Low blood pressure: symptoms of hypotension

Low blood pressure: symptoms of hypotension


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THE arterial hypotension it is a reduction in blood pressure – more precisely, a decrease in the amount of blood pumped by the heart. It can be occasional, but you should constantly monitor it to prevent it from becoming chronic.

  • Definition of hypotension

  • Hypotension risk factors

  • Causes of hypotension

    • Orthostatic hypotension

    • Chronic orthostatic hypotension

    • Postprandial hypotension

    • Intracranial hypotension

    • Controlled hypotension

  • Diagnosis of hypotension

  • Symptoms of hypotension

  • Hypotension treatment

  • How to prevent hypotension

Definition of hypotension

Hypotension is a reduction in blood pressure and can be related to several causes. It can be temporary or chronic and there are many risk factors that can accentuate this condition.

Elderly people are more prone to hypotension because aging generates more stiffness in the walls of blood vessels, reducing vasodilation and compromising blood circulation. In pregnant women, some pregnancy hormones cause a reduction in vascular resistance, decreasing blood pressure by two points.

People who suffer from heart problems may also have low blood pressure. Diabetics are affected by hypotension, as well as those suffering from diseases that affect the nervous system: Parkinson’s disease, Guillain-Barr√© syndrome or Shy-Drager’s disease.

Likewise, hypotension is affected by those who have insufficiency of the adrenal gland or who have undergone cortisone treatment. Patients with hypothyroidism or chronic fatigue may also suffer from this problem.

Hypotension risk factors

The consumption of alcohol or marijuana can aggravate the risk of hypotension, as well as dehydration due to exertion or physical activity and the presence in very hot environments can become important risk factors.

Causes of hypotension

In most cases, the causes of low blood pressure are not evident. However, there are some possibilities.

Orthostatic hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension is characterized by a reduction in blood pressure resulting from a sudden change in position – from sitting to standing and vice versa. In these cases, the person feels lightheaded, as the blood goes to the legs, reducing its flow to the brain. Benign, this type of hypotension does not need specific treatments. There are cases, however, where orthostatic hypotension can become chronic.

Chronic orthostatic hypotension

When orthostatic hypotension becomes chronic, it can be caused by dehydration or the ingestion of some medications, such as those that fight hypertension or erectile dysfunction, antidepressants, neuroleptics and diuretics.

Alcohol and marijuana consumption can also cause this dysfunction, as well as excessive weight loss, heart problems, adrenal gland failure, some types of allergies, thyroid and liver problems, pause in cortisone intake and pregnancy.

Postprandial hypotension

This type of hypotension usually arises after meals, when digestion generates a greater flow of blood in the stomach and intestine, causing a reduction in blood pressure in the rest of the body. This type of hypotension can be seen in the elderly and diabetics, as well as in people affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Intracranial hypotension

Intracranial hypotension is a reduction in blood pressure inside the skull, which can lead to neurological or psychological disorders.

Controlled hypotension

In some types of surgical interventions, doctors may voluntarily reduce blood pressure. This is the case for procedures on the face, as well as for brain tumor surgery.

Diagnosis of hypotension

Contrary to arterial hypertension, there is no limit value for hypotension. Generally speaking, the lower the blood pressure, the better the patient’s cardiovascular condition. Normally, low pressure is considered to be that whose maximum is below 90 mmHg.

Symptoms of hypotension

Symptoms of hypotension may include dizziness, dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, nausea, tachycardia, hearing problems, headache, vomiting and generalized tiredness.

Hypotension treatment

Hypotension that appears in a punctual manner and for short periods does not require treatment. However, chronic hypotension can be treated with medication administration. External cases call for the installation of a pacemaker, a device that raises the heart rate.

How to prevent hypotension

To avoid hypotension, it is recommended, upon waking up, to calmly get up, sit on the bed and then stand. Hydrate yourself constantly and consume alcohol in moderation are other measures. When sitting, avoid crossing your legs, as this position presses on the veins and, consequently, compromises the adequate blood flow.

Photo: © David Orcea РShutterstock.com

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