Low blood pressure
What is hypotension?
Hypotension is too low blood pressure which supposes an inferior bloody supply to some parts of the body. It is the opposite of hypertension (More information about it in the listing above).
Hypotension is the symptom of something is going wrong in one's body. However, in most cases, it doesn't cause any symptoms and needs no treatment.
But hypotension also accounts for many cases of fainting which can be highly responsible for people falling down. Many fractures occur as a result of them, specially among old people.
Serious hypotension can be very dangerous, since it may lead to hypotensive shock. Vital organs as the heart or brain can be severely damaged because of lack of blood irrigation.
Types of hypotension?
- Orthostatic hypotension: ("postural hypotension") the most normal type of hypotension. It is what is colloquially normally called a " head rush" or a " dizzy spell". It occurs when a person makes a change of his /her body position, either from sitting to standing or from lying to standing.
This is caused because gravity makes some blood (about 10-15% of the whole) to be addressed to the lower part of the body, so there is a certain lost in the upper part, which produces a momentary blood insufficiency in some vital organs, especially in the brain,giving way some disagreeable feelings as light headache or fainting sensation.
In normal conditions body reacts contracting the blood vessels and increasing heart rate to pump up more blood again, but under certain circumstances (certain medications or diseases) blood pressure is not stabilized as soon as necessary, causing this type of hypotension. It usually lasts some seconds or minutes.
- Postprandial orthostatic hypotension: About 30 –75 minutes after eating, blood is addressed to the intestines in order to facilitate digestion. When the body is not able to compensate the blood lost to some vital organs as the brain, symptoms of this type of hypotension appear.
- Neurally mediated hypotension (NMH)/ Neurocardiogenic syncope: Hypotension is produced because a abnormal reflex interaction between the heart and the brain. Although both organs are normal, body is unable to regulate blood pressure when being upright.
The brain sends a defective signal to the heart. Instead of making it beat faster it gives it the signal of slowing heart rate and dilating the vessels further.
Symptoms of hypotension?
The main possible symptoms or hypotension are: light headache, general weakness, dizziness, fatigue and sleepiness. Heart rate is usually faster than normal after doing some exercise.
Other possible symptoms are blurred or dimmed vision, excessive transpiration, palpitations, tingling sensation, pallor, cold, sensitiviness or sexual inappetence.
Causes of hypotension?
- Medicine or drug ingestion: Some medicines or drugs, specially those with vasodilating properties, may be responsible sometimes to lower blood pressure. For example: painkillers, antidepressants, diuretics, high blood pressure medicines or other heart medicines. Alcohol produces vein dilation and loss of fluids.
- Physical of emotional shock: The sudden disturbance of emotions can produce hypotension.(seeing accidents, seeing blood, being to anxious or nervous, watching someone being in pain, experiencing dental treatment, etc.) Physical trauma can produce similar effects (suffering an accident, falling, sudden strong hits, etc.)
- Being in a quiet upright posture for to long: Standing up or even sitting upright without moving can produce the same symptoms.
- Hot weather or to much warm environments: Being exposed to too much hot, such as it happens in summer weather, or being in closed warm places can trigger hypotension. This usually happens to many people when traveling by crowded tubes or by crowded buses.
- Inadequate diet: A low salt diet intake can be the factor that produces hypotension. Sodium is necessary for the body to retain liquids and raise blood pressure. Salt importance has been depreciated in later years because of many studies have pointed out its negative effects for health, specially as a triggering hypertension factor.
Maybe some should restrict salt intake very much because they are prone to develop high blood pressure, but sodium is necessary to maintain the fluids balance in the body, particularly for those who use to offer low blood pressure. (More information about " Hypotension diet" in the listing above)
Diagnosis and treatment of hypotension?
In front of symptoms of hypotension, we recommend a visit to the specialist who can diagnose its possible existence. The diagnosis is done mainly by means of blood pressure test, temperature measurements or heart rate screening.
Some other tests could be necessary, such as, for example, electrocardiograms, examination of urine, x-rays or blood analysis.
Once the diagnosis, the doctor will decide the best course of treatment. Treatment can be based on non-pharmacologic treatments, such as lying on the back and raising your feet, changing your diet or adopting certain body postures or physical therapies. For those with more severe hypotension nor responding to the previous steps some medications could be needed.
The natural treatment of hypotension involves using a series of natural remedies that can help treat the problem.
More information about hypotension natural treatments in the listing above.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.