Talk around blood pressure usually fixates what to do if blood pressure is too high. We know that hypertension is more typical in people with diabetes than individuals without diabetes. We also know that unchecked hypertension is a risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. The American Diabetes Association suggests a blood pressure objective of less than 140/80 for the majority of people with diabetes. But what if your blood pressure is too low? Is it cause for issue? And what do you do about it?
Low blood pressure definition
Low blood pressure is likewise called “hypotension.” You might be thinking that low blood pressure is an advantage, especially if yours tends to run on the high side. However the reality is that low blood pressure can be a severe condition for some individuals.
For individuals without diabetes, the American Heart Association suggests a blood pressure of less than 120 over 80 (composed as 120/80). Low blood pressure is generally defined as a blood pressure of less than 90/60. If your blood pressure tends to hover in that area with no symptoms, then there’s most likely no cause for issue. However if symptoms happen, that’s a signal that something is awry.
Symptoms of low blood pressure
Low blood pressure may be a sign that there’s an underlying medical condition, particularly if your blood pressure drops unexpectedly or if you have the following symptoms:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Feeling weak
- Feeling confused
- Lack of concentration
- Blurred vision
- Cold, clammy skin
- Rapid, shallow breathing
That’s quite a list. A few of the above symptoms can happen if you have, state, the flu, a stomach bug, or have actually been outside for a long period of time in hot weather. You might periodically get dizzy if you sit in a jacuzzi for a while, for instance. These are generally not signs of a severe medical issue. But if these symptoms do occur, specifically on a frequent basis, it’s crucial to look for medical assistance.
Blood pressure that drops upon standing is called orthostatic or postural hypotension. This kind of low blood pressure is common in older adults. Blood pressure that drops after consuming is called postprandial hypotension, and this type is also more typical in older adults, as well as in people who have high blood pressure or Parkinson disease.
Causes of low blood pressure
A “low” blood pressure for one person might be different for another person. To puts it simply, some individuals naturally have low blood pressure and are completely healthy. However, particular medical conditions can cause low blood pressure, including:
Pregnancy. A lady’s circulatory system broadens during pregnancy, which can cause low blood pressure
Extended bed rest. This can set off orthostatic hypotension.
Heart issues. Heart failure, heart valve issues, and cardiac arrest can decrease blood pressure.
Dehydration. Dehydration reduces blood volume, therefore reducing blood pressure.
Blood loss. Blood volume and, for that reason, blood pressure, drops as an outcome of internal bleeding or some sort of significant trauma (like remaining in a car mishap, for instance).
Endocrine problems. Thyroid disease, Addison disease, low blood glucose, and nerve damage from diabetes might lower blood pressure.
Severe infection. If an infection goes into the bloodstream, this can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure called septic shock.
Severe allergy. An allergy to medicine, foods, or, say, a bee sting can cause a drop in blood pressure, along with difficulty breathing, hives, and itching. This is called anaphylactic shock.
Medicines. Some medications can cause blood pressure to drop too low. These consist of diuretics (water pills), beta blockers (like atenolol [trademark name Tenormin] and propranolol [Inderal, Innopran XL, and more], some Parkinson disease drugs, some antidepressants, and sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis).
Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency. An absence of either of these B vitamins can cause anemia, which, in turn, can cause low blood pressure.
Dealing with low blood pressure
In some cases low blood pressure does not need to be dealt with, especially if there are no symptoms or if the symptoms are very moderate, such as a quick spell of lightheadedness when you stand. If you have any of the above-mentioned conditions that may be causing low blood pressure, your doctor needs to deal with and treat the underlying cause, such as heart failure or diabetes, or potentially alter the kind of medicine that you take. Other treatments for low blood pressure include:
- Drinking more fluids
- Adding more salt to your diet
- Avoiding or restricting alcohol
- Wearing compression stockings
- Taking specific medications, such as fludrocortisone or midodrine (Orvaten)
- Going very slowly from a sitting to a standing position
It’s also a good idea to purchase a home blood pressure screen so that you can examine your blood pressure frequently, and particularly if and when you get symptoms. Again, let your doctor know if you have symptoms of lightheadedness or fainting. Much like hypertension, low blood pressure is treatable.