Having low blood pressure is usually a good thing. With low blood pressure, you’re not putting extra stress on your cardiovascular system. But there are times when your blood pressure can drop too low. Then you have what’s called hypotension. This condition may cause you to feel faint or dizzy, especially when you stand up after being off your feet for a while. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your blood pressure up if it’s low, and there’s even a low blood pressure cure, which consists of successfully managing your symptoms.
Having low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is usually desirable and considered healthy, but when your blood pressure is too low, it’s cause for concern. A reading of less than 90/60 — 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top or systolic measurement and 60 mm Hg for the bottom or diastolic reading — translates as low blood pressure.
Hypotension, as opposed to hypertension, may not require any treatment, depending on its cause. Only a trained cardiologist, like those at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center in Manhattan can determine if your low blood pressure warrants a treatment plan. Testing for low blood pressure may include:
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force with which your blood pushes against the walls of your arteries and veins. The greater the force, the higher the pressure. A normal blood pressure reading is generally considered to be 120/80. Some causes of low blood pressure, a reading of 90/60 or lower, include:
- Endocrine problems. Suffering from ailments like adrenal insufficiency, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), parathyroid and sometimes even diabetes can cause low blood pressure.
- Heart problems. An extremely low heart rate caused by bradycardia, heart attack, heart failure and heart valve problems can cause low blood pressure.
- Being dehydrated reduces your blood volume. Less fluid lowers the amount of blood being distributed through your arteries, resulting in low blood pressure.
- Because your circulatory system is being augmented while pregnant, lower blood pressure is a common side effect.
- Blood loss. During major blood loss, resulting from a serious injury or internal bleeding, lower blood pressure is a consequence.
- Severe allergic reaction. Also known as anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction can be life-threatening when triggered. Triggers for a severe allergic reaction include foods, medications, insect venoms and latex. When suffering from anaphylaxis, you experience respiratory problems, hives, itching, swelling in your throat and a serious drop in blood pressure.
- Severe infection. Also known as septicemia, a severe infection can cause septic shock when it gets into your bloodstream. Septicemia is a potentially deadly drop in blood pressure.
- Deficit in the proper nutrients. If you aren’t getting enough of the right nutrients in your body — like B-12 and folate — your body’s limited in the number of red blood cells it can produce. This condition, called anemia, causes low blood pressure as a consequence.
How to Cure Low Blood Pressure
Once you’re diagnosed with low blood pressure, the next step is to reverse this condition as quickly as possible. You need to keep your body in a state of balance to maintain your health. The symptoms of low blood pressure are typically mild, but since they can be potentially life-threatening, consider taking necessary precautions.
Your low blood pressure treatment varies, based on the type of hypotension you have. Several ways to lower your blood pressure include:
- Adding more salt to your diet
- Increasing your water intake
- Wearing compression stockings
- Taking medications prescribed by your doctor or cardiologist in NYC
Types of Low Blood Pressure
The different kinds of low blood pressure include:
- Orthostatic/Postural Hypotension. This condition is typically characterized when your blood pressure suddenly drops when you stand up after sitting or lying down. Gravity causes your blood to pool in your legs when you stand. Your body normally responds by increasing your heart rate to counter the drop in pressure. With orthostatic/postural hypotension, your body doesn’t respond, which causes dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting and blurred vision.
- Postprandial Hypotension. This happens when you have low blood pressure after a meal. This tends to occur more in older adults. When your body functions normally, your heart rate increases to generate more blood due to the blood lost to the digestive tract during the breakdown of the food you consumed. If your heart can’t compensate, your blood pressure drops.
- Neurally Mediated Hypotension. After you’ve stood for a long period of time, your blood pressure drops when you have this condition. Children and young adults are typically the populations affected by it. It’s caused by faulty signals sent between your brain and your heart.
- Multiple System Atrophy with Orthostatic Hypotension. Referred to as Shy-Drager syndrome, this condition damages your central nervous system over time. This type of hypotension causes adverse effects to your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and digestion.
To find out what type of low blood pressure you have and get appropriate low blood pressure treatment if you need it, contact the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center for an appointment.
If you have any questions for the best in class Manhattan cardiologist or would like to schedule a consultation or appointment please feel free to contact Dr. Steven Reisman of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center and indicate which Manhattan office (Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, or Wall Street / Financial District) you would like to see the cardiologist for a fast low blood pressure treatment consultation.