Causes Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
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.
- The aging process. 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 for low diastolic blood pressure.
There are several common causes of overall hypotension, which would include a low diastolic number.
- Overtreatment of high blood pressure. For some people, especially people over age 60, lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 may cause diastolic pressure to fall below 60.
Blood Pressure: How Low Can You Go
What’s considered low blood pressure for you may be normal for someone else. Most doctors consider blood pressure too low only if it causes symptoms.
Some experts define low blood pressure as readings lower than 90 mm Hg systolic or 60 mm Hg diastolic. If either number is below that, your pressure is lower than normal.
A sudden fall in blood pressure can be dangerous. A change of just 20 mm Hg a drop from 110 systolic to 90 mm Hg systolic, for example can cause dizziness and fainting when the brain fails to receive enough blood. And big drops, such as those caused by uncontrolled bleeding, severe infections or allergic reactions, can be life-threatening.
Cut Down On Rapidly Digested Carbs
Foods like white rice, white bread, sugary drinks, and potatoes are quickly digested and passed from your stomach to your small intestine. This leads to postprandial hypotension. So cutting back on foods like this and adding more foods that are slowly digested for instance, protein, beans, and whole grains can help prevent your blood pressure from dipping too low after a meal.11
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Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways the NHLBI continues to translate current research into improved health for people with abnormally low blood pressure. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIs broader commitment to advancing heart and vascular disease scientific discovery.
- Testing Treatments for Cardiac Arrest and Trauma. The Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium clinical trial network tested treatments to address high morbidity and mortality rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and severe traumatic injury. ROC investigators compared different strategies for supplemental fluids in trauma patients who have low blood pressure. Other ROC studies found a link between low blood pressure readings and the need for emergency procedures.
- Understanding How Low Blood Pressure Affects Diverse Populations. NHLBI-supported researchers are studying low blood pressure in different populations. Investigators in the NHLBIs Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study found that people who have low blood pressure when standing up, known as orthostatic hypotension, are at higher risk for stroke. In a follow-up study of NHLBIs Honolulu Heart Program, researchers found older Japanese men who had orthostatic hypotension were nearly twice as likely to die within the next four years as those who did not have orthostatic hypotension. NHLBIs Cardiovascular Health Study found that orthostatic hypotension was common in older adults, increases with age, and is linked to cardiovascular diseases.
Can You Be Healthy And Have Low Blood Pressure
According to Luke Laffin MD, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, There are many normal reasons for lower blood pressure, including younger age and small stature. Some people just have a genetic predisposition to low blood pressure.
Generally, if there are no symptoms, low blood pressure is not considered a problem. Though some people do naturally have blood pressure that tends to be on the low side and have no symptoms.
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Is Low Blood Pressure Associated With Tiredness Or Depression
Many years ago it was thought that blood pressures below a systolic of 90 mmHg could lead to tiredness and depression and many women were wrongly treated for low blood pressure with drugs that stimulate the nervous system. Large studies have now suggested that there is no relationship, provided there is no underlying cause for the low blood pressure.
Home Remedies For Raising Low Blood Pressure
Lifestyle changes may help some people with low blood pressure including:
- Avoiding standing for long periods of time or spending long periods in hot, humid conditions
- Changing positions slowly and deliberately
- Drinking caffeine in the morning, if it is safe for you, but avoid it for the rest of the day
- Eating several small meals throughout the day, which can help even out blood pressure and blood sugar
- Exercising on a regular basis, including both strength and cardio activities
- Limiting alcohol, which is a vasodilatorit relaxes blood vesselsand can contribute to
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Who Is Affected By Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can affect people of all ages, although it is more common in older people who are frail or bedridden. Pregnant women and older adults are more likely to have orthostatic hypotension. Children and young adults are most likely to experience neurally mediated hypotension, but they often outgrow it.
Hypotension commonly affects people who:
- Are taking certain medications that cause low blood pressure.
- Have hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.
- Also have heart problems or liver disease.
When Should You Worry About Low Blood Pressure
As long as youre not experiencing symptoms of low blood pressure, there is no need for concern. Most doctors consider chronically low blood pressure dangerous only if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, explains Eksteen.
These symptoms include:
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Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Low blood pressure is pressure so low it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidney, the organs do not function normally and may be temporarily or permanently damaged.
Unlike high blood pressure, low blood pressure is defined primarily by signs and symptoms of low blood flow and not by a specific blood pressure number. Some individuals routinely may have blood pressure numbers of 90/50 with no symptoms and therefore do not have low blood pressure. However, others who normally have higher blood pressures may develop symptoms of low blood pressure if their blood pressure drops to 100/60.
What Are The Symptoms
Many people with low blood pressure don’t have any symptoms.
Symptoms to watch for include:
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint.
- Feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting.
- Feeling more thirsty than usual.
- Having blurry vision.
- Breathing very fast.
If you have symptoms of low blood pressure, especially dizziness or fainting, call your doctor.
Watch for symptoms of low blood pressure. Tell your doctor when the symptoms happen so he or she can treat them.
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Will I Need Any Investigations
Investigations are only conducted if you have symptoms that suggest a fall in blood pressure when you stand up, ie, dizziness or faintness. If you do have these symptoms or a fall in blood pressure when you stand then your doctor should conduct further tests or refer you to a specialist. This will mean having a tilt test where you will be strapped to a table and tilted, with careful measurements of heart rate and blood pressure taken. Hormone levels in your blood may also be measured to check that your adrenal glands and nerves are working normally.
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:
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Q What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
- Nutrition deficiency in the diet
- Certain antidepressants
Effective Home Remedies To Treat Low Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is cut out to be a villain, but did you know low blood pressure can be troublesome too? If your blood pressure is below 90/60 mmHg, its considered to be low.1 If blood pressure dips too low, it can reduce the amount of blood that flows to your brain and other organs. This can lead to symptoms like dizziness, fainting, nausea, blurred vision, and palpitations.
Low blood pressure comes in more than one form. For instance, some people experience low blood pressure when they change position for example, when they stand up . You could also experience the symptoms after you have a meal or when you stand for long periods of time .2
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What Are The Potential Complications Of Low Blood Pressure
Because low blood pressure can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
- Brain damage
Foods To Raise Blood Pressure
It is important to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables to improve the state of your blood pressure. These foods contain beneficial nutrients and vitamins, but also help to keep you hydrated. If your blood pressure has dropped due to an iron deficiency such as anemia you should increase your intake of lean red meats and legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans.
Ginger is a great ally in improving hypotension as it favors blood circulation. Take a piece of fresh ginger, grate it and place it in a little water. Let simmer for a few minutes and the drink it. If you suffer from low blood pressure you can take this remedy twice daily. You can also have it included in different dishes to make raising your blood pressure tasty as well as effective.
While too much sodium will have a detrimental effect on your blood pressure, it can help raise it when low. Eating salty snacks such as peanuts or chips can help give you a quick spike in blood pressure levels. One home remedy for raising low blood pressure is to drink an isotonic drink which will help raise your sodium levels with healthy salts. However, be careful not to drink too much of them or it can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
Go to the doctor to find the underlying cause especially if you also have the following symptoms:
- You have hadseveral low blood pressure readings during medical analysis
- You often feel nausea and lightheadedness
- You feel dizzy or have had frequent vertigo
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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.
The Types Of Low Blood Pressure Are:
- Chronic low blood pressure A low blood pressure condition that usually shows no symptoms and never severe is known as chronic low blood pressure. The cause for this is always unknown and non-specific.
- Postural hypotension This is a kind of low blood pressure that occurs when someone rises from a lying down posture or a sitting position to stand, and develops a drop in the blood pressure. This is considered a failure in the nervous or cardiovascular system to cope with the sudden changes. This condition worsens as the person ages, and approximately 15% of the people over 65 have it.
- Neurally mediated hypotension When someone stands for an extended period, they are likely to develop neurally mediated hypotension. Children experience this more than adults, and emotionally upsetting events are also seen to cause it.
- Postprandial hypotension This kind of hypotension occurs right after eating. It develops in older people very commonly. People with Parkinsons disease are at a higher risk of developing postprandial hypotension.
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How Is The Cause Of Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed
To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed healthcare practitioner will ask you several questions related to your low blood pressure including:
- When did you first notice your low blood pressure?
- What seems to bring it on?
- Does anything make it improve?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- Do you have any other medical problems?
- What medications are you taking?
- Do you drink alcohol or use any illicit drugs?
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam and check your blood pressure. If the results are in the low blood pressure range, your doctor may recommend testing including:
- Blood and urine tests to check for problems like , diabetes, hormone problems, or nutritional deficiencies
- ECG to check for electrical abnormalities in the heart
- Title table test to check how your body responds to changes in position
- X-ray of the chest to check the size and shape of your heart
It is not always possible to diagnose an underlying cause or condition. If the problem persists and your provider is unable to determine a cause, seeking a second opinion may give you more information and answers.
Treatments To Raise Your Low Blood Pressure
Sometimes, there is no clearly identifiable cause of low blood pressure. Or there may not be an effective treatment for the underlying cause. In these cases, the goal is to help prevent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend the following strategies:
- Drink more water:Water keeps your blood volume high and prevents dehydration. Sports drinks and rehydration drinks also add electrolytes.
- Eat some salt:Salt can help raise your blood pressure. Many people need to limit salt because it makes their blood pressure too high. For people with low blood pressure, salt can actually be helpful. However, too much salt can be bad for your heart and kidneys. Check with your doctor to find the right amount of salt intake for you.
- Wear compression stockings: These stockings stop blood from pooling in your lower legs and promote better circulation.
If you have orthostatic hypotension, your doctor may prescribe a medication, such as midodrine .
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What Neurological Disorders Cause Low Blood Pressure
Various neurological conditions cause low blood pressure. This is due to the fact that blood pressure controlled through a homeostatic mechanism which is primarily the function of the autonomic nervous system. Some neurological disorders cause damage to the neurons of the Autonomic nervous system while in some cases there is an imbalance in the neurotransmitters which are essential for the execution of the instructions generated in the brain. Both the condition causes hypotension.
Should I Be Treated For Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
Most people with low diastolic blood pressure do not display any signs and symptoms and, hence, do not require any treatments. However, for symptomatic people
- Careful examination that includes anemia screening and cardiovascular assessment is required. If they have low blood pressure due to certain medications, a change in the type of medication or dosage is necessary. They need to control alcohol and other addictions.
- Regular exercise is compulsory.
- Some leg exercises are necessary if they get up from prolonged rest.
- The intake of salt and water should be increased but not above 1,500 mg salt a day.
- If the problem still persists, a detailed cardiovascular check with neuroendocrine assessment is required.
- There are certain medications such as fludrocortisone that may be prescribed in certain cases.
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