Our body is an incredibly complex machine, powered by different systems working in harmony to ensure it runs smoothly. One of these systems is the circulatory system, responsible for transporting blood throughout the body. It’s normal for our blood pressure to fluctuate depending on various factors, but what happens when your blood pressure plummets? Here, we will dive into the potential causes and consequences of low blood pressure. But first, let’s define what we mean by low blood pressure.
What Is Low Blood Pressure?
Also known as hypotension, low blood pressure occurs when your systolic BP dips below 90mmHg or your diastolic BP drops below 60mmHg . However, , some people might have naturally low blood pressure without experiencing any symptoms or health issues.
On the other hand if you suddenly experience a significant drop in BP and notice accompanying symptoms like dizziness or fainting spells, it might indicate something is not quite right. Let’s explore some potential culprits next.
Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
There are various reasons why someone may experience low blood pressure:
When our bodies do not have enough fluids to function appropriately, they try their best to conserve resources, including water content in our bloodstream which can lead to lower volume of blood available causing a decrease in BP.
Standing Up Too Quickly
Have you ever stood up from lying down or sitting position too quickly and felt dizzy or lightheaded? It could be due to Postural Hypotension caused by sudden changes in body position relative to gravity . This, in turn, causes a temporary fall in BP that could lead to lightheadedness or fainting.
If your heart has difficulty pumping enough blood to the rest of your body, it can result in low blood pressure. Several medical conditions can cause this issue:
- Arrhythmia – Irregular heart rhythm
- Bradycardia – Slow heartbeat rate
- Valve problems
- Heart failure
Medication Side Effects
Certain medications like diuretics or beta-blockers which are prescribed for high blood pressure treatment can have side effects that might lower our BP extensively. Hence, it is essential to know the potential side effects of medication and notify doctors if any concerning symptoms arise.
Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure itself does not necessarily create much noise but what makes it noteworthy are the various ways our bodies respond to compensate for drop-in blood pressure:
- Lightheadedness / Dizziness
- Fainting Spells
- Fatigue & Weakness
- Blurred Vision
- Rapid Breathing
In severe cases, it may even lead to shock with an outcome so dire you’d wish you fainted instead. So let’s learn about when we should take low BP seriously.
When To Take Low Blood Pressure Seriously?
As mentioned earlier, low blood pressure by itself isn’t alarming unless accompanied by noticeable symptoms like dizziness or fainting spells. . But according to Harvard Health Publishing, some signs we need emergency help include:
|Often accompanied by shortness of breath
|Rapid Heart Rate
|Accelerated heart rate without any reason
|Pale Skin Color
|Signifies poor circulation
|Shallow Breathing/ Breathlessness
|Difficulty in breathing accompanied by rapid breaths
|Accompanied by accelerated heart rate and shortness of breath
It is worth noticing that most of these symptoms could be signs or indications of significant health problems, even if it’s not related to blood pressure.
How To Manage Low Blood Pressure
The treatment plan would depend against the root cause of low BP. For instance:
- Dehydration – Drink plenty of fluids
- Postural Hypotension – Get up from positions slowly & carefully
- Heart Conditions – Treatment would be based on the underlying condition
- Medication Side Effects – Notify your doctor about any concerning side effects.
Other tips to manage low blood pressure include:
Limit Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can result in drop-in BP levels distinctly after intake. In some individuals, this sudden decrease can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, and shaky hands.
Low fluid intake directly affects our body’s hydration level and hence decreases circulating volume resulting in lowering the BP. . So yes, It’s important to get enough fluids throughout the day. .
In conditions such as orthostatic hypotension , compression stockings help prevent a drop in systolic blood pressure which occurs when going from seated/lying position to standing position).
Q: Can certain foods help increase Blood Pressure?
A: Yes, Salty food holds more sodium potentially raising our chances for hypertension thus increasing BP. Therefore low-sodium diets are suitable options for high bp patients who wish to lower their bp levels
Q: What is a safe range of BP for adults?
A: The “ideal” blood pressure measures around 120/80mmHg. However, depending on individual factors like age and medical history, the optimal blood pressure can vary slightly.
Q: Is low BP more common in specific age groups than others?
A: Young people tend to have lower blood pressures compared to elders who more commonly suffer from high blood pressures.
Wrapping It Up
Low Blood Pressure might fly silently below our radar without any symptoms until something triggers it. Understanding the causes and symptoms of this issue could help detect and alert us early on if something is amiss. If you suspect low BP, speaking with your doctor should always be top priority as they would have better equipped knowledge for diagnosis and treatment options. .