When To Worry About Low Blood Pressure
We all know that high blood pressure can be dangerous. But what about low blood pressure
Also called hypotension, low blood pressure is not a problem if youre healthy and show no signs or symptoms of the condition. However, abnormally low blood pressure can cause problems such as dizziness and fainting and can be a sign that other serious conditions, such as heart disease, are present.
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.
Duration Of High Blood Pressure
The amount of time it takes to lower blood pressure varies depending on how high your blood pressure is and the aggressiveness of your treatment program. Medication can help lower blood pressure quickly, usually within a couple of days.
But because of potential side effects, a long-term aggressive medication regimen may not be sustainable.
Your doctor will prescribe lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure, too. Studies show a healthy diet and regular exercise begin to make a significant impact on blood pressure levels within three weeks.
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Multiple Measurements May Be Needed
Even so, the findings suggest that patients may need multiple blood pressure measurements seated and standing to better identify individuals who have an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes, particularly among younger adults.
After adjusting for average blood pressure taken over 24 hours, an exaggerated blood pressure response to standing remained an independent predictor of adverse heart events or stroke.
The results of the study confirmed our initial hypothesis a pronounced increase in blood pressure from lying to standing could be prognostically important in young people with high blood pressure, Dr. Palatini says. We were rather surprised that even a relatively small increase in standing blood pressure was predictive of major cardiac events in the long run.
What Can You Do To Help Relieve Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Depending on the type of low blood pressure you have, you may be able to relieve some of your symptoms by:
- Eating a healthy diet with fewer carbohydrates and smaller meals.
- Drinking more water and avoiding alcohol.
- Getting up slowly after youve been sitting or lying down.
- Focusing on breathing a few times before you change position.
- Wearing compression stockings.
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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
Causes And Risk Factors Of High Blood Pressure
The following can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.
Older age The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
According to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , 70 percent of adults age 65 or older have hypertension.
The risk of prehypertension and high blood pressure has been increasing in recent years in young people, too, including children and teens, possibly because of the rise of obesity in these populations.
Race High blood pressure is more common in Black American adults than in white or Hispanic American adults.
Family history Having a family history of high blood pressure increases your risk, as the condition tends to run in families.
Being overweight The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulating through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls. Obesity especially abdominal obesity also increases stiffness in arteries, which raises blood pressure.
Lack of physical activity People who are inactive tend to have a higher heart rate and higher blood pressure than those who are physically active. Not exercising also increases the risk of being overweight.
Dietary choices What you choose to eat can increase your risk for hypertension, including in the following ways:
Alcohol consumption Drinking more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women may raise your blood pressure.
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How To Treat Hypotension
If you have low blood pressure that doesnt cause symptoms or only occasionally causes mild lightheadedness, you may not need to treat your condition.
If you have more significant symptoms, your doctor might suggest several lifestyle and medication changes for you to use to regulate your blood pressure better and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
How To Lower Blood Pressure
If youâre over 70 and have been told that your blood pressure is too high, donât let the conditionâs lack of symptoms keep you from working to get it into a healthy range. Make it a point to:
Review all your medications with your doctor.âMany people will need medication to manage their blood pressure,â Andromalos says. But be sure to tell your doctor about all other prescriptions you may have and any over-the-counter medications that you take, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or decongestants because they can raise your blood pressure, Dr. Vaishnava says.
Move more. Regular, moderate exercise can help you lower your blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic states. Find an activity you enjoy so that youâll stick with it cycling, walking, swimming or dancing, for instance. Strength training and high intensity interval training also can help lower your blood pressure.
Lose weight. The higher your body mass, the harder your heart has to work to pump critical blood. Losing even a small amount of weight can help lower your blood pressure, the Mayo Clinic states.
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Causes Of Overall Low 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.
- Other medications. Many medications besides those for blood pressure can cause hypotension. They include:
- Heart problems. Heart valve problems, heart failure, and a very slow heart rate can lead to hypotension.
- Dehydration. If you dont take in enough fluids, your blood pressure can fall dangerously low. This may happen if youre taking a diuretic and lose more fluids than you take in.
Treatment for low diastolic blood pressure largely depends on the type of hypotension. Your doctor will assess this closely to determine the appropriate treatment plan.
Does Anger Lower Blood Pressure
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Feeling Dizzy May Be Related To Anxiety
Many people who experience dizziness, especially people in their twenties, may also have anxiety, says Whitman. They usually dont want to hear that dizziness can be linked to anxiety because it suggests that its all in their heads, he notes. But whats in your head is your brain. And anxiety can reflect a brain function disturbance thats possibly genetic.
Compared with people who dont have anxiety, people with anxiety disorders appear to sway more when subjected to a moving visual environment, Whitman says. And they sway in a way that seems to be synchronized with the visual movement. These people may be abnormally sensitive to visual stimulation, because their dizziness can increase when theyre watching moving objects or walking through a large, bright store, says Whitman.
This is called visual dependence, and little is known about how common it is. We need to develop better tests of visual dependence, and we need laboratory tests for what we now call anxiety disorders, ways Whitman. Its likely that in the future, these disorders will be reclassified, in part, based on genetics.
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Changing The Bodys Position
Blood pressure can vary throughout the body due to the direct action of gravity. When a person is standing, blood pressure is higher in the legs than in the head, much in the way that the water pressure at the bottom of a swimming pool is higher than that at the top. When a person lies down, blood pressure tends to be more equal throughout the body.
When a person stands up, blood from the veins in the legs has a harder time getting back to the heart. As a result, the heart has less blood to pump out, and blood pressure may temporarily drop throughout the body. When a person sits down or lies down, blood can more easily return to the heart, and cardiac output and blood pressure may increase. Elevating the legs above the level of the heart can increase return of blood to the heart, which increases cardiac output and raises blood pressure.
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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
Low Blood Pressure Chart
Considering low blood pressure chart in context of women, for men, during pregnancy and by age
Low blood pressure is defined as blood pressure that is below the normal expected for a person in a given environment. You may look at the blood pressure definition for a broader definition of blood pressure. The following low blood pressure chart is applicable to adult men and women. This is because both adult male and females are expected to have a similar normal blood pressure on average of 120/80mmHg.
This chart in discussion here may not be efficiently applicable on children because infants and children specifically have significantly lower blood pressure compared to adult men and women.
High blood pressure which is also known as hypertension is often presented with the aid of a high blood pressure chart showing the various stages of hypertension congruent with particular blood pressure numbers. Several challenges present when attempting to do the same for low blood pressure in the form of a low blood pressure chart.
Chief among these challenges is the widely agreed and understood relativity of a low blood pressure condition. The chart above summarizes known data of low blood pressure readings in some individuals and accompanying symptoms of low blood pressure.
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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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The Definition For What Is Considered High Blood Pressure Has Been Tightened Heres What You Need To Know
If you didnt have high blood pressure before, theres a good chance you do now.
In 2017, new guidelines from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and nine other health organizations lowered the numbers for the diagnosis of hypertension to 130/80 millimeters of mercury and higher for all adults. The previous guidelines set the threshold at 140/90 mm Hg for people younger than age 65 and 150/80 mm Hg for those ages 65 and older.
This means 70% to 79% of men ages 55 and older are now classified as having hypertension. That includes many men whose blood pressure had previously been considered healthy. Why the change?
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.