Low blood pressure: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Blood pressure represents the pressure of blood in the walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure that is too high damages blood vessels and organ systems. Low blood pressure causes a decrease in the blood supply to the organs in the body. Sudden drop in blood pressure (also called hypotension) can cause many dangerous complications. Let’s learn about low blood pressure to have a suitable treatment through the article of Doctor Luong Sy Bac!

What is blood pressure?

Hypotension, also known as hypotension, is a sudden drop in blood pressure below 90/60 mmHg. That is, the systolic blood pressure is less than 90 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure is less than 60 mmHg. Low blood pressure has many causes with varying degrees of danger. However, most causes of low blood pressure are related to health. Especially in some groups of patients, low blood pressure can cause serious irreversible damage such as: patients with cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, family members, severe infections…first

Low blood pressure is a dangerous condition
Low blood pressure is a dangerous condition

Causes of low blood pressure

There are many possible causes of a sudden drop in blood pressure. They can be roughly classified into the following groups:first 2

Related to medical conditions

Medical conditions that can cause low blood pressure are:

1. Cardiovascular disease

This is a group of dangerous causes. Heart failure, myocardial infarction, arrhythmia, heart valve disease… can all cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. When underlying cardiovascular disease is present, hypotension is always significant. A positive approach is required to ensure patient safety.

2. Endocrine disease

Endocrine diseases directly affect blood pressure by regulating the body’s activities through hormones. The most common are hypothyroidism – parathyroid, adrenal insufficiency. Some cases of diabetes also cause a drop in blood pressure. Hypotension in this group of patients is also often an emergency and requires hospitalization for follow-up.

3. Dehydration

Water is the main structural component of blood in particular and the body in general. Physiologically, the body has response mechanisms to ensure stable blood pressure when dehydrated. However, if dehydration is severe, acute can cause a drop in blood pressure. Common causes of dehydration are: fever, vomiting, acute diarrhea, abuse of diuretics… Dehydration with low blood pressure requires hospitalization for immediate rehydration. If it is quick and timely, a full recovery can be achieved.

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4. Blood loss

Bleeding reduces blood flow causing a drop in blood pressure. The most common is major trauma that causes blood loss. In addition, severe blood loss can also be seen in obstetric hemorrhage, rupture of large blood vessels, perforation or rupture of large organs in the body… This group of diseases needs urgent blood transfusion to avoid irreversible organ damage. . Each person should know his or her blood type, so that emergency care can be given in time.

Aneurysm rupture is the cause of severe blood loss
Aneurysm rupture is the cause of severe blood loss

5. Severe infection

Septic shock is a common cause of death in patients with severe infections. The drop in blood pressure in septic shock is caused by redistribution of body fluids. That is, water remains in the body but is drawn out of the blood vessels. Thereby reducing the supply to the organs, causing multi-organ damage. Septic shock requires antibiotic therapy and adequate fluid resuscitation.

6. Anaphylactic reaction

Anaphylaxis is a common emergency. Anaphylaxis is caused by an allergy to a specific agent. Common triggers of severe allergic reactions are foods, certain drugs, insect venoms, etc. People with anaphylaxis often have difficulty breathing, allergic rashes, itching, low blood pressure, etc. Need to get medical attention right away. patients to the nearest medical facility for timely emergency treatment.

Signs of an anaphylactic reaction
Signs of an anaphylactic reaction

Drug-induced drop in blood pressure

Certain medications can cause low blood pressure, including:

  • Diuretic.
  • Medicines to treat high blood pressure. An overdose of antihypertensive drugs can cause a drop in blood pressure.
  • Drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
  • Drugs to treat Parkinson’s disease. The most common is levodopa and pramipexole-induced hypotension.
  • Certain antidepressants.
  • Medicines for erectile dysfunction. Common in the sildenafil group (Revatio, Viagra) or Tadalafil. The drug can cause a sharp drop in blood pressure if combined with vasodilators (treatment of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure).

Other hypotensive conditions

1. Postural hypotension

  • This is a sudden drop in blood pressure when changing positions. It can be standing up suddenly from a sitting position or sitting up from a lying position… When you stand up suddenly, the blood under gravity accumulates in the legs, which temporarily reduces blood flow to the heart. Normally, the body compensates by increasing heart rate and constricting blood vessels, thus ensuring preload of the heart. But in people with orthostatic hypotension, this compensatory mechanism fails to compensate and blood pressure drops.
  • The consequences can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, and even fainting.
  • Orthostatic hypotension has many different causes. Common include dehydration, prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, burns, extreme heat, large varicose veins, and certain neurological disorders.
  • Some medications can also cause orthostatic hypotension. Especially drugs used to treat high blood pressure, antidepressants, drugs for Parkinson’s and erectile dysfunction. Orthostatic hypotension is particularly common in the elderly population.
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Orthostatic hypotension increases the risk of falls in the elderly
Orthostatic hypotension increases the risk of falls in the elderly

2. Low blood pressure after meals

This drop in blood pressure occurs one to two hours after eating and occurs mainly in the elderly. Caused by blood pooling in the digestive system, causing a temporary shortage. Symptoms are often obvious in elderly patients, with low baseline blood pressure… Splitting meals, reducing carbohydrates, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol can help reduce symptoms.

3. Low blood pressure due to brain signals

Or nerve-mediated hypotension. This disorder causes a drop in blood pressure after standing for long periods of time. Most affect adults and children. The mechanism seems to occur due to miscommunication between the heart and the brain.

4. Low blood pressure due to damage to the nervous system

Damage to the autonomic nervous system disrupts blood pressure regulation.

Signs of low blood pressure

Symptoms of low blood pressure depend on the severity, the cause of low blood pressure, etc. The following signs should be noted:

  • Dizziness, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness.
  • Faint.
  • Lack of focus.
  • Blurred eyes.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Tired.
  • Excited, fast heart beat.
  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing.

Chronic hypotension is usually asymptomatic. Hypotension Acute with the above signs requires immediate emergency care. first

Signs of low blood pressure
Signs of low blood pressure

How is low blood pressure diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosing low blood pressure

In emergency cases, when there are suspicious signs, it is necessary to immediately measure blood pressure to confirm. Once hypotension has been identified, the cause of the hypotension must be investigated. Diagnosis of etiology must be based on the patient’s history, symptoms, physical examination, and laboratory tests. The total combination of new factors can provide an accurate diagnosis. The problem is very diverse, complex and needs to be done in the hospital. The role of the patient and family is to notice and detect in time.

For cases of occult orthostatic hypotension, blood pressure can be measured when changing positions. Or you can do the tilt table test. first

Tilt table test for diagnosis of orthostatic hypotension
Tilt table test for diagnosis of orthostatic hypotension

Treatment of low blood pressure

The priority is to stabilize the patient’s blood pressure. Depending on the condition, the patient can be rehydrated, blood transfusion. In severe cases, vasopressors and intravenous heart support may be required.

Once the blood pressure is stable, treatment depends on the cause of the disease. Treat each specific etiology refer to the articles on each etiology. first

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Sudden drop in blood pressure should do?

When there are signs of low blood pressure, first of all, keep calm. First aid also plays an important role in limiting complications. A few things to keep in mind:first

  • Lay the patient down slowly in a flat, low-head position.
  • If the patient is awake, the patient can be given a small amount of water to drink. If there are signs of decreased consciousness, absolutely can’t eat or drink anything.
  • Immediately contact the nearest medical facility for timely emergency treatment.
  • Check the patient’s medication, food, and condition to report back to the doctor.
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For cases of orthostatic hypotension or chronic hypotension, when resting, blood pressure will usually stabilize. However, it is still necessary to monitor and consult a doctor to be able to overcome the above situation.

see more: Tips to treat low blood pressure without medication at home

Measures to prevent low blood pressure

Some measures to prevent low blood pressure can be applied:2

  • Use more salt. Increasing salt in the diet can raise blood pressure. However, too much salt is harmful to health. Eat the right amount.
  • Drink more water. Drink enough water on average from 2 to 2.5 liters per day. Drinking coffee also contributes to high blood pressure.
  • Wear pressure socks. Medical stockings help improve blood flow from the legs to the heart.

Hypotension It is a dangerous condition that can have serious health effects. It is necessary to monitor for timely detection and intervention, especially in at-risk patient groups. Timely emergency care can limit complications and protect the patient’s health. Hopefully, Doctor Luong Sy Bac’s article can provide you with useful information!

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