You have often heard about high blood pressure and the risks to your heart health. However, blood pressure can also be low. This is known as hypotension. Here, we tell you the symptoms of low blood pressure, its causes, and who it can affect.
Have you ever taken your blood pressure? If so, you will know that, in each reading, you have to take into account two numbers: the first and the highest is what indicates the systolic pressure, that is, that of the arteries of the body when the heart beats and fills them with blood.
The second, smaller number measures the diastolic pressure or the arteries’ pressure in the body when the heart pauses between each palpitation. The average normal blood pressure is 120/80, but it happens that sometimes, in addition to increasing (hypertension), the pressure can also decrease to levels that are not normal, called hypotension (low pressure).
Although blood pressure varies from one person to another, it is considered that attention needs to be paid when it is reduced to 90/60.
Why? Although, in many cases, low blood pressure is because you are dehydrated from spending too much time in the sun or in a hot tub and may not be a very serious matter, in other cases, you may have symptoms that should not go unnoticed and need action.
Also, low blood pressure can sign other serious conditions, such as heart disease, endocrinological problems, or neurological disorders, especially in older adults.
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
The most common symptoms of low blood pressure are:
- Blurred vision
- Fast breathing
- Difficulty concentrating
When the drop in blood pressure is severe, it can prevent the oxygen and nutrients that the blood carries from reaching the vital organs, which can cause serious damage to your heart and brain.
Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
What are some of the causes of low blood pressure? First of all, we must clarify that low blood pressure can be constant in some people, while it can happen suddenly in others. If it is the first case, the causes, although not always clear, may be related to:
- Hormonal problems
- Diabetes and hypoglycemia
- Side effects of over-the-counter medications, including supplements or medicinal plants
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Heart Failures
- Overdosage of medicines for hypertension
- Heat collapse
- Liver problems
- Blood loss due to bleeding.
- A reaction to a medication or alcohol.
- Severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis.
Thyroid problems, adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), a very low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia), and sometimes diabetes can cause hypotension.
Lack Of Nutrients In The Diet
A lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid can cause anemia, and this can also lower blood pressure.
Severe Dehydration Caused By Vomiting, Diarrhea Or Fever
If you are dehydrated, your body loses more water than it receives. Excessive diuretics or high-intensity exercise can also dehydrate you.
Severe Blood Infection Or Sepsis
If the infection enters the bloodstream, it can produce septic shock, this is a serious and life-threatening problem.
You may never have experienced a drop in blood pressure, but that does not mean you are safe.
Hypotension Risk Factors
Hypotension can happen to anyone, although it is true that there are risk factors.
Age, for example, is one of them. In adults over 65, it can happen after eating. In other cases, it affects children and young adults, due to a failure in communication between the brain and the heart.
Another risk factor is certain medications, such as those for high blood pressure.
Also, having diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, and heart disease predisposes you to suffer from low blood pressure.
Treatments For Low Blood Pressure Or Hypotension
Treatment for low blood pressure depends on the causes. Your doctor may recommend the following:
Drink plenty of water and little alcohol to avoid dehydration.
Have a healthy diet. If the doctor asks you to increase your sodium intake, do so carefully. Eat small portions of carbohydrates throughout the day.
These measures may not be appropriate for everyone. Ask your doctor about what is convenient for you.
If you have no symptoms, low blood pressure is not a problem. You should only call the doctor if you have any symptoms, to be treated correctly.