What is Low Blood Pressure

Causes of Low Blood Pressure

Hypotension

What is low blood pressure: Here is what Dr Lee has to say

“... pressure tends to be lower if less blood is being pumped into the arteries ...

There’s no shortage of information out there about hypertension or high blood pressure, but when ‘hypotension’ is mentioned, many people ask: what is low blood pressure? Internal medicine specialist and resident at the UCLA Medical School Dr Dennis Lee explains

low blood pressure or hypotension is when the force exerted on the walls of blood vessels is less than average. .. pressure tends to be lower if less blood is being pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are larger and more flexible and... have less resistance...”

Because blood vessels become less flexible as a person ages, low blood pressure is a problem in people of all ages, not just the elderly

How Serious is Hypotension?

Low blood pressure is different from high blood pressure in that it can be measured by its symptoms. Hypertension can often be symptomless and only detected with a blood pressure monitor. Hypotension, on the other hand, cannot necessarily be measured in terms of diastolic and systolic blood pressure ratings.

Low blood pressure itself isn’t always a bad thing! The British Health Organisation say that many people who live very healthy and active lifestyles are likely to have a lower than average blood pressure, and it doesn’t cause them any harm. Avoiding harmful substances like nicotine and fatty foods is another sure fire way to keep your blood pressure low, and low blood pressure can be inherited from your parents.

There comes a point, however, when your blood pressure is too low, which is when you start to experience symptoms. The symptoms of low blood pressure tend to be easily confused with other medical disorders and even signs of stress or over working. Your blood exists primarily to carry oxygen around the body, which is essential for your organs to operate correctly. With blood pressure that is too low, your brain may not be getting enough oxygen, which causes dizziness and faintness especially after sudden movements. Fatigue can also be a sign of low blood pressure.

What Causes Low Blood Pressure?

The three most natural causes of abnormally and dangerously low blood pressure are dehydration, inflammation of organs, and internal bleeding. This is why if your GP finds that you have low blood pressure they are likely to run further tests in case it is a symptom of something more serious. Various heart complications such as tachycardia and a weakness of the muscles of the heart also contribute towards low blood pressure.

Don’t forget that an existing medication you are taking might be causing hypotension, especially those designed to slow your body down.

Here’s a quick list of a few of the worst offenders, but remember that all medications which may lower your blood pressure should warn you on the packet.

  • Anti Depressants
  • Beta Blockers
  • Diuretics used to expel water from the body
  • Alcohol and drugs that are known to be sedatives

If you’re experiencing the symptoms of low blood pressure, it’s important to speak to your GP. Hypotension is as much a symptom of other health factors as it is a disease itself.

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