Diseases

Low Blood Pressure

Vascular disease

In case of low blood pressure, the average upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) pressure are below specific values. This causes symptoms, such as dizziness, fatigue and fainting. The blood flow, and hence the supply of oxygen and nutrients in the body, becomes less efficient. Low blood pressure is not formally regarded as a disease, as opposed to high blood pressure.


Cause

There are several possible causes that can lead to low blood pressure:


Symptoms

People with low blood pressure have to deal with a wide range of symptoms. The most common signs and symptoms are:

Not all symptoms occur in all cases. There are also patients who experience no symptoms, but who are nevertheless diagnosed for low blood pressure during an examination.


Diagnosis

Low blood pressure can easily be determined with a blood pressure meter (sphygmomanometer). The condition is often found by chance when blood pressure is measured for another reason, for example in an assessment. This will have no consequences then. Sometimes, blood pressure is measured when there are symptoms of dizziness and fainting.


Treatment

If low blood pressure causes no problems, it doesn’t need to be treated. In case of dehydration, it’s important to drink sufficiently and to use salt, for example in the form of ORS. This is a liquid that contains salt and sugar. The use of medications should possibly be adjusted. In case of dizziness and fainting, ensure an adequate flow of blood to the brains. This can be done by lying down with the legs raised. Or by sitting and squeezing the head between the knees. This way, one recovers quickly.

When a change of lifestyle doesn’t help, a doctor may also choose to prescribe medications in order to regain a healthy blood pressure.

Low blood pressure due to a shock is a medical emergency situation. Then, emergency admission is required for treatment in a hospital.


Prognosis

The prognosis for people with low blood pressure is depending on the underlying cause of the condition. Chronic low blood pressure is usually not serious. However, if low blood pressure is caused by serious underlying diseases, such as multiple system atrophy or particular types of cancer, the prognosis is often less optimistic. Low blood pressure that occurs during a shock is life-threatening.


Considerations


Facts


Synonyms

Hypotension


See also

Cancer

High Blood Pressure

Stress

Vertigo

Blood Pressure Measurement

Alcohol

Healthy Food

Physical Exercise

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