High blood pressure has always been a medical concern as it increases the likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart attack. Though not as dangerous as high blood pressure, low blood pressure can also be a reason to worry. Lower blood pressure can be beneficial to the body as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, blood pressure becoming too low can also be a severe concern, leading to shock.
When does Blood Pressure Become Low?
Blood pressure is one way to assess the health of your body. Your blood pressure is normal when it falls in the range between 120/80 and 90/60 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The top value is systolic pressure in arteries when the heart is contracting. The bottom value represents diastolic pressure in arteries when the heart is relaxed. When blood pressure falls below 90/60 mmHg, you are said to have low blood pressure or hypotension.
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
Many people suffer from asymptomatic hypotension that does not affect their quality of life. Some people develop symptoms like:
- Blurred vision
- Lack of concentration
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Pale, cold, and sweaty skin
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can be due to several reasons. These main reasons are as follows.
Prolonged Bed Rest: Lack of movement can cause your blood pressure to drop.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause anemia (low number of red blood cells), resulting in hypotension.
Postural Hypotension: Due to defects in the autonomic nervous system, the body cannot regulate blood pressure when a person suddenly stands up from a lying or sitting position.
Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH): When someone stands for an extended period, they may develop neurally mediated hypotension.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy can be a cause of hypotension as the circulatory system expands during the pregnancy.
Allergic Reaction (Anaphylaxis): Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction due to foods, medications, latex, and venom. It can cause blood pressure to become dangerously low.
Severe Infection: When an infection spreads to the bloodstream, your blood pressure may become extremely low, causing septic shock and even death.
Endocrine Issues: Adrenal gland insufficiency, parathyroid disorders, low blood sugar levels, and diabetes can cause hypotension.
Heart Issues: Heart issues, such as low heart rate, heart attack, heart failure, and problems related to heart valves, can cause a fall in blood pressure.
Low Blood Volume: A reduction in the blood volume resulting from dehydration, internal bleeding, or significant injury can cause hypotension.
Medication: Certain medications can cause a decrease in blood pressure. These drugs include diuretics (water pills), antihypertensive drugs, medicines for Parkinson’s disease, tricyclic antidepressants, and erectile dysfunction drugs, especially when taken with nitrates.
When to See a Doctor
Seek expert advice if you suffer from dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms associated with low blood pressure. These symptoms can point towards an underlying cause of hypotension and require to be evaluated by a medical professional.