Ever experienced an unexplained onset of dizziness or your vision going blurry? Or you are sitting down and to answer a phone call you suddenly get onto your feet and experience a loss of balance like the world just toppled over? Either of the two could be an indication that you could be suffering from low blood pressure. Just as in the case with high blood pressure, undetected low blood pressure can also be dangerous for you if timely intervention is not met out with especially when it goes too low. Let us take a look at how we can identify and tackle the problem of low blood pressure to stay healthy and safe.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension or low blood pressure refers to the situation where a lessened or inadequate flow of blood to the heart, brain, and other vital organs is caused leading to certain signs and symptoms which are warning signs that could call for medical attention. Generally, low blood pressure may not cause much harm and most of the time it could go undetected but when the symptoms get severe that’s when you need to spring into action without any delay. Ideally, a healthy person’s blood pressure rages from 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg. Normally low blood pressure only requires a doctor’s periodic monitoring and a reading up to 90/60mmHg causes no reason to panic. A cause for worry occurs only when abnormally low readings are recorded.
Low Blood Pressure Types
Various types of low blood pressure are as follows:
- Postural or hypotension – this type of low blood pressure is seen more amongst the aged folk. Caused by suddenly changing one’s posture from sitting or lying down to a standing position in an abrupt manner. This causes sudden dizziness, blurred vision and in some cases, the person faints owing to a reduction in the blood supplied to the brain. Diabetics, pregnant women, bedridden patients, heart patients, certain types of medications like those used in the treatment of Parkinson’s and depression all may lead to postural low blood pressure. Some young people also experience orthostatic hypotension.
- Neurally mediated hypotension – seen more commonly in youngsters and children, this type of low blood pressure is caused owing to standing for long periods where miscommunication of signals between the brain and the heart is deemed as the factor causing a drop in blood pressure.
- Postprandial hypotension – often occurs in adult folk and is caused after eating a heavy meal. It is commonly found in adults already having high blood pressure which causes them to become dizzy and fall. Some people with Parkinson’s disease also experience postprandial hypotension.
- System atrophy cum orthostatic hypotension – this rare disease is also termed as Shy-Dagger syndrome which causes a continuous deterioration of the autonomic nervous system. Seen in people having extreme cases of high blood pressure. Such people experience the onset of sudden low pressure due to damages caused to the nervous system.
Common Causes and Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
Some common causes of low blood pressure include being bedridden for long periods, pregnancy, allergic reactions, certain types of infections, heart diseases, certain types of medications, a nutrient-deficit diet, and a decrease in blood count. In most cases, one needs not to panic in case the blood pressure drops but certain symptoms need to be observed and examined, some require immediate medical attention. These are:
- Vision going blurred
- Unable to focus
- Breathing difficulty
- Increase in body heat
- Weakening of pulse
- Profuse perspiration
- Skin tone taking a bluish tinge.
Remedies And Tips to Raise Low Blood Pressure
Following certain remedies can help one to keep their blood pressure under check and avoid the occurrence of low blood pressure. They are:
- Consumption of a balanced diet – when the body is deprived of adequate amounts of essential nutrients like vitamin B-12, iron, folic acid, etc. it can lead to anemia. This in turn can result in low blood pressure. To substitute the nutrient loss, consult with the doctor and he may recommend supplements.
- Keep yourself well hydrated – when the body gets dehydrated it can lead to low blood pressure. People who have diarrhea, ones who experience excessive sweating, etc. tend to get dehydrated and get hypotension. To avoid the same drink plenty of water and stay hydrated at all times.
- Check your salt intake – the sodium in salt helps to increase the blood pressure level. Check with the doctor for adequate amounts and ensure not to add too much salt to your food to avoid high blood pressure and related problems. It is best advised to avoid processed salty food and consume healthy, organic food.
- Avoid heavy meals – in some older adults, binge eating and consuming heavy meals can sometimes cause low blood pressure. So doctors always advise older blood pressure patients to consume balanced, smaller meals with reduced carbohydrates.
- Say no to alcohol consumption – alcohol consumption may cause dehydration which in turn poses the risk of low blood pressure.
- Keep a periodic check on your thyroid – when the body produces fewer thyroid hormones it can lead to a condition called hypothyroidism. This can lead to low blood pressure. Doctors usually prescribe medicines to patients of hypothyroidism and to keep a check on their nutrient intake and make necessary changes.
- Take prescribed medications on time – If the doctor has prescribed medicines for your low blood pressure, ensure to take them on time.
- Get medical help on the onset of infections – serious infections can lower blood pressure levels. To avoid the same get timely medical help and strictly adhere to the doctor’s instructions to avoid complications.
- Keep handy compression stockings – they help to prevent blood from collecting in your legs which relieves orthostatic or postural hypotension.
- Keep a check on blood sugar levels – high sugar levels in the blood can cause low blood pressure. Diabetics should always keep track of their blood sugar levels periodically. Consult with your doctor, make necessary changes to the diet and take prescribed medications to avoid dropping of blood pressure levels.
Food That Can Help People With Low Blood Pressure
Keeping a check on one’s diet and consuming certain types of food can help alter the low blood pressure issues in people. Food recommended for the same are:
- Increase fluid intake to avoid dehydration as it may lead to low blood pressure. Those with a low bp problem who regularly workout should especially increase fluid intake as profuse sweating may cause their blood pressure to go low owing to dehydration.
- Consume food rich in vitamin B-12 like eggs, meat, nutritional yeast, and fortified cereals.
- Consume salty food when symptoms of low blood pressure sets in. canned soup, cottage cheese, pickles, smoked fish, etc are the kinds to be considered.
- Caffeine is known to activate the cardiovascular system which in turn boosts the heart rate. This helps to raise the blood pressure level. Coffee and tea consumption will help to compensate for the same.
- Lack of folate can lead to anemia so consuming food rich in the same helps to avoid the onset of low blood pressure. Asparagus, green beans, citrus fruits, lentils, liver, etc all help to increase folate content.
- Reducing carbohydrate intake would benefit those with low blood pressure. Processed carbs can especially lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure levels and this mainly helps aged folk.
Bearing in mind that a low blood pressure count in most cases is nothing to worry over but keeping a check on it periodically will do no harm. Those who have low blood pressure problems in their genes may want to practice caution in this regard as well as the ones with underlying health conditions like diabetes, heart problems, etc. As in most cases, diet plays a major role in controlling all and most of our health-related problems so make sure to consume a nutrient-enriched balanced diet, keep a check on symptoms if any and follow the guidelines set forth by healthcare professionals and rest assured one can surely live healthily and content keeping their low blood pressure issues at bay.