Low blood pressure is called as hypotension. Your blood exerts pressure against your arterial walls with each heartbeat. And that pushing of the blood against the arterial walls is known as blood pressure.
Having a lower blood pressure is good in most cases (less than 120/80). But low blood pressure can sometimes cause tiredness and dizziness. In those cases, hypotension can be a sign of an underlying condition that should be cured.
Systole supplies your body with blood, and diastole supplies your heart with blood by filling the coronary arteries. Blood pressure is written with the systolic number above the diastolic number. Hypotension in adults is defined as blood pressure of 90/60 or lower.
Blood pressure is measured when your heart beats or pumps blood and in the periods of rest between heartbeats or relaxation of heart. The pressure during blood pumping through your arteries when the ventricles of the heart contract is called as systolic pressure and the pressure during the periods of rest is known as diastolic pressure.
What causes hypotension?
Everyone’s blood pressure lowers at one time or another. And, it often doesn’t cause any remarkable symptoms. Certain conditions can cause prolonged periods of hypotension that can become threatening if left untreated. Such conditions are:
- pregnancy, due to an increase in requirement for blood from both mother and the growing fetus.
- Severe blood loss because of injury
- impaired circulation due to heart attacks or defective heart valves.
- weakness and a state of shock that sometimes accompanies dehydration
- anaphylactic shock, a severe form of allergic reaction.
- bloodstream infections
- endocrine disorders like diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, and thyroid disease
Medications might also cause blood pressure to decrease. Beta-blockers and nitroglycerin are the drugs,used for rhe treatment of heart disease, are common reason behind hypotension. Diuretics, tricyclic antidepressants, and erectile dysfunction drugs can lowers blood pressure.
Some people have hypotension for unknown reasons. This form of hypotension, called chronic asymptomatic hypotension, is not generally harmful.
People with hypotension may undergo symptoms when their blood pressure decreases below 90/60. Symptoms of hypotension can have:
- clammy skin(wet or sweaty skin)
- loss of consciousness
- blurry vision
Symptoms can range in severity. Some people may be little uncomfortable, while others may feel quite sick.
Types of hypotension
Hypotension is classified into several different classifications according to when your blood pressure lowers.
Orthostatic hypotension is lowering of blood pressure that occurs during transition from sitting or lying down to standing. It is common among people of all ages.
As the body adjusts to the position change there may be a large period of dizziness. This is what some people refer to as “seeing stars(specks of light)” when they get up or quickly change their position.
Postprandial hypotension is a lowering of blood pressure that occurs just after eating. It is a type of orthostatic hypotension. Older adults, mainly those with Parkinson’s disease, are more potent to develop postprandial hypotension.
Neurally mediated hypotension happens after you stand for a long period of time. Children experience this type of hypotension more often than adults. Emotionally upsetting events can also lead to lowering of blood pressure.
Severe hypotension is associated with shock. Shock occurs when your organs don’t get the required blood and oxygen for proper functioning. Severe hypotension can be fatal if not treated immediately.
Treatment for hypotension
Your treatment will depend on the fundamental cause of your hypotension. Treatment could include medications for heart disease, diabetes, or infection.
Drink sufficient water to prevent hypotension due to dehydration, especially if you are vomiting or have diarrhea.
Staying hydrated can also help to cure and prevent the symptoms of neurally mediated hypotension. If you experience hypotension during long period of standing, make sure to take a break to sit down. and try to reduce your stress levels to prevent emotional trauma.
Treat orthostatic hypotension with slow and gradual movements. Instead of standing up quickly, work your way into a sitting or standing position using small movements. You can also prevent orthostatic hypotension by avoiding crossing of your legs when you sit.
Shock-induced hypotension is the most dangerous form of this condition. Severe hypotension must be treated quickly. Emergency personnel will give you fluids and possibly blood products to increase your blood pressure and normalize your vital signs.