Have you lately felt nauseated or dizzy and it became pretty annoying every time you are in an important work or place? You might be having hypotension or popularly known as low blood pressure. Blood pressure is the amount of force exerted in your blood vessels to pump blood to your body cells to transport oxygen and nutrients. Having low blood pressure may impair the transport of these vital chemicals in our body and leads to an array of signs and symptoms.
Generally, blood pressure is measured manually by using a sphygmomanometer or an electronic device that automatically measures your blood pressure. An average healthy man will have a blood pressure of about 120 over 80 millimeter mercury. Hypotension is medically defined as having blood pressure of systolic below 90 and diastolic below 60.
It is very essential to identify hypotension, as in chronic cases it can lead to major complications such as coma and death. There are few symptoms that you might experience when having a low blood pressure. Let’s see how many of them do you have?
Symptoms of hypotension
- Blurry vision
- Feeling of nausea
- Cold hands and feet
- Unexplained lethargy
- Shallow breathing pattern
- Unable to keep attention
If you have these symptoms regularly, you need to be concerned as these could be the early symptoms of hypotension. Now, let’s have a look at what causes hypotension?
Causes of hypotension
It is important to identify the causes of hypotension as this will help in the management of this condition. Oftenly, the causes can be summarized in the mnemonic HANDI.
- Hypovolumia. Reduction in the volume of blood from dehydration due to excessive vomiting or diarrhea could lead to loss of water from the body. Apart from that, excessive perspiration from workouts or exercise also could lead to loss of body fluids. Loss of blood from a heavy trauma or menstrual period are also reported as one of the main causes for hypotension.
- Abnormalities in the endocrine system. Any abnormalities in the thyroid glands, adrenal glands or hormones can cause fluctuations of blood pressure leading to hypotension.
- Nutrition. Insufficient nutritions especially in the form of proteins causes an imbalance in the production of heme protein which is responsible to bind oxygen gases. Reduction in these proteins leads to symptoms of hypotension.
- Drugs. Certain blood pressure lowering drugs if taken in an inappropriate doses or frequency can lead to low blood pressure.
- Idiopathic. Idiopathic simply means the reasons for it couldn’t be found. This can be due to multiple etiological factors such as prolonged standing or reduced function of heart.
How to overcome hypotension?
If it’s not really clear on what is the cause of the hypotension, the goal will be to raise the blood pressure to an appropriate range according to your health, age and sex. These are some very easy methods on raising your blood pressure to a healthy range.
- Hydrate yourself!. Always remind yourself to keep drinking lots and lots of water. As hydrating your body increases your blood volume and increases your blood pressure. If you are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea from food poisoning for instance, do visit a doctor to start your treatment.
- Consume more salt. Salt contains the chemical, sodium which is responsible to raise up your blood pressure. This is the reason why people with hypertension are restricted from consuming excessive salt. However, this may help drastically for people with hypotension. Always consult a doctor prior to increasing your consumption of salt in daily meals.
- Reduce prolonged standing. Standing too long can cause pooling of blood in your lower peripheries and hence reducing the return of blood to your heart. Rest yourself by sitting down or walking around to encourage calf muscles to pump your blood to your heart. Alternatively, you can also wear compression stockings.
- Medications. Several drugs will be prescribed by your doctor to raise blood pressure especially hypotension due to standing (postural hypotension). It works by restricting your blood vessels from dilating.
Last but not the least get regular health checkup if you are a patient of hypotension/ blood pressure and keep your diet in control.