Low blood pressure: Causes and how to increase it

Throughout the day, blood pressure varies naturally. A temporary problem, such as dehydration, or a longer-term one, such as a heart disease, can result in clinically low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure could be genetic or occur as a result of aging. A temporary cause, such as pregnancy or dehydration, is responsible in certain instances. Low blood pressure in some results from an underlying condition or a serious reaction.

It may be necessary to influence eating patterns to address acute causes of low blood pressure. Alternatively, if it is likely to be responsible for this symptom, a physician could prescribe medication or modify an existing treatment plan.

Medical attention should be given to those with signs of low blood pressure, such as dizziness and fatigue.

Find out below what counts as low blood pressure, what underlying variables might be involved, and what the therapies entail.

Definition

Low blood pressure checking

The heart pumps blood throughout the body, supplying oxygen and other nutrients on a continuous basis. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood pushing against the artery walls as the heart pumps.

Blood moves with too little force through the veins and arteries in a person with low blood pressure.

Two numbers are used by physicians to denote blood pressure. The first applies to systolic blood pressure, which is as the heart beats, the force of the blood against artery walls. The second applies to diastolic blood pressure, which is the force of the blood between beats while the heart rests.

Healthcare professionals measure blood pressure readings in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). A normal reading is less than 120 mm Hg systolic and 80 mm Hg diastolic, which doctors write as “less than 120/80 mm Hg.”

Low blood pressure is classified by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as under 90/60 mm Hg.

Symptoms

Low blood pressure without any signs is possible. Some individuals with this problem, however, can experience:

  • weakness
  • fainting
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • dehydration
  • trouble concentrating
  • blurred vision
  • cold, clammy skin
  • depression
  • rapid, shallow breathing

Causes

Many factors, including the time of day and the physical activity levels and diet of an individual, affect blood pressure. With age, blood pressure also decreases, and certain individuals have naturally low blood pressure because of genetic factors.

Temporary causes

The blood pressure of a person might be lower than normal because of:

  • eating
  • straining
  • long periods of inactivity, such as bed rest
  • dehydration
  • pregnancy

Some temporary triggers resolve on their own, such as pregnancy. Others can require dietary modifications and other strategies for treatment or management.

More serious or lasting causes

Low blood pressure may also be caused by certain potentially more serious health problems, including:

  • Deficiencies in nutrients: These could include vitamin B12 or folic acid.
  • Neurally induced hypotension: After the individual has stood up for a prolonged time, this condition causes a drop in blood pressure.
  • Endocrine problems: These impact the regulation of hormones in the body. Hypothyroidism is one example, also known as an underactive thyroid.
  • Heart problems: This can limit how the heart pumps blood across the body efficiently.
  • Septic shock: This is a life threatening response to a severe bacterial infection.
  • Anaphylactic shock: This complication of anaphylaxis, which is a significant allergic reaction, is potentially life-threatening.

Furthermore, blood loss due to an injury can lead to low blood pressure.

Drug-based causes

Alcohol use or the use of certain drugs can often result in low blood pressure, such as:

Treatments

A doctor can change the dosage of an existing drug to treat low blood pressure or prescribe medications to raise blood pressure. Fludrocortisone and midodrine may be medications they may prescribe.

Also, a person may benefit from:

  • drinking more water throughout the day
  • avoiding alcohol, which can cause dehydration
  • eating more healthful, high sodium foods
  • drinking tomato juice or sports drinks
  • wearing compression socks that extend to the thighs or waist
  • moving the legs to stimulate blood flow before getting out of bed

When to call a physician

Symptoms of low blood pressure can interrupt everyday life, and with age, they usually become more severe.

If any of these symptoms, such as dizziness and exhaustion, occur, contacting a doctor is crucial. The cause can be identified by a doctor and the appropriate treatment method can be prescribed.

Emergency treatment is needed for people who experience any specific symptoms of anaphylactic or septic shock.

Signs of anaphylactic shock include:

  • a rash
  • diarrhea
  • congestion
  • breathing difficulties
  • fainting, dizziness, or confusion
  • swelling of the mouth, tongue, throat, or lips
  • trouble swallowing

Some signs of septic shock include:

  • symptoms of an infection, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or a sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • a fever
  • shivering
  • sweaty or clammy skin
  • extreme discomfort
  • a high heart rate
  • confusion or disorientation

Conclusion

Low blood pressure refers to a low level of intensity in the blood that circulates. A variety of symptoms, including dizziness and nausea, can be caused.

Blood pressure fluctuates naturally during the day, and with age, it decreases. A temporary problem, a chronic illness, or an emergency, such as septic shock, can result in longer-lasting low blood pressure.

Anyone who has recurrent low blood pressure symptoms should see a physician. Urgent treatment should be given to anyone experiencing a sudden, dramatic drop in blood pressure.

Sources

  • Grijalva, C. G., et al. (2017). Fludrocortisone is associated with a higher risk of all‐cause hospitalizations compared with midodrine in patients with orthostatic hypotension.
    (LINK)
  • Low blood pressure. (n.d.).
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  • Low blood pressure — when blood pressure is too low. (2016).
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  • Understanding blood pressure readings. (n.d.).
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  • medicalnewstoday – Causes and treatment of low blood pressure (LINK)

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