Low blood pressure and things you need to know

Low blood pressure is not too dangerous, but without being detected and treated promptly, it can lead to unpredictable consequences.

What is low blood pressure (hypotension)?

Blood pressure is an indicator of our blood’s pressure on artery walls during transport. The blood pressure index depends on the heart's pumping force, the volume of blood being pumped and the size and elasticity of the arteries.

The blood pressure index consists of two factors: The first one is systolic pressure (or maximum blood pressure), which represents the pressure produced when the heart contracts. Usually, systolic blood pressure ranges from 100-120mmHg. The second one is diastolic pressure (or minimum blood pressure), which reflects the pressure inside the arteries when the heart is resting between the two beats. Normal diastolic blood pressure ranges between 60-80mmHg.

As blood pressure drops below the normal level, which means systolic blood pressure is less than 90mmHg and diastolic blood pressure is below 60mmHg, or the blood pressure drops more than 20mmHg compared to the previous normal pressure, it’s called low blood pressure.

According to experts, low blood pressure is less dangerous and does not lead to complications like stroke or heart failure. However, it should not be disregarded, because without being detected and treated timely, low blood pressure can still cause life-threatening.

Frequent hypotension may affect the nervous system, causing damage to the brain, heart, kidney. A sudden drop in blood pressure can be a shock to a person, which is very dangerous in the case of driving, working at height or outdoor.

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Signs of low blood pressure:

- Fatigue, weakness of the body

- Headache, dizziness

- Chest pain or discomfort in the heart

- Neurological dysfunction

- Endocrine dysfunction

- Other signs: anorexia, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, increased red blood cells, leukopenia, decreased immunity (which can lead to signs of infection)…

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Common causes of low blood pressure:

- Pregnancy

- Cardiovascular problems

- Dehydration

- Volume depletion

- Excessive bleeding

- Sepsis

- Anaphylaxis

- Poor diet

- Some medicines: furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Oretic), prazosin (Minipress), labetalol, tenolol (Tenormin), propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL), timolol, pramipexole (Mirapex), doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), protriptyline (Vivactil), trimipramine (Surmontil), Sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis)…

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Treatment of low blood pressure

Many cases of low blood pressure may not cause or cause only mild symptoms such as dizziness when changing postures suddenly and usually require no treatment.

If low blood pressure causes many symptoms, the best treatment is deal with the basic causes to overcome initial health problems such as dehydration, heart failure, diabetes or hypothyroidism. If blood pressure is low due to medication, ask your doctor to adjust the dose or discontinue the medication you are taking.

If the cause of low blood pressure is unclear, the goal of treatment is to raise blood pressure and reduce symptoms. Depending on health condition and age, it is possible to use many different solutions:

- Add salt in meals

- Drink plenty of water

- Have enough sleep

- Exercise

- Take medicine

By: Dinah Gutierrez

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