Blood pressure (BP) disorders are common, whether it is high or low. Everyone knows about hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension is a much-talked topic, and people are aware of its symptoms, but not many know about low blood pressure.
Blood pressure is defined as the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps blood into your arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Many of us want low blood pressure, and it is good up to certain limits. However, low blood pressure can be dangerous as high blood pressure.
Low blood pressure or hypotension may cause inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs. A blood pressure reading lower than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number (systolic) or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number (diastolic) is generally considered low blood pressure. Low blood pressure is not a concern till it causes some problems. However, when low blood pressure causes any symptoms, it can be a sign that you need to consult a doctor.
Causes of low blood pressure
There are various reasons for low blood pressure can cause serious consequences.
- Heart problems – low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, heart attack and heart failure.
- Blood and fluid loss
- Endocrine problems – Parathyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Pregnancy-induced Severe allergic reaction
- Severe infections
- Low oral intake
Signs and symptoms of low blood pressure
- Heavy sweating and clammy skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurry vision
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Weak and rapid pulse
First aid treatment
The ideal blood pressure range is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. Low blood pressure, caused when the reading is below 90/60mmHg, leads to shock. Shock resulting from low blood pressure symptoms may result in loss of consciousness and difficulty with breathing. Low blood pressure may even cause cardiac arrest in extreme cases. If someone has suffered a shock, ensure that you seek medical help immediately. Any delay could be catastrophic for the individual. You can provide first aid to the individual while you wait for help to arrive but it is important to ensure that you provide the correct assistance in the situation by following standard practices.
- FIrst, check if the person is breathing and has a stable heartbeat.
- If there is NO heartbeat, begin CPR.
- If there is a stable heartbeat, lay them down on their back.
- Raise their feet by 12 inches off the ground. Commonly referred to as the Shock Position, this ensures that blood is directed to the person’s vital organs. Avoid this step if you think the person may have any physical injuries on their head, neck or back as any movement may aggravate the injury.
- Ensure that the person is warm enough.
- Observe their breathing and heartbeat till medical help arrives.
- The person suffering from the shock may be carrying an epinephrine auto-injector or EpiPen. Inject them with it while you wait for help to arrive.
Home remedies for low blood pressure
Most people are unable to understand that they are suffering from low blood pressure. If the symptoms of low blood pressure are manageable at home, then you can try these home remedies-
1: Have more salt in your diet
A high intake of sodium (salt) is an excellent remedy to treat low blood pressure. High salt intake is closely associated with hypertension, therefore increasing your salt intake can stabilize your blood pressure when decreased. However, this increased intake should be of moderate quality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), your daily diet must contain a teaspoon of added salt.
2: Increase water intake
Increasing, fluid intake can raise blood volume that helps increase blood pressure. It can also prevent dehydration which is the reason for low blood pressure. Also, water contains various minerals such as potassium that help regain normal pressure instantly. However, make sure that the blood pressure dropped due to the loss of fluids before commencing the water therapy.
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Coffee and caffeinated drinks can raise your blood pressure temporarily. A cup of coffee can help as it increases blood pressure and boosts the heart rate. It causes a dramatic increase in your blood pressure though it is temporary.
4: Tulsi leaves
Tulsi leaves are the best option to treat low blood pressure at home. It contains various minerals such as potassium and magnesium that help to keep your blood pressure under control. Tulsi leaves are rich in vitamin C, and antioxidants named – Eugenol may keep our blood pressure in range.
5: Green tea
Green tea contains many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that make it an option to treat low blood pressure. However, the exact mechanism is unknown but thought to inhibit the function of the hormone responsible for keeping your arteries dilated. Constricting the arteries raises blood pressure.
6: Almond milk
Almond milk can be an option to treat low blood pressure at home. Since it is less in fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, it is a perfect diet for those who are suffering from low blood pressure.
Soak 5 to 6 almonds overnight, peel them in the morning. Then make a paste of it and boil them into a drink. For best results, drink this milk daily.
Increase vitamin intake
Stabilized vitamin intake could be the best option to manage blood pressure. If you rarely consume foods rich in Vitamin B12, you might become anaemic, which can cause the problem of low blood pressure. So make sure that your diet should be rich in all vitamins.
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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.