Understanding low BP: What do the doctors say?

Blood pressure is one of the most crucial vitals of the human body. A fluctuation in it may lead to mild to severe health conditions. So, it is important to understand what is the normal range of blood pressure and when it can be referred to as low blood pressure.

To start with, a blood pressure measurement appears as two readings, one is the systolic blood pressure and the other is diastolic blood pressure. For instance, if a blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg than 120 is referred to as the systolic blood pressure and 80 as the diastolic. If you are looking for a deeper understanding, systolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating and actively engaged in blood circulation. On the contrary, diastolic pressure is the pressure in the arteries when the heart takes rest between subsequent beats.

While 120/80 mmHg is considered the normal reading, some might wonder what is low blood pressure. Blood pressure less than 90/60 mmHg is considered low blood pressure. In medical terms, low blood pressure is referred to as hypotension. Low blood pressure without any auxiliary health conditions might be normal for individuals. However, if there are other complications associated with the fluctuation in BP, then immediate medical assistance should be considered.

Causes of low blood pressure

Before we look for diagnosing low BP symptoms and delve into the treatment and precautionary space, let’s first understand what causes low blood pressure.

Some of the common causes of low blood pressure are:

  • Pregnancy: Low blood pressure is a normal occurrence in pregnant women and is often not a concern in most of the cases. In fact, high blood pressure is considered to cause complications in pregnancy.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism may also lead to a dip in the normal blood pressure levels.
  • Medicines: At times both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines may cause low blood pressure.
  • Heart-related Ailments: Heart failure and irregular heartbeat may also cause a dip in the blood pressure. Excessive exhaustion of the heart or the scenarios of a mild to severe stroke may cause low blood pressure.
  • At times, some forms of liver-related ailments also lead to low blood pressure.
  • Widening of blood vessels may also lead to fluctuations in blood pressure.

There are certain situations in which the blood pressure level dips substantially and suddenly. This may be a life-threatening situation and emergency medical care must be sought after.

Some of the common causes that lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure are:

  • Low/high body temperature
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Heart failure
  • Sepsis, often referred to as a severe case of blood infection
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea, or fever-induced dehydration
  • Anaphylaxis – a chronic allergic reaction that may lead to arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat

 Low blood pressure is at times associated with a sudden change in posture, standing up or sitting down suddenly. This is referred to as postural hypotension and can be attributed to dehydration, lack of food or excessive fatigue. Some of the other contributing factors to postural hypotension are ageing, prolonged usage of medication, dietary, genetic and psychological factors.

What does the doctor say?

Despite the advancements in the medical space, the actual causes of hypotension are yet to be figured out and there are no specific treatment options to cure low blood pressure. However, doctors and medical professionals advise on taking precautionary measures to control the signs and symptoms of hypotension.

Here are some of the doctor-advised measures:

  • In normal circumstances, excess salt in the diet is not advised as it may raise the blood pressure drastically. However, in the cases of hypotension, a salty diet is recommended to bring the blood pressure to normal.
  • Drinking more water can eliminate the risk of dehydration and improves blood volume. This can be effective in treating the symptoms of hypotension.
  • Certain medications and the use of stockings to avoid pooling of blood in the lower limbs are also advised to keep the symptoms of hypotension under check.

For further queries on low blood pressure or hypotension, do get in touch with the experts at Narayana health, today!