What is Hypotension?
An abnormally low blood pressure is medically referred to as Hypotension. Blood pressure can be defined as the pressure that the blood flow exerts on the walls of the artery after the blood is pumped out by the heart. The blood in our body maintains a pressure in which the blood flows. A person is said to suffer from hypotension when she or he has a blood pressure, which is very low compared to that of a normal person. Hypotension is said to occur when the systolic pressure goes below 90 mmHg and diastolic goes below 60 mmHg. Hypotension is actually the opposite of hypertension which signifies abnormally high blood pressure. Hypotension is more of a physiological state rather than a true disease condition. Severely low pressure level or hypotension deprives brain and other vital organs of oxygen and essential nutrients required by them for smooth functioning resulting in a potentially serious condition called shock.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hypotension?
- Chest discomfort.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Irregular heartbeat.
- Fever greater than 101degrees.
- Neck stiffness.
- Severe and persistent upper back pain.
- Cough productive of sputum.
- Extended periods of diarrhea or vomiting.
- Pain with voiding
- Syncopal episodes
- Severe fatigue and lethargy.
- Blurring or loss of vision which is normally temporary.
For people who exercise a lot, low blood pressure or hypotension could be a sign of good health and fitness. However, for many individuals, low blood pressure or hypotension indicate serious heart, endocrine or other medical disorders.
Conditions That Can Result In Hypotension
Low vital signs are often caused by decreased blood volume, secretion changes, excessive widening of blood vessels, side effects of certain medications, anemia, cardiac issues or endocrine issues. Hypovolemia or reduced blood volume is the commonest condition which can result in hypotension. The cause of decreased blood volume is hemorrhage; dehydration or starvation. Diarrhea or a physiological reaction causing excessive fluid loss. Some of the common conditions which can result in hypotension are:
Diuretics. Prolonged use of diuretics can also result in hypotension.
Heat Stroke. Heat stroke or sun stroke can also result in hypotension. In this condition, the body might have enough fluid; however, doesn’t have the desired electrolytes. Some of the indicators of a heat stoke are lack of perspiration, lightheadedness and dark colored urine are indicators of heat stroke which is a condition that can easily result in hypotension.
Dehydration. Dehydration is a condition which can result in hypotension. Dehydration happens if the body loses a lot of water than it takes in. You may become dehydrated if you do not drink enough fluids or if you sweat a lot doing physical activity. Fever, vomiting, and diarrhea are other causes of dehydration and hypotension. Loss of fluids through diarrhea or burns results in hypotension.
Anemia. Anemia is another condition which results in hypotension. In anemia there is decrease in the level of hemoglobin due to which the body is deprived of oxygenated blood causing hypotension.
Endocrine Disorders. Endocrine conditions like thyroid disorders, glandular disorder, low blood glucose, and polygenic disorder can result in hypotension. Central system disorders such as degenerative disorder can result in hypotension.
Pulmonary embolism can also lead to hypotension.
Neurally Mediated Hypotension. Neurally mediated hypotension (NMH) is a condition which occurs when the brain and heart do not communicate with one another properly and result in hypotension.
Cardiac Conditions. Decreased blood flow ins pite of having good blood volume as a result of severe CHF, giant infarct, heart valve issues, or bradycardia all these conditions can cause hypotension.
Heart Medications. Chronic use of alpha blockers or beta blockers in cardiovascular conditions can also result in hypotension.
Spinal Cord Injury. Excessive dilation of blood vessels which can occur as a result of injury to brain or spinal cord can also result in hypotension.
Acute Infections. Other causes of excessive dilation of blood vessels are infection, acidosis or medications; all of which can result in hypotension.
Anesthesia. Many agents used as anesthetics and inhalational agents can lead to dilatation of blood vessels and ultimately cause hypotension.
Postural Hypotension. Also known as orthostatic hypotension is common kind of hypotension or low blood pressure in which an individual has symptoms of low blood pressure of he stands after sitting or lying down for a prolonged period of time.
Psychiatric Medications. Use of antidepressants and other psychiatric medications can easily result in hypotension.
Postprandial Cardiovascular Disease. This is a condition where there is forceful decline in the blood pressure after half an hour to one hour of consumption of substantial meal. After a meal, a good portion of the blood is directed towards the intestines to help in digestion and absorption. As a result, the body increases flow and peripheral constriction to keep up enough pressure to provide enough oxygenated blood to vital organs like the brain. Postprandial cardiovascular disease is normally caused by the involuntary system not fully compensating befittingly, owing to the aging process or presence of underlying disease condition which can ultimately cause hypotension.
Flammer Syndrome. Hypotension is one of the presenting feature of Flammer syndrome in which the affected individual develops cold hands and feet and becomes vulnerable to various eye diseases.
It is highly advisable to all the people who are suffering from hypotension to get an appointment with their respective doctors as soon as possible. The underlying cause of hypotension needs to be treated to treat and manage hypotension. Hypotension can be easily treated and cured with proper medications along with a healthy diet chart. Patients can easily recover and lead a healthy life and manage hypotension easily.
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