Lifestyle And Home Remedies
If youre experiencing dizziness or fainting spells often, its important to check in with a doctor as soon as possible to rule out a more serious issue.
Once they diagnose your condition, your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes that may help lessen your symptoms, including:
- increasing your fluid and water intake and limiting your alcohol intake if youre dehydrated
- performing isometric exercises before getting up to help raise your blood pressure
- avoiding hot baths or long walks in hot weather
- standing up slowly
- wearing compression stockings to help with circulation in your legs
- adding salt to your daily meals to help you retain fluid
For severe cases, your doctor may prescribe drugs that work to increase blood volume or constrict blood vessels. These drugs might include:
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 Exactly Is Low Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mmHg. When the pressure in your heart drops below 90mmHg systolic and 60mmHg diastolic then youre considered to have low blood pressure.
However, as Gabriel Eksteen, dietitian and exercise physiologist at the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa points out, these numbers dont necessarily mean you should be alarmed. Remember that blood pressure readings can be affected by the time of day, your stress levels, exercise and your fitness levels, temperature, and the last meal you had, says Eksteen.
In the same way high blood pressure can be an indication of heart problems, so too can low blood blood pressure. Due to the fact that low blood pressure means that less oxygen gets transported through your veins, chronic low blood pressure can also lead to neurological problems when the brain is starved of much-needed oxygen.
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Postprandial Hypotension And Blood Pressure
Some people are genetically predisposed to postprandial hypotension. In others, it comes on after a stroke, accident, or other trauma damages key nerves or blood pressure sensors. In most people, though, postprandial hypotension stems from aging-related changes that interfere with the body’s ability to respond quickly to sudden changes in blood pressure.
A major culprit is high blood pressure, which stiffens arteries, making it harder for them to narrow and relax as needed. Failure of blood pressure sensors in the arteries or stretch receptors in the stomach can lead to postprandial hypotension, as can diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and other nerve-damaging conditions.
Causes Of Diastolic Hypotension By Itself
There are three known causes of isolated diastolic hypotension:
- Alpha-blocker medications. These blood pressure medications work by causing your blood vessels to open up . Because they lower diastolic pressure more than systolic pressure, they may cause isolated diastolic hypotension. Common brand names include Minipress and Cardura.
- Aging. As we age, we lose the elasticity of our arteries. For some older adults, arteries may become too stiff to spring back between heartbeats, causing diastolic blood pressure to be low.
- Too much salt in your diet. Dietary salt can decrease elasticity of your blood vessels. If you take in too much salt, you may increase your risk of low diastolic blood pressure.
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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
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 about 3.5 grams. Read food labels to avoid added salt in your diet.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. This diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For protein, stick to lean meats and fish. Avoid fatty foods.
- Drink enough fluids and avoid alcohol, which can increase your risk of dehydration.
- Stay physically active and start an exercise program. Ask your doctor what type and amount of exercise is safe for you.
- Maintain a moderate weight. If youre overweight, your doctor can help you create a safe weight loss plan.
- If you smoke, quit. Quitting can be difficult, so consider reaching out for support.
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How To Manage Post
Low blood pressure after surgery usually requires careful monitoring and some treatments. These following tips are recommended to combat post-surgery low blood pressure.
- Stand up and move slowly. The blood needs time to get flowing through your body, and low blood pressure can easily lead to fainting spells.
- Never have caffeine and alcohol. They can dehydrate you, and lower your blood pressure even more.
- Eat small meals. Eating can sometimes lead to lower blood pressure, so eating smaller meals more often can help reduce the risk.
- Stay hydrated.Drink plenty of fluids and water is usually best.
- Add salt to your diet. Your doctor might even prescribe salt tablets. However, this is only done under careful supervision by a physician.
- Wear support stockings. They can put pressureon your tummy, legs and feet, which can boost blood circulation and then increase blood pressure.
- Take medications as prescribed to treat low blood pressure. Phenylephrine is often used to increase blood pressure.
When to See a Doctor
Low blood pressure after surgery is common and usually resolves on its own. However, if you are experiencing dizziness, dehydration, nausea, vision changes, lightheadedness, fainting spells or cold, clammy skin, it’s time to call the doctor.
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Ask The Doctor: Should I Worry About Low Nighttime Blood Pressure
Q. My systolic blood pressure is high in the morning , but in the evening it drops to below 100. I am taking two blood pressure medications daily and still experiencing seriously low blood pressure at night. What would you suggest?
A. Everyone’s blood pressure changes throughout the day, and it’s often highest in the morning and lowest at night. You seem worried about the low pressure at night, but that would concern me only if it’s accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness or fainting. A systolic pressure below the normal of 120 is usually not worrisome. In fact, studies show that low blood pressure while you are sleeping predicts low cardiovascular risk.
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Does Blood Loss Lower Blood Pressure
Conditions not associated with the neurological system may cause low blood pressure. Anything that causes a loss of fluids, including dehydration from diarrhea, vomiting, or bleeding may cause low blood pressure. Adrenal gland dysfunction, pregnancy, and blood loss may lower blood pressure as well. Medications May Cause Low Blood Pressure.
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Low Blood Pressure Also Known As Hypotension Is When You Have A Blood Pressure Level That Is Below The Normal Range
If your blood pressure is naturally low, this probably wont cause you any problems and wont need treating. In fact, the lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Low blood pressure can sometimes be caused by medications or can be a sign of another health problem. This can sometimes cause problems such as falls, fainting and feeling dizzy, so it might need looking into and treating. Speak to your doctor or nurse if youre worried about low blood pressure.
Plus, take a look at the animation below on how to manage low blood pressure when you stand up.
Falls And Related Injuries
A sudden drop in blood pressure may make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even lose consciousness . These symptoms can come on quickly, causing falls or other injuries.
Falls are a major cause of hospitalization for older adults. Older adults are more likely to experience hypotension after standing up or eating. Treatment and lifestyle changes can help you manage hypotension symptoms.
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What To Do If You Experience A Sudden Drop In Blood Pressure
A single low blood pressure reading is no cause to be concerned unless you experience other symptoms.
A sudden drop in blood pressure as little as a drop from 120 to 100 in your systolic number can be dangerous if it triggers dizziness and fainting. Such symptoms can be a sign of an underlying problem that may need medical attention.
You should keep a record of your activities and when symptoms happen to discuss them with your doctor. If you experience any low blood pressure symptoms related to shock, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Exercise For Low Blood Pressure
Everyday exercise such as a 30-minute walk or light running can serve to improve circulation and alleviate any existing symptoms of low blood pressure. It is best to go with a companion if already a patient of hypotension, in case episodes of blurry vision, giddiness, or fainting happen during these times.
It is necessary to avoid undue stress to the body and sudden, jerky movements through heavy lifting and other strenuous exercise so that the flow of movement is smooth. Discipline and consistency regarding exercise aids the underlying causes of low blood pressure, while alleviating its symptoms as well.
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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.
Are There Other Links Between Anxiety And Low Blood Pressure
Generally, stress raises blood pressure, so many believe the main likely cause of low blood pressure is poor breathing. But there may be other causes. Often, after periods of intense anxiety, the body is left feeling very fatigued, and this can contribute to low blood pressure in people. Also, depression and low blood sugar may can cause lower blood pressure, both of which may be related to persistent anxiety. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can also lower blood pressure and cause anxiety, but the two are not necessarily related.
It is also important to remember anxiety can cause a persons brain to have thoughts about situations in terms of the worst case scenario. These worst case scenario thoughts can make a person believe there is something wrong with his or her physical or mental health. In other words, a low blood pressure reading at a doctor’s office may simply be coincidental, but to the anxious mind, it could mean something physically wrong.
It is important to remember blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day. Low blood pressure readings may have no correlation with a deeper health issue whatsoever.
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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.
What Hypertension Does To Your Kidneys
You can see this chicken-or-egg effect with high blood pressure and kidney disease as well. Hypertension puts extra pressure on the kidneys filtering units, which can lead to scarring. This impairs the kidneys ability to regulate fluid, which increases blood pressure.
If this cycle is not stopped, it can lead to kidney disease and kidney failure, says hypertension specialist George Thomas, MD, who is Director of the Center for Blood Pressure Disorders in the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension.
High blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of people with kidney disease dont realize they have it. The signs and symptoms may be attributed to other conditions and usually appear when the kidneys have already begun to fail. Here are symptoms to watch for:
- Unusual fatigue.
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Effects Of Sbp In Different Strata On Renal Function
The GFR and prevalence of renal insufficiency and proteinuria in different SBP strata are presented in . When SBP decreased from stratum 90-100mmHg to stratum 80-90mmHg, GFR was reduced by 3.6ml/min/1.73m2 while BUN, Scr and UA respectively increased by 0.2mmol/L, 1.93Î¼mol/L and 7.5Î¼mol/L . GFR decreased progressively and continuously with increase in SBP, approximately going down by 1.13ml/min/1.73m2 for every 10mmHg increase in SBP that occurs within the range of 140 to 230mmHg while BUN, Scr and UA increased by 0.08mmol/L, 1.54Î¼mol/L and 1.73Î¼mol/L for every 10mmHg increase in SBP. OR values of renal insufficiency and proteinuria in different SBP strata are shown in .
Effects of different SBP strata on GFR, renal insufficiency prevalence and proteinuria prevalence. GFR was expressed in meanÂ±SE. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N represents 80-89mmHg, 90-99mmHg, 100-109mmHg, 110-119mmHg, 120-129mmHg, 130-139mmHg, 140-149mmHg, 150-159mmHg, 160-169mmHg, 170-179mmHg, 180-189mmHg, 190-199mmHg, 200-209mmHg and 210-220mmHg stratum, respectively.
Conditions That Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
Certain conditions can cause long periods of hypotension that can become dangerous if left untreated. These conditions include:
- pregnancy, due to an increase in demand for blood from both the pregnant person and the growing fetus
- impaired circulation caused by a heart attack or heart condition
- dehydration, for example if youre vomiting and cant keep liquids down, or have severe diarrhea
- endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, and thyroid disease
- autonomic dysfunction, damage to the nerves that control some bodily functions
- prolonged bed rest
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Causes Of Renal Hypertension
When the kidneys receive low blood flow, they act as if the low flow is due to dehydration. So they respond by releasing hormones that stimulate the body to retain sodium and water. Blood vessels fill with additional fluid, and blood pressure goes up.
The narrowing in one or both renal arteries is most often caused by atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is the same process that leads to many heart attacks and strokes. A less common cause of the narrowing is fibromuscular dysplasia. This is a condition in which the structure of the renal arteries develops abnormally for unclear reasons.
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Serious Injuries And Shock
Low blood pressure can also be caused by serious injuries or burns, particularly if you have lost a lot of blood. This can mean that there is less blood being pumped around your body. Low blood pressure can also occur if you go into shock after having a serious injury.
Other kinds of shock are described below.
Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is caused by an allergic reaction to something – for example, a wasp sting or a peanut. During an allergic reaction, your body produces a large amount of a chemical called histamine, which causes your blood vessels to widen and leads to a sudden, severe drop in blood pressure.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when your heart cannot supply enough blood to your body, so your blood pressure drops. This can happen during a heart attack.
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Sudden Drop In Blood Pressure
Hypotension, or simply low blood pressure, is a condition whereby your blood pressure is not as high as it should be at your age. Blood pressure would normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg according to most physicians. There are people whose blood pressure is normally lower than average. In other people, it could be as a result of a medical condition or medication they are taking. You need not worry if you have low blood pressure as long as you do not exhibit any symptoms. However, experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure could be dangerous because it affects the blood flow in the body. Seek medical attention immediately when this happens as it could lead to shock, which is a fatal condition.