Even though the risk of high blood pressure has been widely discussed, the problems linked with low blood pressure are not talked about a lot. In some individuals, they persistently live with blood pressure that is lower than the normal range and do not show any adverse symptoms.
Abrupt changes in the blood pressure that can cause it to drop to dangerous levels would surely need attention since it might indicate life-threatening problems.
What you need to know about the blood pressure
The blood pressure is the force of the blood against the walls of the blood vessels as they circulate all over the body. A blood pressure reading is expressed in two numbers. The upper number is called the systolic pressure which reveals the force of blood as the heart pumps. As for the lower number or diastolic pressure, it is the force of blood between the beats.
The optimal blood pressure reading is 120/80mmHg but can range from 90/60-130/80mmHg. If the reading hovers between 120/80-140/90mmHg, it can indicate prehypertension and requires monitoring. As for readings higher than 140/90mmHg, it indicates high blood pressure while a reading below 90/60mmHg indicates low blood pressure. Always bear in mind that a blood pressure reading that moves in either extremes can indicate health issues that must be properly assessed by a doctor. You can register for first aid training today to learn more about managing the blood pressure.
Health issues linked with low blood pressure
Even though the symptoms of low blood pressure are mild, serious episodes can cause various problems that would require medical care. A drop can trigger lightheadedness, weakness, confusion, dizziness, sleepiness, nausea or vomiting and fainting. This can increase the risk for acquiring injuries from a fall.
An abrupt low blood pressure can trigger a drop in the level of oxygen in the body that can threaten the overall health of the vital organs such as the heart and brain. Among those who have kidney failure and other chronic kidney conditions, a low systolic or diastolic reading is linked with higher risk of death.
Types of low blood pressure
- Orthostatic hypotension is triggered by switching from a lying to standing position. This kind of low blood pressure is usually brief, only lasting for a few seconds.
- Post-prandial orthostatic hypotension occurs when the individual stands up shortly after eating a meal.
Dehydration, pregnancy, anemia, Parkinson’s disease and irregularities with the heart rhythm can cause low blood pressure. In adults and children, they can experience neurally-mediated hypotension which occurs after long periods of standing. In some cases, low blood pressure can be induced by certain medications.
Among those with sepsis which is type of serious infection, there is a concern that antibiotic treatment can contribute to the low blood pressure but further study is required to prove this. Those who are using calcium channel blockers along with certain antibiotics can suffer from hypotension.
Prevention and treatment for low blood pressure
When it comes to orthostatic hypotension not connected to any underlying condition, the prevention and treatment is to observe proper hydration, instructing the individual to rise slowly to standing position and eating small meals that are low in carbohydrates.
As for neurally-mediated hypotension, the individual should limit time spent in standing. When it comes to severe low blood pressure associated with trauma and shock, it would require emergency care.