Is Low Blood Pressure Dangerous?
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Blood pressure can differ from person to person. A lower blood pressure for one person can be normal for another. The terms ‘low blood pressure’ or ‘hypotension’ is used when the systolic blood pressure is lower than 90 mm Hg (millimeters of Mercury and the diastolic blood pressure is lower than 60 mm Hg. Having a low blood pressure may or may not cause life-threatening problems. The symptoms also vary from person to person.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Lifestyle problems can be one of the greatest causes of low blood pressure. Having a family history of low blood pressure can also be one of the causes. The different reasons are as follows:
During the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, having a low blood pressure is common. As the body undergoes a lot of changes during this time, the blood vessels expand which causes a drop in the blood pressure. However, after the birth of the child, the blood pressure usually tends to go back to normal (pre-pregnancy levels).
Water is an important component in our bodies. If the body is dehydrated, the content of water in the blood lowers which causes hypotension or low blood pressure. There are several reasons for dehydration - vigorous exercise, low fluids intake, diarrhoea, vomiting, etc.
- Heart conditions
Another cause of low blood pressure is several heart diseases. Bradycardia (low heart rate), heart failure, myocardial infarction or heart attack, or heart valve diseases are responsible for hypotension.
Oftentimes, people suffering from low blood sugar suffer low blood pressure too. Hypoglycemia tends to cause thinning of blood which results in hypotension.
- Blood loss
Huge amounts of blood loss can also be the cause of low blood pressure. When the blood level is already low, conditions like menstrual bleeding tend to cause low blood pressure in the person. Internal bleeding is yet another cause.
- Improper diet
Low intake of folate, iron and vitamin B-12 can also cause hypotension. Deficiency of such nutrients can cause low production of red blood cells in the body which in turn causes low blood pressure.
Low Blood Pressure Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms of hypotension or low blood pressure are as follows:
- Blurring or dimming vision
- Weakness and fatigue
- Frequent fainting
- Cold/clammy skin
Low blood pressure can also be a cause of an underlying disease, such as:
Nervous disorders like Parkinson's Disease
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Liver diseases
- Nutritional diseases
- Alcohol abuse
In young people, asymptomatic low blood pressure does not cause any major problems. Light dizziness and headache are the most common symptoms of low blood pressure. Therefore, it does not require any immediate medical treatment. However, in case of elderly patients, it can be a sign of some underlying disease. A proper diagnosis is very important in this case.
If a person is facing any of the above mentioned symptoms, they may require immediate treatment, especially if they are elderly. Diseases like Parkinson's disease or liver disease can be the cause of low blood pressure. Several lifestyle changes can treat low blood pressure naturally. For example:
- Having a healthy diet
- Regular exercise/yoga
- Staying hydrated
- Avoiding alcoholic drinks
Understanding the condition of hypotension is important now-a-days. Low blood pressure is a treatable condition with no life-threatening risks involved. Most of the time, having a low blood pressure is not recognised unless the common symptoms like dizziness or headache start showing. Even so, it is not a problem for young people. However, in elderly patients, this can be an underlying cause of another disease. Timely and proper diagnosis can detect such diseases and can be treated.