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How To Manage & Prevent Low Blood Pressure?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Fall in Low Blood Pressure might be due to temporary reasons. But it is still important to know all about low blood pressure because you never know what you might be suffering from despite being very careful in life.

Low blood pressure is a common occurrence among people aged 60 plus. Low blood pressure or hypotension is a condition where the pressure of the blood in the blood vessel is usually low.

Low Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure range falls anywhere between 90/60mm Hg and 130/80mm Hg; therefore, a person is said to be suffering from low blood pressure if the BP value is under 90 / 60mm Hg and from high blood pressure if it is above 130/80mm Hg (Read more about High Blood Pressure). The causes for such a condition are many things, such as age, weather, medication, injury, illness, or as part of the normal up and down fluctuations that happen during the day.

Although many times it is harmless, the condition can be life-threatening if you start to show symptoms like dizziness, confusion, or falls. (Related to heart problems, diabetes)

How low is too low

Major causes of low blood pressure are your diet and lifestyle. If you carefully monitor your daily activities and intake, you can easily avoid an episode. An active person is said to have a blood pressure value of 140/70 mm Hg.

When you are not able to recover from a low blood pressure episode within few minutes or an hour or the occurrence of the episodes are frequent, then it is suggested that you visit a doctor and get a check-up done.

Usually, when one suffers from an episode, there are no prescribed drugs to help raise blood pressure since treating the underlying cause is usually all the treatment needed. If the occurrence is repetitive, fludrocortisone or midodrine, are generally prescribed.

Probable causes

  1. Pregnancy- This is quite normal and the blood pressure usually gets back to normal after giving birth.
  2. Heart Problems- Some heart conditions will lead to low blood pressure as it prevents the body from circulating enough blood
  3. Dehydration- Even mild dehydration can cause weakness and dizziness. The dehydrated body loses more water than what is taken in.
  4. Blood loss- Whether it is because of an injury or internal bleeding, loss of blood results can make you feel weak and dizzy.
  5. Severe infection/ allergy- When infection and allergy have reached a point where it starts to enter the bloodstream, the drop can be life-threatening and sometimes even fatal.
  6. Endocrine difficulties- Diabetes, low blood sugar and thyroid problems can also lead to a drop in pressure.

Hypotension which is predominantly manifested by light headedness or dizziness should be evaluated properly by a physician as hypotension is far more dangerous than hypertension.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Prevention

  1. Don’t stand up too quickly- When you are lying down or getting up from a chair, stand up gradually. Sudden movement can often result in a drop of pressure.
  2. Drink lots of water- Staying hydrated is really important. If it is really hot outside or you are doing enough to burn your calories, make sure to drink a lot of water.
  3. Avoid caffeine, energy drinks, soft drinks, and alcohol- These drinks can cause one to lose more fluid in the body than gain it. So avoid such consumption as much as possible.
  4. Don’t stand in one place for too long- If you stand in one place for too long the brain commands your heart to start beating slow as it assumes that your blood pressure is rising since there is a lot of blood pooling near the leg.
  5. Have a meal or a snack one in every two hours- Your body deserved a balanced diet. Make sure you have enough nutrient intake in order to stay healthy.

If your blood pressure drops too low, your body’s vital organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients. When this happens, low blood pressure can lead to shock, which requires immediate medical attention.

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

Low Blood Pressure Signs and Symptoms to Watch For

If you are regularly checking your blood pressure at home, you should be aware that normal blood pressure fluctuates during the day. For example, while resting or sleeping blood pressure is lower than when you are active. This is not a cause for alarm. Here are a few low blood pressure symptoms to keep an eye out for in case you are not monitoring it often:

  • Blurry vision or difficulty seeing properly
  • Depression, cognitive problems like confusion and difficulty focusing  
  • Fatigue, feeling low or tired, feeling dizzy or fainting  
  • Dehydration, feeling extra thirsty  
  • Sudden sweating (even when it isn’t hot)
  • Feeling the chills  
  • Feeling like vomiting  
  • Fast and shallow breaths (similar to hyperventilating)

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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