Low blood pressure
Low blood pressure is medically known as hypotension. Technically, you are said to have low blood pressure when your systolic pressure (upper reading) falls below 120 mmHg and the diastolic pressure (lower reading) is less than 80 mmHg. However, according to doctors systolic pressure of 90 mmHg or lower and diastolic pressure of 60 mmHg or lower characterize low blood pressure. If your blood pressure falls below this levels, it may restrict blood flow to the brain and other vital organs leading to various health complications.
In many cases medical conditions occur along with low blood pressure. Some of these medical conditions that occur with or cause low BP are –
Here is detailed information on 6 causes of low blood pressure or hypotension.
The common signs and symptoms you may expreince if suffering from low blood pressure are -
- Excessive thirst
- Constant palpitation
- Blurred vision
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The only way to know whether you have low blood pressure is to get it measured. The physician will measure your blood pressure with an instrument called sphygmomanometer. The normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg.
Low blood pressure as such may not require treatment but if it is associated with any other disorder, your doctor will address that condition as first line of treatment.
In general, you can raise your blood pressure to normal levels by –
- Using more salt in your diet to increase sodium intake (but check with your doctor first);
- Drinking more water to prevent dehydration;
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake especially at night;
- Eating small, frequent meals;
- Getting out of bed or get up from the chair slowly;
- Avoiding going out in extreme heat conditions;
- Being physically active
There are alternative therapies to normalize your blood pressure such as -
Yoga such as Ardha Matsyendrasana, Paschimotasana, and Bhastrika Pranayam are good for managing blood pressure irregularities and especially hypotension issues.
Acupressure is believed to be a holistic approach that heals low blood pressure. Gentle massaging of the reflex points in your hands and feet by a certified reflexologist can raise low blood pressure.
Herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, Ashwagandha, ginkgo and garlic may also help in normalizing blood pressure. There are homeopathic remedies for low blood pressure also. But remember to consult only a registered homeopathic doctor for treatment.
Just like any other disease if low blood pressure is not treated timely, it can cause complications. Long term damage to the brain, heart and other organs can occur if low blood pressure is severe and untreated.
Hypotension in pregnancy can cause complication such as stillbirth. Read more about complications of low blood pressure.
Apart from medication and other pharmacological ways to treat hypotension, you can try these expert tips to prevent low BP in future.
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Lie down with you head elevated
- Be careful while standing
- Exercise regularly
- Optimize salt intake
Here is detailed information on 6 lifestyle tips to prevent low blood pressure.