Low Blood Pressure Treatment
Question: I have always had low blood pressure. But the doctor says I have nothing to worry about. The fact that I have nothing to worry about worries me! This is not normal is it? What should I do? Can you tell me what happens to the body if you have low blood pressure?
Answer: Diagnosis of low blood pressure is sometimes considered normal. This is if there are no symptoms and the low readings are normal for the particular individual. This requires no treatment. However, regular monitoring is recommended so that the pressure levels do not go any further. On the other hand, there are instances when blood pressure drops below the normal range due to an accident or trauma or a medical condition. Most often, a sudden drop in blood pressure causes symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, headaches etc. The presence of symptoms requires low blood pressure treatments.
What is Low Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure or hypotension as it is medically known is the abnormal drop in blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force exerted to pump blood through the arteries and is reflected in the force the blood flow exerts on the arterial walls. A normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg. A person diagnosed with hypotension has a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 mmHg. Blood pressure does not stay the same the entire time. It fluctuates depending on activities conducted. Blood pressure rises after exercise, when excited or stressed. Blood pressure decreases when the body is at rest. Hypotension occurs due to the body’s inability to bring blood pressure to normal range. For example, a person feels dizzy when standing up at once. This means there is a sudden drop in blood pressure. This, however, remedies on its own. The body adjusts blood pressure automatically to ensure adequate blood and oxygen flow to vital organs. Hypotension occurs when the body is too slow or is unable to do so.
Abnormal Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Normal low blood pressure, as mentioned above, is asymptomatic. However, abnormal low blood pressure levels have many symptoms. These include, dizziness, fainting, extreme fatigue, blurred vision, transient confusion, chest pain etc. These are all symptoms of hypotension. Severe hypotension, if not treated, results in shock. This is life threatening as persistent low blood pressure causes the irreparable damage and shutting down of vital organs.
Possible Causes of Abnormal Low Blood Pressure
There are several possible causes of an abnormally low blood pressure reading. For example, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney diseases, heart disease, heart valve disease, a recent heart attack, infections etc. can cause a sudden reduction in blood pressure. Medications too cause hypotension. Medications for anxiety, blood pressure, anti-depressants, heart medication, and painkillers are few drugs that carry side effects of low blood pressure. Another common cause of low blood pressure is dehydration. Sudden loss of fluid can cause a drastic drop in pressure causing symptoms of hypotension.
Treating Low Blood Pressure
Treatment is unnecessary for low blood pressure unless it is accompanied with detrimental symptoms. If treatment is necessary, then there are several low blood pressure treatments enabling a person to raise blood pressure. There are prescribed medications, as well as, natural treatments for hypotension. Medications for hypotension include Fludrocortisone, Erythropoietin, Midodrine, Pyridostigmine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Each treatment option depends on the cause of hypotension. For example, erythropoietin is prescribed if low blood pressure is due to anaemia. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed if there is inflammation behind low blood pressure.
The most natural treatment for increasing blood pressure is to stay hydrated as much as possible. Drinking plenty of water during the day, especially when exposed to hot weather conditions, helps reduce the risk of hypotension. Increasing salt intake can also remedy the situation to some level. Drinking coffee on a daily basis, eating smaller meals, wearing compression stockings and eating a diet rich in foods that ensure cardiovascular health are the other means of increasing low levels of blood pressure.
Persistent low blood pressure for a long period harms vital organs in the body. Therefore, all individuals with symptoms of abnormal low blood pressure must obtain medical treatment. If you feel strongly convinced that your low blood pressure is not normal, even though your doctor advised you so, seeking a second opinion will put your doubts to rest.