Low BP: How low is too low

Today’s fast-paced and sedentary lifestyle is often accompanied by stress and a myriad of other health complications. Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the common concerns and individuals experience bouts of high BP and the aftermath are conscious about the treatment options. Given this scenario, a low BP reading is highly appreciated. However, having a low BP reading for a prolonged period might be the indicator of a subtle health condition.

So, the ultimate question is what is considered to be a low BP reading. Blood pressure reading has two numbers – systolic and diastolic pressure and 120/80 mmHg is usually considered the normal reading. While anything above 160/90 mmHg might be considered hypertension, a reading below 90/60 mmHg is considered low BP or hypotension. In general, low BP might not be alarming; still, when accompanied by other health complications, it is always wise to seek medical attention.

Causes of Low Blood Pressure:

Though it is hard to identify the exact root cause of low blood pressure, certain medical conditions, medications and other risk factors and lifestyle choices can be considered the contributing factors. Here are some of the common causes of low blood pressure.

Pregnancy: Low blood pressure is a common occurrence in women, especially in pregnant women. During pregnancy, women’s bodies undergo substantial changes. Due to the rapid expansion of the circulatory system during pregnancy, blood pressure tends to dip lower than the average normal range. In most cases, blood pressure bounces back to normal before giving birth.

Heart Problems: Heart is a vital organ essentially responsible for the entire circulatory system of the body. Any complications and ailments concerning the heart have a direct impact on the blood circulation, ultimately leading the BP to dip. Low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, heart stroke or failure are some of the key health conditions that may cause blood pressure to dip substantially low.

Severe Blood Loss: Severe blood loss due to an accident or injury is one of the major causes of low blood pressure. As sudden blood loss may make one dehydrated that will further lower the blood pressure, staying hydrated by consuming adequate fluids is medically recommended.

Infections: Septicemia is a state of chronic infection. When the infection travels down to the blood stream, blood pressure usually dips to dangerous levels. This might lead to life-threatening circumstances.

Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure

Though medical assistance might not be needed for certain low BP scenarios, it’s wise to be aware of the tell-tale symptoms. They are:

  • The feeling of excessive fatigue, sometimes, even without strenuous physical activity
  • A dip in blood pressure may make one feel dizzy and lightheaded
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensation of nausea, vomiting
  • Clammy skin
  • Lack of concentration and coordination
  • Low blood pressure for a prolonged duration may lead to depression

Potential Treatment Options:

In most of the cases, low blood pressure might not warrant extensive treatment. The treatment options vary depending on the cause of hypotension.

Some of the recommended measures are:

  • Go for a salt-rich diet. However, if the individual has hypertension and is under medication for treating the same, the salt content in the diet should be balanced
  • Consumption of an adequate level of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Avoid the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medication
  • Assume a healthy exercise and fitness regimen to boost the blood flow
  • Avoid sudden postural changes to steer clear of postural hypotension
  • To avoid dizziness, nausea and vomiting sensation, healthy, balanced and small portions of meal is advised

For more queries on low blood pressure, turn to the experts at Narayana Health, today!

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