How Do I Know if I Have Low Blood Pressure? your doctor may tell you to increase your blood pressure by making these simple changes. Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of low blood pressure, type of low blood pressure you have, you can do this in several ways: Several medications can be used to treat low blood pressure that occurs. If you have low blood pressure, you may want to consider changing your diet. Eating certain types of food, such as salty foods and foods high in.
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Arteries Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Veins Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the rest of the body back to the heart. Useful Links Health A-Z: Symptoms of low blood pressure. As a result, you may experience some of the following symptoms: Postural or orthostatic hypotension Postural or orthostatic hypotension occurs when your blood pressure falls after a sudden movement.
Postprandial hypotension Your blood pressure can sometimes decrease fall after eating, causing dizziness, light-headedness, fainting and falls. This condition, known as postprandial hypotension, tends to occur more often in older people, particularly in those who have: Blood Blood supplies oxygen to the body and removes carbon dioxide.
It is pumped around the body by the heart. Blood vessels Blood vessels are the tubes in which blood travels to and from parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are veins, arteries and capillaries. Brain The brain controls thought, memory and emotion.
It sends messages to the body controlling movement, speech and senses. Heart The heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood around the body.
Nausea Nausea is when you feel like you are going to be sick. Palpitations Palpitations refer to an irregular heartbeat, or the sensation of skipped or extra heartbeats. Causes of low blood pressure. Underlying causes If your blood pressure is still considered low after taking into account everyday factors, such as those listed above, there may be another cause. Medication Some medication may cause hypotension as a side effect.
Examples of medication that can cause hypotension include: Serious illnesses or conditions If you have an acute short-term illness, your blood pressure will be measured regularly because it is a good indicator of the severity of your illness. Autonomic disorders Autonomic disorders affect your autonomic nervous system and can cause hypotension. Some examples of autonomic disorders are: Adrenal glands The adrenal glands are two small glands that are located just above your kidneys.
Serious injuries and shock Low blood pressure can also be caused by serious injuries or burns, particularly if you have lost a lot of blood.
Other kinds of shock are described below. Septic shock and toxic shock syndrome Septic shock and toxic shock syndrome are caused by bacterial infections. Cardiogenic shock Cardiogenic shock occurs when your heart cannot supply enough blood to your body, so your blood pressure drops. Other causes Other possible causes of low blood pressure are listed below. Increasing age - as you get older, your arteries can become stiffer. If they do not constrict get smaller , your blood pressure may drop, particularly when you stand up.
If your parents have low blood pressure, it is possible that you could inherit it from them. Acute Acute means occuring suddenly or over a short period of time. Anxiety Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling when you feel worried, uneasy or distressed about something that may or may not be about to happen. Depression Depression is when you have feelings of extreme sadness, despair or inadequacy that last for a long time.
Heart attack A heart attack happens when there is a blockage in one of the arteries in the heart. Kidneys Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs located at the back of the abdomen, which remove waste and extra fluid from the blood and pass them out of the body as urine. Diagnosing low blood pressure. Low blood pressure hypotension can be easily diagnosed by measuring your blood pressure. Measuring blood pressure A blood pressure reading is taken using two measurements.
Sphygmomanometer Your GP or practice nurse will use a device known as a sphygmomanometer to measure your blood pressure. What is low blood pressure? Mean arterial blood pressure As well as measuring your blood pressure, your GP or practice nurse may also calculate your mean arterial pressure MAP.
Your MAP can be calculated from your normal blood pressure reading using the following formula: Postural or orthostatic hypotension If your symptoms of low blood pressure mostly occur when you change position postural or orthostatic hypotension , then your blood pressure may be measured before and after you move. Underlying causes Your GP or practice nurse will usually be able to diagnose low blood pressure very easily.
Treating low blood pressure. Medication If you are taking medication, and your GP suspects that it may be causing low blood pressure, they will probably recommend a change of medication, or alter your dose. Underlying illnesses or conditions If your GP suspects that a disorder such as a heart condition, adrenal gland failure or a nerve condition is causing your low blood pressure, you may be referred to hospital for further tests and treatment.
Stand up gradually , particularly first thing in the morning. It may also be useful to try some other physical movements first to increase your heart rate and the flow of blood around your body. For example, stretching in bed before you get up, or crossing and uncrossing your legs if you are seated and about to stand. Wear support stockings , sometimes called compression stockings.
These are tight-fitting elastic socks or tights. They provide extra pressure to your feet, legs, and abdomen, which will help stimulate your circulation and increase your blood pressure. Raise the head of your bed , or use extra pillows under your head.
This will increase the flow of blood in your body and will also make it easier when you need to get up. Avoid caffeine at night, and limit your alcohol intake - this will help you to avoid dehydration, which can cause low blood pressure.
Lying down after eating, or sitting still for a while, may also help. Dehydrated Dehydration is an excessive loss of fluids and minerals from the body. Dose Dose is a measured quantity of a medicine to be taken at any one time, such as a specified amount of medication. Various heart disorders that impair the heart's pumping ability and reduce cardiac output include. A heart attack myocardial infarction. A heart valve disorder.
An extremely rapid heartbeat tachycardia. A very slow heartbeat bradycardia. An abnormal heart rhythm arrhythmia. Low blood pressure also occurs when the nerves that conduct signals between the brain and the heart and blood vessels are impaired by neurologic disorders called autonomic neuropathies.
When a person quickly moves from a sitting position to a standing position, blood pressure in the blood vessels to the brain decreases, resulting in a temporary sensation of lightheadedness or faintness.
This is called orthostatic hypotension. It can be more pronounced in people who are dehydrated, warm such as emerging from a hot bath , have certain illnesses, or who have been lying down or sitting for prolonged periods of time and can even cause them to faint.
In most people, the body quickly acts to increase blood pressure and prevent the person from fainting. What Happens in the Body. Antihypertensive drugs that dilate blood vessels such as calcium channel blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers.
Diuretics such as furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide. During pregnancy, pressure on the inferior vena cava the main vein that carries blood from the legs from the uterus when women lie in certain positions. Increased abdominal pressure when straining to move bowels or pass urine or when lifting heavy weights.
Antihypertensive drugs such as methyldopa and clonidine. When blood pressure is too low, the first organ to malfunction is usually the brain. The brain malfunctions first because it is located at the top of the body and blood flow must fight gravity to reach the brain. Consequently, most people with low blood pressure feel dizzy or light-headed, particularly when they stand, and some may even faint.
People who faint fall to the floor, usually bringing the brain to the level of the heart. As a result, blood can flow to the brain without having to fight gravity, and blood flow to the brain increases, helping protect it from injury.
However, if blood pressure is low enough, brain damage can still occur. Also, fainting can result in serious injuries to the head or other parts of the body. Low blood pressure occasionally causes shortness of breath or chest pain due to an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle a condition called angina. All organs begin to malfunction if blood pressure becomes sufficiently low and remains low. This condition is called shock. The disorder causing low blood pressure may produce many other symptoms, which are not due to low blood pressure itself.
For example, an infection may produce a fever. Some symptoms occur when the body tries to increase blood pressure that is low. For example, when arterioles constrict, blood flow to the skin, feet, and hands decreases. These areas may become cold and turn blue. When the heart beats more quickly and more forcefully, a person may feel palpitations awareness of heartbeats.
The doctor measures blood pressure and pulse while the person is lying down for a few minutes. If the blood pressure is not low and the person feels well, the doctor has the person stand up and rechecks the blood pressure right after standing up, and after a few minutes of standing. Other tests may be done to determine the cause of the low blood pressure, such as:.
Doctors treat the underlying cause of low blood pressure. They often also give people IV fluids if their heart can handle the extra fluid. Depending on the cause of the symptoms, doctors may recommend wearing elastic compression stockings that cover the calf and thigh to help push blood out of the veins in the legs and back up to the heart.
A tumor is any type of abnormal growth, whether cancerous malignant or noncancerous benign. Primary heart tumors are tumors that originate in the heart. Which of the following is the most common type of primary heart tumor? Tap to switch to the Professional version. As we get older, the reflexes in our circulation that keep pressure constant get slower and blood pressure can drop suddenly when you stand up; this is called postural or orthostatic hypotension.
This is a common concern, often compounded by prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, dehydration, diabetes, heart problems or the effects of certain drugs. An estimated 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 develop this problem. For older people, blood pressure may also drop immediately after eating. However, if you develop low blood pressure suddenly your physician will want to identify and treat any underlying condition that might be responsible, if one can be found.
Hypotension can be dangerous, especially if a person falls because of dizziness or fainting. Shock, a severe form of hypotension that can follow trauma and blood loss, is a life-threatening condition that is often fatal if not treated immediately. If you have acute symptoms of low blood pressure, lie down and raise your feet above the level of your heart.
Blood pressure (low)
People who do not respond well to natural solutions may want to ask their doctor about medications that help raise blood pressure. How to check your blood pressure Low blood pressure is a measurement of 90 /60mmHg or lower. × How to ease low blood pressure symptoms yourself. Find more information and articles on how to help low blood pressure ( hypotension). Ideal blood pressure is considered anything lower than /80 – the top.