Will Your Doctor Treat Low Blood Pressure
You will likely get treated for low blood pressure only if it is causing symptoms or if your blood pressure drops suddenly. Treatment depends on your symptoms, how severe they are, and the reasons for the low blood pressure.
Your doctor may have you:
- Add more salt to your diet.
- Get fluid through an intravenous line if you are very dehydrated.
- Change or stop medicines that lower your blood pressure.
- Take medicine to treat the problem that is causing low blood pressure. For example, you may need antibiotics to treat infection or medicines to stop vomiting or diarrhea.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before you add more salt to your diet or make any changes in your medicines.
Treatment Of Low Blood Pressure
Unless accompanied by other conditions, low blood pressure is usually easy to treat and does not require much medication. Often, a low blood pressure diet may be prescribed, or a change in lifestyle may become necessary. Common recommendations include:
Increased intake of water: Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance resulting in signs of low blood pressure, and care towards adequate hydration would be important, especially in high temperature situations, during fevers or dysentery.
Increased sodium in diet: Salted nuts, cheeses and cured fish and meats are high in sodium content, and would help stabilize blood pressure in case it is very low. Care must be taken to not overdo it, however, and for a balance to be maintained.
Limiting alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption can cause fluctuation in heart rate and limiting its consumption for some time will help alleviate symptoms of low blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.
Exercise: Light exercises not involving much strain to the body help improve circulation of blood throughout, and keep the heart healthy. In cases of low blood pressure, it is important to be aware of its symptoms such as palpitations and cold skin so that exercising does not aggravate the condition.
Ceasing any aggravating medication:If intake of certain medication is seen to cause dips in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a substitute for the drug, or even stopping its consumption till pressure is stabilized.
Low Blood Pressure Anxiety And More Hyperventilation
There are two factors that tend to contribute to the extent to which this drop in blood pressure occurs.
- First, when a person hyperventilates, signals are sent to the body that it is not getting enough air, even though, in reality, it is getting too much. This tends to cause people to try to yawn or take deeper breaths, and unfortunately, this ends up making hyperventilation worse, and causing a further drop in blood pressure.
- Second, hyperventilation and low blood pressure cause several symptoms that can worsen anxiety, and thus, worsen hyperventilation. When a person has low blood pressure, the heart beats faster and harder to compensate. This may cause a person to experience chest pains, and contribute to feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness. People may feel as though they may faint, and in some cases, this could occur. All of these physical symptoms can increase anxiety, increase hyperventilation, and continue to sustain a lower blood pressure.
In nearly all of these cases, the change in blood pressure tends to be temporary. Once a person is able to regain control of his or her breathing, the blood pressure levels should go back to normal. Sometimes, regaining control of breathing can take longer than other times.
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How Is It Diagnosed
The doctor will begin the diagnosis by checking the teens medical and family health history. This is followed by a physical examination and a few tests, including cardiac examinations.
- Auscultation method: It is the preferred method for checking blood pressure, wherein the sound from the heart is heard using a stethoscope. It requires a cuff that fits the childs upper arm .
- Blood tests: If anemia is suspected to be the reason for low blood pressure in the child, then a blood test like hemoglobin is done. Low blood sugar could also cause hypotension, which can be evaluated through the blood test.
- Electrocardiography: It is a standard screening tool used for detecting cardiac abnormalities in children and adolescents. The heart rate and the rhythm are evaluated through this diagnostic approach, which is typically used in the diagnosis of syncope that benign NMH can cause .
- Tilt table test: If a child complains of dizziness for unknown reasons, then this test is done. During the test, the child has to lie on a table that tilts from a horizontal to a vertical or upright position. The doctor checks the childs reaction when the table is tilted, to diagnose orthostatic hypotension .
Based on the diagnosis, your doctor will suggest the appropriate treatment for hypotension.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can also happen during pregnancy.
You can manage your blood pressure to lower your risk for serious health problems that may affect your heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes.
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Does This Really Matter If Youve Finally Got Low Blood Pressure
Heart rhythm problems that affect the upper heart chamber can put you at an increased risk for stroke, heart failure or death. Heres why:
If youre diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm, you may need to take blood-thinning medications, plus one of the treatments above, to decrease your risk of stroke. Your doctor can help you get the right care to keep everything steady and stable so the only time your heart is racing is while youre watching Stranger Things.
How Anxiety Causes Low Blood Pressure
Because high blood pressure is associated with stress, most people assume that low blood pressure must be a symptom of something else – something more dangerous. But low blood pressure is also a fairly common anxiety symptom, especially in those that suffer from panic and anxiety attacks. This is because, with those conditions , a person is much more likely to suffer from hyperventilation.
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Tips For Clients With Low Blood Pressure
Drink more fluids – Fluids help keep blood volume at a normal level. Sports drinks, due to their higher levels of electrolytes like potassium and sodium, may be more beneficial than plain water in this case.Salt – Adding salt to her diet can help increase fluid retention in the blood vessels which can normalize her blood pressure.Smaller and more frequent meals – Large meals can shunt blood to the digestive system in may lower blood pressure in the short term.Coffee – Research shows that 200-250 mgs of caffeine can decrease postural hypotension.Support hose – Support hose help reduce pooling of blood in the lower legs, which means theres more blood left in the upper body to maintain blood pressure.
As I always recommend, your first choice for exercise advice should come from your clients physician. Not only does this cover you legally, but it also shows both the physician and your client that you are concerned about her well being. You’ll find that the client and the physician will then be great referral sources. It also enhances your credibility as a professional in the health care chain.
The physician will also be able to rule out conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, alcoholism, neuropathy, central nervous system disorders and pregnancy, which can lead to changes in blood pressure.
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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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.
What Can I Do For Myself
There are other things you can do for yourself to help with your symptoms.
- Wear supportive elastic stockings . They put extra pressure on your legs which helps to improve circulation and raise your blood pressure. For some people this can be enough, but speak to your GP first because they arent suitable for everyone.
- Stand up slowly from sitting or lying down. You can try other simple movements to get the blood flowing before you stand up, such as straightening and bending your legs.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Drink enough water throughout the day, around 2 litres, so you dont get dehydrated.
- Eat little and often throughout the day. This avoids low blood pressure after eating.
Read more about how blood pressure works.
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Why You Might Have Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure has many possible causes, from lifestyle choices, to medication or an underlying health condition.
In some cases, it may just be the result of being healthy and active or a tendency you’ve inherited from your parents.
Throughout the day, it’s normal for your blood pressure to vary depending on what you’re doing. Stress at work, the temperature outside and your diet could all affect your blood pressure reading.
This is why it’s important your blood pressure is checked under similar conditions each time to make sure results are consistent.
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:
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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.
Diagnosis Of Low Blood Pressure
Your GP will ask about your symptoms and examine you. Theyll measure your blood pressure using either an automated digital device or a manual device. To find out more about how blood pressure is measured, see our animation at the top of this page, Having your blood pressure taken, in the introduction above.
If you have symptoms of postural hypotension , your GP may also measure the change in your blood pressure while youre sitting and then standing. If its much lower when you stand up compared with when youre sitting down, this suggests you have postural hypotension.
Your GP may also recommend that you have some blood tests to check your general health and an electrocardiogram to check the electrical activity of your heart. They may also ask you to have an echocardiogram if they need to check for any underlying problems affecting your heart.
If your symptoms need further investigation, your doctor may recommend that you have a tilt test. The test involves being slowly tilted from lying down to an upright position on a table as your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm are monitored. For more information, see our FAQ: What happens in a tilt test? below.
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What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .
Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.
The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:
- Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
- Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
|systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher|
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.
Low Blood Pressure In Teens: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Periodic lightheadedness and seeing of black spots while standing is common in an otherwise healthy teenager . This could be due to a drop in blood pressure, also known as hypotension. Low blood pressure in teens is not bothersome unless the fainting spells become frequent.
Here, MomJunction tells you about the reasons for low blood pressure in teenagers, its symptoms, and preventive measures to be taken.
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What Are The Side Effects Of The Treatment For Low Blood Pressure
There are no side effects for the lifestyle and dietary changes that can treat hypotension.
The medications used to treat hypotension have several side effects, some of which may be serious. Fludrocortisone can make certain infections worse, so its essential to discuss this medication with your doctor. The most common side effects from fludrocortisone are:
- Increased risk of infection.
The most common side effects from midodrine are:
- Numbness or tingling.
- Goosebumps and chills.
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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Pregnancy And Low Blood Pressure
Its normal for your blood pressure to become lower during pregnancy. This is mainly because your hormones relax the walls of your blood vessels. Your blood pressure may fall very early in your pregnancy and reach its lowest point during your second trimester . It then starts to rise again, returning to normal after you have your baby.
If you have low blood pressure during pregnancy, you may feel faint and dizzy suddenly when you get up from lying or sitting down. This is called postural hypotension. You can help relieve your symptoms by making sure you get up slowly from lying or sitting. And if you feel youre going to faint, sit or lie down right away.
Occasionally, symptoms of low blood pressure may be caused by other underlying health conditions affecting your pregnancy. Always tell your midwife about your symptoms. Seek medical help if you have dizziness or fainting or any other symptom that youre worried about.