Categories: Blood Pressure

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension): A Guide to Treatment

What is Hypotension:

Hypotension is low blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. A systolic blood pressure of less than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or diastolic of less than 60 mm Hg is generally considered to be hypotension.Most of the times they are detected when the blood pressure is checked with a sphygmomanometer.

Some people have low blood pressure all the time, and it is normal for them. It is also seen sometimes in healthy pregnancy.

It can manifest as dizziness(light headedness), sweating, fainting(syncope), blurred vision, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration. When associated with Confusion(especially in older people),Cold clammy pale skin, Rapid- shallow breathing, Weak and rapid pulse it may signal a serious and life-threatening condition.

Hypotension can be seen due to dehydrartion, loose motions. Hypotension is also commonly seen secondary to underlying conditions like being on drugs (for hypertension, heart failure, angina, post heart attack, prostate problems) Hypothyroidism, vasovagal syncope,  etc.

Serious forms of hypotension may be seen in conditions associated with blood Clots  in veins or lungs, cardiovascular diseases, Anemia, blood loss( both internal or external), severe form of infection, anaphylaxis(serious type of  allergy).

It is imperative to diagnose the underlying condition so corrective steps can be taken.

How to treat Hypotension:

Find the cause and take corrective actions

Making amends to adopt a healthy and nutritious diet drastically helps in the treatment of Hypotension. In this, the patient is advised to imbibe certain changes depending on the severity of the condition, pre-existing complications, reaction to certain food etc.

The most common suggestions are:
  1. Staying hydrated: Constantly drinking water reduces the stress on the kidneys and helps the heart regulate blood flow in the body.
  2. Reducing the consumption of alcohol: Please consult a physician to discuss in detail the amount and frequency at which alcohol can be consumed.
  3. Increasing the intake of sodium helps increase the rate at which blood flows through the blood vessels.
  4. A few lifestyle changes that can help manage the symptoms of dizziness and fatigue that are caused by Hypotension. They are:
    • Using compression stocking while walking and running
      *Avoid standing for more than 20 to 30 at a time. Alternating between standing and sitting helps.
    • Do not get out of bed swiftly or in a jerky motion
    • After waking up from a nap or sleep, sit up and take in a few deep breaths before getting up.

Sometimes medications may be prescribed for the condition after detailed evaluation.

Dr. Srikanth K V | Consultant, Cardiologist – Cardiology – Adult, Heart Transplant | Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Bommasandra

Narayana Health

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