Low Blood Pressure: What To Eat And What To Avoid
Many people live normally with low blood pressure , but some suffer dizziness, fainting, and even life-threatening effects such as heart attack or stroke. The condition can be characterized by a sudden drop in pressuresometimes triggered by standing up or eating or defined as chronically low blood pressure . There are many causes, including dehydration, injury, pregnancy, medication and disease, among others, and dietary measures that can improve or worsen low blood pressure. Here are a few of the dos and donts.
What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low & How To Raise It
Maintaining ideal blood pressure can be a difficult task for some. As very high as well as low blood pressure levels can be dangerous, it is necessary to maintain the normal range. So, while a healthy routine and medications are important for high blood pressure, it is also essential to know about the symptoms of very low blood pressure. Let us understand what to do when your blood pressure drops too low and how to raise it.
Check Your Blood Sugar
Diabetes and high blood sugar levels may lead to low blood pressure. Volume depletion can occur from the diuresis that follows high blood sugar levels. This is when your body tries to expel glucose via increased urination.
Consider using a home monitor to check your blood sugar levels throughout the day. See your doctor to find out the best diet, exercise, and medication plan to help balance blood sugar levels.
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The 6 Big Health Risks Of Low Blood Pressure And What To Do About It
Many people think only of high blood pressure or hypertension as being a health risk, but blood pressure thats too low can also cause health problems.
Some people may have naturally low blood pressure, while it could be a side effect of a medical condition for others, but it can be dangerous either way.
Heres what you need to know about the health risks of low blood pressure, and when to seek medical attention.
Diseases And Conditions When Low Blood Pressure Means A Medical Emergency
When you have low blood pressure after any of the following medical events, it is a true medical emergency. If you have a blood pressure machine at home and can check your blood pressure quickly, you can make sure your blood pressure is actually low. However, if you have symptoms of low blood pressure along with symptoms of any of these conditions listed below, do not rely on a home blood pressure machine. You need to call 911 situation without delay.
Here is the list of the six most dangerous medical events associated with low blood pressure:
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What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
Factors that can cause low blood pressure include:
- Medical conditions like heart problems, hormonal problems, septic shock, neurological disorders, anemia etc.
- Certain medications for instance, some antidepressants or beta blockers prescribed for heart conditions
- Blood pressure tends to drop during the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.34
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:
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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Ways To Treat Sudden Low Blood Pressure
When I was a practicing pharmacist at a national retail chain drugstore, Id often get this type of phone call:What do I do, my husband took his blood pressure pill and now he feels faint! Is that normal?
Probably every pharmacist has received a similar call after dispensing any one of the popular anti-hypertensives like losartan, lisinopril, nifedipine, atenolol, and others.
The answer given depended on the severity of the situation of course, and we were always mindful of having the patients doctor informed and notified. A person often experiences low blood pressure because they have high blood pressure and theyre taking a blood pressure drug or two in order to reduce it. But the problem is that it can go down too fast, and too much! Hence, a hypotensive crisis can occur if you take a blood pressure pill, or a combination of drugs. Its very common. If you take anti-hypertensives, please read one of my other articles, Side Effect Solutions to Blood Pressure Drugs.Kidney dysfunction, heart disease, sleep apnea as well as thyroid disease are other causes for a hypotensive crisis. Vitamin B12 deficiency is known to cause pernicious anemia and its quite common. This is an overlooked but common cause of chronic low blood pressure. Diabetes is yet another overlooked cause for bouts of hypotension, at least initially. Later on, it will cause hypertension.
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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.
Check Your Blood Pressure
The only way of knowing whether you have low blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Getting this done is easy and could save your life. If you have problems with your blood pressure, it is likely your GP will advise more regular checks.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- at your GP surgery
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Diagnosis Of Low Blood Pressure
Measuring blood pressure
Tests to determine cause
The doctor measures blood pressure and pulse while the person is lying down for a few minutes. If the blood pressure is not low and the person feels well, the doctor has the person stand up and rechecks the blood pressure right after standing up, and after a few minutes of standing. Other tests may be done to determine the cause of the low blood pressure, such as:
What Is Low Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association , normal blood pressure is made up of two readings: systolic , which measures the pressure of your blood in your arteries as your heart beats, and diastolic , which measures the pressure of your blood in the arteries when your heart rests between beats.
A normal blood pressure is a systolic reading of under 120 and a diastolic of less than 80. For example, a blood pressure that would be considered normal for a healthy adult would be 110/70.
Technically speaking, low blood pressure or hypotension is a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60, says Alexandra Lajoie, MD, a non-invasive cardiologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California. However, she explains that a low blood pressure reading is considered dangerous anytime it is causing symptoms that last more than a few seconds.
The number is variable and depends on a patients other medical conditions, she says. Some people have symptoms if their systolic blood pressure is below 120, others below 70.
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Treatment Of Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic hypotension may occasionally require treatment with medicines. However, the following self-care measures can often help relieve symptoms.
- Stand up slowly, especially if you have been sitting or lying down for a long time.
- Move your legs around before changing positions.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.
- Reduce your intake of alcohol.
- Avoid very hot showers and baths.
- If you get low blood pressure after eating, sit still or lie down after meals, and try eating smaller amounts more frequently.
- If you have had a period of prolonged bed rest, slowly increase the amount of time you spend sitting up.
In addition, there are steps you can take to prevent symptoms occurring, for example, tilting the bed head upwards, taking salt supplements and wearing supportive stockings.
Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with infections: Taking fludrocortisone can make an infection worse. Before you begin taking and while you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, or body aches.
For people with tuberculosis: Taking fludrocortisone may make an active tuberculosis infection worse. It can also cause tuberculosis to come back if youve had it before. Let your doctor know if you currently have or have ever had tuberculosis.
For people with glaucoma: Taking fludrocortisone for a long time may increase the pressure in your eyes, causing damage to your eyes and vision. Your risk for other eye infections will also increase while youre taking this medication. Let your doctor know if you have glaucoma or any other eye diseases.
For people with ocular herpes simplex: Taking fludrocortisone may cause perforation, or small holes, in the outer layer of your eye . Let your doctor know if you have ocular herpes simplex.
For people with heart disease: This includes high blood pressure and heart failure. Taking fludrocortisone might cause your blood pressure to increase or make heart failure worse because it makes you retain salt and water. Let your doctor know if you have any heart problems.
For people with diabetes: Taking fludrocortisone can increase your blood sugar levels. You should monitor your blood sugar level more closely. Your doctor may need to increase the doses of your diabetes medications.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure In Elderly Individuals
As long as you feel OK, a low blood pressure reading is generally nothing to worry about. Doctors are not usually concerned about a low BP in otherwise healthy individuals.
So, when is blood pressure too low? You should see your healthcare provider if you experience hypotension symptoms such as:
- Confusion or inability to concentrate
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat
Perk Up With Caffeine
One study found that when caffeine was administered after a meal, it prevented the postprandial fall in blood pressure in elderly, fit participants. So ending your meal with a cup of coffee might be useful in tackling low blood pressure.8
However, do keep in mind that coffee may have beneficial as well as adverse effects it could help lower your risk for diabetes and kidney stone but might increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. So if youre not a regular coffee drinker, do speak to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake.9
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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.
How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and take your blood pressure by placing a blood pressure cuff around your upper arm. The cuff will tighten on your arm, and the monitor will measure your systolic and diastolic pressure. A blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg is considered low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure may be a sign of an underlying condition, so your doctor will try to determine what caused your blood pressure to drop. Depending on your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may also check your heart using an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, or stress test. Your doctor may also perform blood tests to check for:
- Hormonal imbalances.
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Low Blood Pressure In Elderly People: The Vital Facts You Should Know
Most people are aware that high blood pressure in seniors can lead to serious medical issues, but low blood pressure in elderly individuals gets far less attention. However, blood pressure that drops too low can have equally serious effects on your health. It’s important to know the facts so that you can take proper care of yourself.
A low blood pressure reading is not necessarily cause for panic. While high blood pressure is harmful even if you don’t know you have it, low blood pressure is generally not a problem unless you start experiencing symptoms like dizziness or blurred vision. If that happens, you need to take action. Symptomatic low blood pressure in the elderly can be very dangerous because it raises the risk of a fall. At its most extreme, it can lead to shock and even death.
This article explains the basic facts about blood pressure, including how it’s measured and what the measurements mean. It also describes common symptoms of low blood pressure and outlines a variety of factors that can cause such a condition. And it provides information about different ways that low blood pressure in older adults can be treated or managed.
Preventing Dvt In Athletes
How do you lower your risk for DVT and PE and still keep yourself in the game?
Consider these preventive measures:
Take a daily aspirin. If you have risk factors such as a personal or family history of DVT, ask your doctor whether youâre a candidate for a daily aspirin, which works as a blood thinner.
Drink lots of water. Be vigilant about staying hydrated. Drink water before and after training. Also limit caffeine and alcohol, which have a diuretic effect and can foster dehydration.
Take travel precautions. When traveling long distances, whether by car, train, or plane, wear compression stockings and avoid sitting for too long. Instead, stretch and walk around periodically. Also, dont sit with legs crossed at the knees or ankles.
Listen to your body. Dont assume that a pain in your leg is just a pulled muscle. If it persists or something seems off, call your doctor.
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