Causes of Low Blood Pressure

low blood pressure causes in elderly

Low blood pressure (hypotension) would seem to be something to strive for. Nevertheless, for lots of people, low high blood pressure can trigger symptoms of dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

Although high blood pressure differs from person to person, a blood pressure reading of 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or less systolic high blood pressure (the top number in a high blood pressure reading) or 60 mm Hg or less diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is generally thought about low high blood pressure.

The causes of low high blood pressure can vary from dehydration to major medical or medical conditions. Low high blood pressure is treatable, but it’s essential to find out what’s causing your condition so that it can be effectively dealt with.

CausesĀ for Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries during the active and idle stages of each heart beat. Here’s what the numbers indicate:

  • Systolic pressure The first (leading) number in a high blood pressure reading, this is the quantity of pressure your heart creates when pumping blood through your arteries to the rest of your body.
  • Diastolic pressure. The second (bottom) number in a blood pressure reading, this refers to the quantity of pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest in between beats.

Current guidelines identify regular blood pressure as lower than 120/80 mm Hg.

Although you can get a precise blood pressure reading at any given time, blood pressure isn’t constantly the exact same. It can differ significantly in a short amount of time– often from one heart beat to the next, depending on body position, breathing rhythm, stress level, physical condition, medications you take, what you consume, and even time of day. High blood pressure is typically least expensive during the night and rises dramatically on waking.

Blood pressure: How low can you go?

What’s thought about low blood pressure for you might be regular for another person. Most physicians think about chronically low high blood pressure too low just if it causes obvious symptoms.

Some specialists define low high blood pressure as readings lower than 90 mm Hg systolic or 60 mm Hg diastolic– you need to have only one number in the low range for your high blood pressure to be thought about lower than regular. In other words, if your systolic pressure is a best 115, however your diastolic pressure is 50, you’re thought about to have lower than regular pressure.

A sudden fall in blood pressure likewise can be harmful. A modification of just 20 mm Hg– a drop from 110 systolic to 90 mm Hg systolic, for instance– can trigger dizziness and fainting when the brain cannot receive an adequate supply of blood.

And big plunges, especially those triggered by unrestrained bleeding, severe infections or allergies, can be dangerous.

Athletes and individuals who work out routinely have the tendency to have lower blood pressure and a slower heart rate than do individuals who aren’t as fit. So, in basic, do nonsmokers and individuals who eat a healthy diet and keep a normal weight.

But in some unusual instances, low high blood pressure can be a sign of major, even dangerous disorders.

Conditions that can trigger low blood pressure

Some medical conditions can cause low high blood pressure. These include:

  • Pregnancy. Since a female’s circulatory system expands quickly during pregnancy, blood pressure is most likely to drop. This is regular, and blood pressure usually goes back to your pre-pregnancy level after you’ve delivered.
  • Heart issues. Some heart conditions that can cause low blood pressure consist of incredibly low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, cardiovascular disease and cardiac arrest.

These conditions might cause low blood pressure because they avoid your body from having the ability to distribute enough blood.

  • Endocrine problems. Thyroid conditions– such as parathyroid illness– adrenal deficiency (Addison’s disease), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and, sometimes, diabetes can set off low blood pressure
  • Dehydration. When you become dehydrated, your body loses more water than it takes in. Even mild dehydration can trigger weakness, dizziness and tiredness. Fever, throwing up, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and exhausting exercise can all lead to dehydration.

Far more severe is hypovolemic shock, a dangerous complication of dehydration. It happens when low blood volume causes an unexpected drop in high blood pressure and a decrease in the quantity of oxygen reaching your tissues. If neglected, severe hypovolemic shock can trigger death within a few minutes or hours.

  • Blood loss. Losing a great deal of blood from a major injury or internal bleeding decreases the amount of blood in your body, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure.
  • Severe infection (septicemia). Septicemia can take place when an infection in the body gets in the blood stream. This condition can cause a life-threatening drop in high blood pressure called septic shock.
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Typical triggers of anaphylaxis include foods, certain medications, insect venoms and latex. Anaphylaxis can cause breathing problems, hives, itching, an inflamed throat and a drop in blood pressure.
  • Absence of nutrients in your diet. A lack of the vitamins B-12 and folate can trigger a condition where your body does not produce enough red cell (anemia), causing low high blood pressure.

Medications that can trigger low high blood pressure

Some medications you may take can likewise cause low blood pressure, consisting of:

  • Diuretics (water tablets), such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Oretic).
  • Alpha blockers, such as prazosin (Minipress) and labetalol.
  • Beta blockers, such as atenolol (Tenormin), propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL, others) and timolol.
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s illness, such as pramipexole (Mirapex) or those consisting of levodopa.
  • Certain types of antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants), including doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), protriptyline (Vivactil) and trimipramine (Surmontil).
  • Sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis), particularly in combination with the heart medication nitroglycerin.

Types of low high blood pressure

Physicians often break down low blood pressure (hypotension) into different categories, depending on the causes and other aspects. Some kinds of low high blood pressure consist of:

  • Low high blood pressure on standing up (orthostatic, or postural, hypotension). This is an abrupt drop in high blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting position or if you stand up after resting.

Normally, gravity causes blood to swimming pool in your legs whenever you stand. Your body makes up for this by enhancing your heart rate and constricting capillary, thus guaranteeing that adequate blood go back to your brain.

However in people with orthostatic hypotension, this compensating system fails and high blood pressure falls, resulting in symptoms of lightheadedness, lightheadedness, blurred vision and even passing out.

Orthostatic hypotension can take place for a variety of factors, consisting of dehydration, long term bed rest, pregnancy, diabetes, heart problems, burns, excessive heat, large varicose veins and certain neurological conditions.

A number of medications likewise can trigger orthostatic hypotension, particularly drugs used to treat hypertension– diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors– in addition to antidepressants and substance abuse to treat Parkinson’s illness and impotence.

Orthostatic hypotension is specifically typical in older grownups, with as numerous as 20 percent of those older than age 65 experiencing orthostatic hypotension.

However orthostatic hypotension can also affect young, otherwise healthy individuals who stand up unexpectedly after sitting with their legs crossed for long periods or after working for a time in a squatting position.

  • Low blood pressure after eating (postprandial hypotension). Postprandial hypotension is an abrupt drop in blood pressure after consuming. It affects mainly older grownups.

Simply as gravity pulls blood to your feet when you stand, a large amount of blood streams to your digestive tract after you eat.

Normally, your body combats this by increasing your heart rate and restricting particular blood vessels to assist keep regular blood pressure. However in some people these mechanisms fail, causing lightheadedness, faintness and falls.

Postprandial hypotension is most likely to influence individuals with high blood pressure or free nervous system conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Decreasing the dosage of high blood pressure drugs and eating little, low-carbohydrate meals might help in reducing symptoms.

  • Low blood pressure from defective brain signals (neurally moderated hypotension). This condition causes blood pressure to drop after meaning extended periods, leading to signs and symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea and fainting.

Neurally mediated hypotension mostly affects young people, and it seems to occur due to the fact that of a miscommunication in between the heart and the brain.

When you stand for prolonged periods, your blood pressure falls as blood swimming pools in your legs. Normally, your body then makes changes to stabilize your blood pressure.

However in people with neurally mediated hypotension, nerves in the heart’s left ventricle in fact signify the brain that high blood pressure is expensive, rather than too low.

As a result, the brain reduces the heart rate, decreasing high blood pressure even further. This causes more blood to pool in the legs and less blood to reach the brain, resulting in lightheadedness and fainting.

  • Low blood pressure due to nervous system damage (numerous system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension). Also called Shy-Drager syndrome, this unusual condition causes progressive damage to the free nervous system, which controls spontaneous functions such as high blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and digestion.

Although this condition can be connected with muscle tremblings, slowed movement, problems with coordination and speech, and incontinence, its main characteristic is severe orthostatic hypotension in combination with very hypertension when lying down.

References

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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