Usually, low blood pressure does not have many visible symptoms the way high blood pressure, hypertension does. As long as low blood pressure does not have any visible signs, it is a mild case and could be attributed to prolonged time between meals, or too much sweating.
Low blood pressure is a cause for concern when symptoms manifest and persist over a prolonged period. The main symptoms of seriously low blood pressure include:
Prolonged loss of pressure or an abrupt dip in pressure can cause an imbalance in the working of the blood circuitry. The sudden change in pressure could cause a feeling of dizziness and can even lead to a loss of consciousness, which can be prevented provided you are aware of how to increase blood pressure.
2. Blurry Vision
This is especially common when you stand up after sitting or lying down for a long period. If you are experiencing low blood pressure, then your vision might suddenly blackout or become blurry. This usually clears up after a few seconds.
Nausea due to low blood pressure happens when the pressure drops suddenly. A cause for concern with low blood pressure is chronic nausea, which occurs due to repeated imbalance in pressure caused by changes in posture.
4. Weakness and Pale Skin
With low blood pressure, the speed with which blood flows through the body is compromised. This causes the organs to function at a less than optimal level, leading to the overall weakness of the body and pale skin.
5. Trouble Concentrating
When the blood flow to the brain slows down, it directly impacts its functioning. Cognitive impairment could be a sign of chronic low blood pressure. You might have trouble paying attention or processing information if you have low blood pressure.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Since high blood pressure is more commonly spoken about, most of us are aware of its causes. However, not many are aware of what exactly causes low blood pressure or how to increase blood pressure.
The more common causes of blood pressure include:
1. Heart Diseases
Heart attacks and other types of heart diseases directly affect the beating of the heart. During a heart attack, depending on the type, the heartbeats become slower or faster. A slow beating of the heart is called bradycardia. Low output heart failure happens when the heart has become so weak that it cannot pump blood adequately. Since this type of heart failure commonly causes low blood pressure, it is important to know how to increase BP in case of emergencies.
2. Postural Hypotension
Medically called orthostatic hypotension, postural hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure while changing positions from lying down to being seated or vice versa. The decrease in pressure causes lightheadedness and can even lead to the person losing consciousness. Dehydration, lack of food for a long period, or prolonged lying down can lead to postural hypotension.
Pregnancy can have a lot of influence on a woman’s blood pressure. The experience of carrying a baby leads to a lot of changes internally in the body. The circulatory system in a woman’s body expands to include that of her child during pregnancy. This expansion could lead to a drop in blood pressure as the heart slowly adjusts to the change.
Generally, low blood pressure is not a cause for concern; however, if the pressure drops to extremely low levels or is consistently low, it could lead to falls and/or low birth weight of the baby. Consult a gynecologist in case of an emergency.
4. Neurological Causes
The brain is the epicenter that controls all the functions of the body. A miscommunication of signals between the heart and the brain could cause a drop in blood pressure.
After sitting down or standing for a long time, you change positions, the signal from the brain, and the speed with which the heart regulates the blood flow could lead to a sudden drop in blood pressure. This sudden drop could lead to nausea and dizziness.
5. Deficiency in Diet
One of the leading causes of hypotension is a lack of proper nutrition in the regular diet. Vitamin B12 is an essential component of your diet and plays a critical role in the health of the nervous system and the production of red blood cells. Although this deficiency is mostly found in the elderly, it could still hit even the younger generation, especially those on vegan diets.
6. Allergic Reactions
Mild allergic reactions might cause itchiness and rashes on the skin. These can usually be treated with topical ointments and over the counter prescription medicines. However, a severe allergy could lead to anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylactic shock causes a sudden surge of chemicals into the immune system, which causes your airways to narrow and leads to low blood pressure. They need to be treated in a hospital.
7. Hormonal Issues
The adrenal gland that is situated on top of the kidneys holds the necessary hormones for survival. The hormone cortisol, which controls the flight or fight response, is secreted by the adrenal glands. Any disturbance in the functioning of the gland disturbs the circulatory system’s overall functioning, which could lead to low blood pressure.
Can Coronavirus disease cause low blood pressure?
The double mutation COVID virus is reportedly evading RT-PCR tests in the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in India, causing many false negatives. People who get affected by the double mutation COVID virus are suffering from several new symptoms like conjunctivitis, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and hearing loss in addition to the old symptoms. Patients who have mild symptoms have been advised to home quarantine while patients with severe symptoms and those with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension require hospitalisation.
Additionally COVID in India proves even more lethal to patients with hypertension as it causes their blood pressure to drop drastically, developing further severe complications such as kidney injuries. Having low blood pressure can be detrimental in COVID treatment as it may not supply enough oxygen to the other organs which may cause a deadly shock.
Effects of Low Blood Pressure
Sudden low blood pressure could be caused by stress, prescribed medicines or even hunger. Low BP becomes a cause for concern only when it persists over a long period, or if a person experiences low blood pressure very frequently.
Immediate action is taken by doctors or medical professionals only when the low blood pressure causes repeated bouts of nausea, dizziness, and fainting. Loss of consciousness could lead to falling down and getting injured, which could lead to other complications.
“Low blood pressure is relatively low risk when compared to high blood pressure. You can increase blood pressure to normal levels by keeping yourself hydrated, including more salt in your diet and eating small meals every few hours. In severe cases where your blood pressure is still not reaching an optimal level, your doctor might prescribe certain medication.”
– Dr. Pragnya Rao, General Physician
– Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, trouble concentrating, weakness, and nausea.
– If you notice these symptoms occurring frequently, you should visit a doctor to get your blood pressure checked and find out how to increase your BP.
– Chronic low blood pressure impacts all the body’s routine functions, so it’s essential you get treatment for it.
You can consult a good cardiologist online on MFine!