why do we have low blood pressure

Postural hypotension is considered a failure of the cardiovascular system or to react appropriately to sudden changes. Normally, when you stand up, some blood pools in your lower extremities. Uncorrected, this would cause your blood pressure to fall. But your body normally compensates by sending messages to your heart to beat faster and to your blood vessels to constrict. This offsets the drop in blood pressure. If this does not happen, or happens too slowly, postural hypotension results and can lead to fainting. The risk of both low and normally increases with age due in part to normal changes during aging. In addition, blood flow to the heart muscle and the
declines with age, often as a result of plaque buildup in blood vessels. An estimated 10% to 20% of people over age 65 have postural hypotension. What Causes Low Blood Pressure? The cause of low blood pressure isn't always clear. It may be associated with the following: Hormonal problems such as an underactive ( ), or ( Some over-the-counter Some prescription medicines such as for, Widening, or dilation, of the blood vessels or What Causes a Sudden Drop in Blood Pressure? Sudden drops in blood pressure can be life-threatening. Causes of this type of hypotension include: Low, a severe Severe from, or fever A В called Who Gets Postural Hypotension? Postural hypotension, which is low blood pressure when standing up suddenly, can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons, such as, lack of food, or being overly fatigued.


It can also be influenced by genetic make-up, aging, medication, dietary and psychological factors, and acute triggers, such as infection and. How low is too low for blood pressure? Within certain limits, the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better. There is also no specific number at which day-to-day blood pressure is considered too low, as long as none of the symptoms of trouble are present. Symptoms of low blood pressure Most doctors will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as: Dizziness or lightheadedness Nausea Fainting ( ) Dehydration and unusual thirst Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration (a loss of as little as 1 percent to 2 percent of body weight) can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Lack of concentration Blurred vision Cold, clammy, pale skin Rapid, shallow breathing Fatigue Depression Underlying causes of low blood pressure Prolonged bed rest Pregnancy During the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, it s common for blood pressure to drop.


Decreases in blood volume A decrease in blood volume can also cause blood pressure to drop. A significant loss of blood from major trauma, dehydration or severe internal bleeding reduces blood volume, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure. Certain medications A number of drugs can cause low blood pressure, including diuretics and other drugs that treat hypertension; heart medications such as beta blockers; drugs for Parkinson s disease; tricyclic antidepressants; erectile dysfunction drugs, particularly in combination with nitroglycerine; narcotics and alcohol. Other prescription and may cause low blood pressure when taken in combination with. Among the heart conditions that can lead to low blood pressure are an abnormally low heart rate ( ), problems with, and. Your heart may not be able to circulate enough blood to meet your body s needs. Endocrine problems Such problems include complications with hormone-producing glands in the body s endocrine systems; specifically, an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), parathyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency (Addison s disease), low blood sugar and, in some cases, diabetes. Septic shock can occur when bacteria leave the original site of an infection (most often in the lungs, abdomen or urinary tract) and enter the bloodstream. The bacteria then produce toxins that affect blood vessels, leading to a profound and life-threatening decline in blood pressure.


Allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) Anaphylactic shock is a sometimes-fatal allergic reaction that can occur in people who are highly sensitive to drugs such as penicillin, to certain foods such as peanuts or to bee or wasp stings. This type of shock is characterized by breathing problems, hives, itching, a swollen throat and a sudden, dramatic fall in blood pressure. Unlike orthostatic hypotension, this disorder causes blood pressure to drop after standing for long periods, leading to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and fainting. This condition primarily affects young people and occurs because of a miscommunication between the heart and the brain. A lack of the essential vitamins B-12 and folic acid can cause anemia, which in turn can lead to low blood pressure. If you notice a sudden decline in blood pressure A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, it s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred. Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate?. This content was last reviewed October 2016

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