Low Blood Pressure: Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Remedies

Overview

If the upper reading of your blood pressure is smaller than 90mmHg and/or your lower blood pressure reading less than 60mmHg, you have low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure is also medically known as hypotension. This seems desirable for those with high blood pressure, but hypotension could cause symptoms such as lack of energy, dizziness and fainting.

In some patients no exact cause can be found, however for others the hypotension is caused by an underlying condition, such as Addison’s disease.

The treatment for hypotension depends on the underlying cause.

Causes

In many patients, the exact cause cannot be identified even after extensive tests and exams. By contrast, hypotension in some patients may be caused by certain underlying conditions.

Long-time bed resting

This is common for patients who are bedridden.

Endocrine problems

Frequently, underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), underactive adrenal gland (Addison’s disease) would cause hypotension.

Medications

Obviously anti-hypertension medications would cause decreased blood pressure. Other medications that are used for treating hypertension may also cause hypotension as a side effect, such as antipsychotics, medications for treating Parkinson’s disease or erectile dysfunction.

Heart problems

Your heart pumps blood into your vessels to form blood pressure. So heart problems, such as slow heart rate (bradycardia), heart failure or heart attack would all cause hypotension.

Shock

Blood pressure is an essential parameter that keeps you alive. In some serious conditions, your blood pressure keeps dropping, which is a component of shock. This can occur in situations like massive hemorrhage, severe infections, traumatic injuries or allergic reactions.

Symptoms

Many patients with hypotension have no or minimal symptoms. In others the symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness;
  • Fainting or almost fainting;
  • Blurred vision or blackout.

What’s more, symptoms of the underlying causes can be also present. If your hypotension is caused by Addison’s disease, for instance, you may have symptoms of Addison’s disease, such as skin darkening.

If your blood pressure further drops, you may have shock, the symptoms of which may include:

  • Fever;
  • Rapid heart beat;
  • Cold or clammy skin;
  • Mental status changes or confusion.

In many, too low blood pressure is a harbinger of imminent death.

Diagnosis

Measure your blood pressure if you think you have low blood pressure. That would render you a diagnosis. More importantly, your doctor would do a physical examination to look for signs of an underlying condition that causes your hypotension. The entailing tests are largely dependent upon the suspected underlying conditions.

Treatment

The treatment depends on your underlying causes and clinical symptoms.

If you have no apparent clinical symptoms and no underlying cause after extensive tests, you may need no treatment.

However, if you do have symptoms, your doctor may recommend the following.

Eat more salt. In general, patients with high blood pressure should limit daily salt intake. Interestingly, eating more salt is recommended for people who have hypotension.

Drink more water. Drinking more water or getting IV drips with fluid would increase blood pressure.

Have regular exercises and avoid long-term bed resting.

If an underlying cause for your hypotension is identified, then your doctor would treat the underlying condition, and your blood pressure would increase if the underlying cause is adequately treated.

If the hypotension is caused by medications, your doctor may ask you to discontinue the medication or switch to another one without this side effect.

If Addison’s disease is found to cause your hypotension, then your doctor may treat you with glucocorticoids and fludrocortisone acetate.

If your hypotension causes serious medical problems and your doctor deems that you may have shock, then hospitalization and intensive care are needed.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.