serotonin and norepinephrine inhibitor antidepressant
- Hydrochlorothiazide a widely used generic diuretic
- Inderal, Innopran XL and other versions of propranolol beta blockers
- Lasix a diuretic
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What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Is Too Low
Drops in blood pressure occur when less blood reaches the brain than usual and, therefore, oxygenation is also lower. Although some people have hypotension, drops in blood pressure or faintingnormally occur in a timely manner, being more common in summer. It is necessary to know what should be done if a person is in this situation, so on OneHowTo we explain what to do if your pressure is too low.
When a drop in blood pressure occurs, symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo, nausea, blurred vision, weakness, fainting… are presented. At the appearance of the first signs it will be necessary that the person suffering from hypotension lies down on the floor with legs raised. Thus, they will help blood to flow more easily get to the brain.
Keep the person with their legs about 45 degrees to the ground for a few minutes to facilitate oxygenation, which has been reduced due to the lipothymy or drop in blood pressure.
It will also be convenient to loosen the clothing of the person who has suffered from a drop in blood pressure, to facilitate breathing. You may need to fan them and it will be essential to avoid crowds around them.
If conscious, give them a sugary or caffeinated drink -such as coke or some sweets to revitalize them and increase their blood glucose level.
If you want to read similar articles to What to do if your blood pressure is too low, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.
Who Gets Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can affect anyone, but the elderly are the most affected population. In fact, many older adults take medication to treat high blood pressure and experience the side effect of their blood pressure dropping too low.
Healthy, active adults and high-level athletes often have lower blood pressure.
Women are also likely to experience low blood pressure in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy.;
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Should You Use Herbal Remedies To Treat Low Blood Pressure
Certain herbs like licorice18, arnica 19, guarana20, and Asian ginseng21 have been known to increase blood pressure. However, do keep in mind that these herbs may have significant side effects and may also raise your blood pressure to undesirable levels. High blood pressure, in turn, is associated with serious conditions like heart failure, kidney failure, and stroke. So, on balance, it might not be advisable to use herbal remedies to raise your blood pressure. In case you are considering it, get your doctors go-ahead and have them under the guidance of an expert practitioner.
A Reaction To Medication
An adverse reaction to prescribed or over-the-counter medicine can drop blood pressure unexpectedly. Diuretics and other drugs designed to treat hypertension, some anti-depressants, and medication to help with erectile dysfunction can lower blood pressure to unsafe levels. You can also experience a drop in blood pressure if you combine high blood pressure medications with others.
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