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Hypotension: It’s Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

In medical parlance, Hypotension is basically low blood pressure. In this condition, the blood pressure typically falls below a Systolic value of 90 and a Diastolic value of 60.

Within prescribed limits, a low blood pressure reading is generally good. However, sometimes this condition can result in dizziness and tiredness. But if there are no adverse symptoms as such, then there is nothing to worry about.


Types of Hypotension

Health issues start to crop up when the blood pressure drops suddenly and the brain is deprived of an adequate supply of oxygen.

  1. These sudden drops occur when a person stands up from a lying down or sitting position. This kind of Hypotension is called Postural Hypotension.
  2. For some patients, the blood pressure may also fall when standing for a long period of time. This type of low blood pressure is called Neurally Mediated Hypotension.
  3. If a patient faints because of the body’s overreaction to certain triggers, it is called Vasovagal Syncope.
  4. Some people always record low blood pressure. This form of Hypotension is called Chronic Asymptomatic Hypotension and is usually unharmful.

Additionally, shock can also cause a sudden and strong drop in blood pressure called severe hypotension. Shock is usually caused by an injury or an infection. Another form of hypotension occurs in people who take medication for hypertension (high blood pressure). This can happen either due to too much medication, changes in the body or due to dietary choices (certain foods can lower blood pressure).

Causes of Hypotension

The dropping of blood pressure is a normal scenario. However, certain conditions cause extended periods of Hypotension such as:

  • Infections in the bloodstream
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid
  • Blood loss due to injury
  • Weakness due to dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypertension and antidepressant medications
  • Dehydration (caused by vomiting, diarrhoea, not drinking enough water)
  • Heart conditions that affect circulation
  • Allergic reactions

Hypotension causes  cover a wide range of things, treating these underlying causes will usually return your pressure to normal.  

Older adults also have a higher risk of symptoms of low blood pressure, such as falls, fainting, or dizziness when standing or after a meal.[4] If the blood pressure is sufficiently low, fainting (syncope) may occur

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Symptoms of Hypotension

Some noticeable symptoms that should raise alarm bells include:

  • Unsteadiness
  • Blurry vision
  • Lack of concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid and low breathing

Hypotension symptoms may also include lightheadedness, dizziness, sweaty/clammy skin and fainting.

Hypotension in pregnancy can have a severe impact on the mother and the baby as it may cause brain damage to the fetus, cause low birth weight or premature birth.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Treatment

For many patients, these underlying symptoms can be effectively addressed by bringing about relevant changes in the diet and lifestyle.

Simple, good to implement practices are:

  1. Limit the intake of alcoholic beverages.
  2. Increase the intake of water during hot, torrid weather conditions and especially when down with a viral infection.
  3. Adhere to a high-salt intake diet.
  4. Participate in regular physical activities to augment the blood flow.
  5. Avoid standing or sitting in one position for a long duration.
  6. Be prudent and cautious while arising from a lying down and sitting position. One best practice: Thrust your feet and ankles with force a couple of times before you stand up, this will help to aid blood circulation. In the morning, when you are ready to get out of bed, sit upright on the edge of the bed for a few moments and then stand. This will give you better control as you stand up on your feet.
  7. To avoid periods of dizziness, try eating light and smaller meals at regular intervals and evade any strenuous activities immediately post eating.
  8. Cut down on your carbohydrate intake.
  9. Consult a doctor on the usage of elastic stockings that cover your calf and thigh area. This may help in restricting the blood flow to the lower part of the body thereby keeping more blood in the upper part.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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