Low Blood Pressure

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There are two types of low blood pressure: postural hypotension and post-prandial hypotension, with the former being the most common form of hypotension. Low blood pressure or Hypotension may lead to serious health consequences. The autonomic nervous system controls our blood pressure, using a wide network of receptors, hormones and nerves.

The Causes

If you are keen to know about low BP, you should start with its causes. Reduced blood volume is one common reason. Hypovolemia or reduction in blood volume can be brought about by low intake of water and fluids, massive blood loss or hemorrhage, too much vomiting as well as persisting diarrhea. The use of excessive diuretics also results in reduced blood volume. This makes the body produce huge amounts of urine, which drains the body of its fluids very fast.

Decreased cardiac output also results in dipping blood pressure. The reason behind this is heart failure of some kind. This can lead to cardiogenic shock or shock that is caused by want of blood circulation. Cardiogenic shock is also caused by irregular heartbeat.

Sometimes, medicines too have to do with low blood pressure. Thus, Beta-blockers, which reduces heart rate and pumping of the heart, brings about low BP. Even over-the-counter medicines cannot be ruled out in the context of your having a low pressure.

When the constrictions of the arterioles are not sufficient, you are prone to develop low blood pressure. The condition is termed as excessive vasodilation, which is usually the outcome of a decrease in the function of the sympathetic nervous system or that of an increase in the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system brought about by an abnormality in the autonomic nervous system or a certain brain injury.

The Symptoms

Low BP firstly affects the brain. Blood has to combat with gravity to reach the brain; when the blood pressure is low, it makes you feel dizzy and you even go on to faint. You may also experience chest pain or shortness of breath, when you are having a low blood pressure, owing to the insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle. Reduced blood flow to the hands and feet may result in them turning blue.

Treatments

Fluids and minerals are used for treating low BP problems. Blood transfusions, other medications and intravenous fluids are used for treating low blood pressure.

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