We Call Hypertension the Silent Killer; What About Hypotension?

Almost every one knows what hypertension is, most people monitor their blood pressure to know when hypertension creeps in, majority know what diet to take in order to avoid or control hypertension,  Most people look out for hypertension while neglecting hypotension. Hypertensive clients and patients adhere strictly to their anti hypertensive drugs without paying attention to hypotension. Hypotension have led to so many death, yet we allow the knowledge of it to die deep in our hearts. Just as Hypertension is a silent killer, the same way is hypotension a silent killer too.

Although blood pressure varies from person to person, a blood pressure reading of 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or less systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) or 60 mm Hg or less diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is generally considered low blood pressure.

The causes of low blood pressure are dehydration, pregnancy, heart problems, Endocrine problems, blood loss, severe infection (septicemia), severe allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis)  and lack of some nutrients in the body.

Some medications may  also cause low blood pressure, including:

  • Diuretics (water pills), such as furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Oretic)
  • Alpha blockers, such as prazosin (Minipress) and labetalol
  • Beta blockers, such as atenolol (Tenormin), propranolol (Inderal, Innopran XL, others) and timolol
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s disease, such as pramipexole (Mirapex) or those containing levodopa
  • Certain types of antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants), including doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), protriptyline (Vivactil) and trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis), particularly in combination with the heart medication nitroglycerin

 

For some people, low blood pressure can signal an underlying problem, especially when it drops suddenly or is accompanied by signs and symptoms such as:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Lack of concentration
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Cold, clammy, pale skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Thirst                                                                                                                                                                                                 Types of low blood pressure
    • Low blood pressure on standing up (orthostatic, or postural, hypotension). This is a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting position or if you stand up after lying down.Ordinarily, gravity causes blood to pool in your legs whenever you stand. Your body compensates for this by increasing your heart rate and constricting blood vessels, thereby ensuring that enough blood returns to your brain.

      But in people with orthostatic hypotension, this compensating mechanism fails and blood pressure falls, leading to symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision and even fainting.

      Orthostatic hypotension can occur for a variety of reasons, including dehydration, prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, diabetes, heart problems, burns, excessive heat, large varicose veins and certain neurological disorders.

      A number of medications also can cause orthostatic hypotension, particularly drugs used to treat high blood pressure — diuretics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors — as well as antidepressants and drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and erectile dysfunction.

      Orthostatic hypotension is especially common in older adults, with as many as 20 percent of those older than age 65 experiencing orthostatic hypotension.

      But orthostatic hypotension can also affect young, otherwise healthy people who stand up suddenly after sitting with their legs crossed for long periods or after working for a time in a squatting position.

    • Low blood pressure after eating (postprandial hypotension). Postprandial hypotension is a sudden drop in blood pressure after eating. It affects mostly older adults.Just as gravity pulls blood to your feet when you stand, a large amount of blood flows to your digestive tract after you eat.

      Ordinarily, your body counteracts this by increasing your heart rate and constricting certain blood vessels to help maintain normal blood pressure. But in some people these mechanisms fail, leading to dizziness, faintness and falls.

      Postprandial hypotension is more likely to affect people with high blood pressure or autonomic nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

      Lowering the dose of blood pressure drugs and eating small, low-carbohydrate meals may help reduce symptoms.

    • Low blood pressure from faulty brain signals (neurally mediated hypotension). This disorder causes blood pressure to drop after standing for long periods, leading to signs and symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and fainting.Neurally mediated hypotension mostly affects young people, and it seems to occur because of a miscommunication between the heart and the brain.

      When you stand for extended periods, your blood pressure falls as blood pools in your legs. Normally, your body then makes adjustments to normalize your blood pressure.

      But in people with neurally mediated hypotension, nerves in the heart’s left ventricle actually signal the brain that blood pressure is too high, rather than too low.

      As a result, the brain lessens the heart rate, decreasing blood pressure even further. This causes more blood to pool in the legs and less blood to reach the brain, leading to lightheadedness and fainting.

    • Low blood pressure due to nervous system damage (multiple system atrophy with orthostatic hypotension). Also called Shy-Drager syndrome, this rare disorder causes progressive damage to the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and digestion.Although this condition can be associated with muscle tremors, slowed movement, problems with coordination and speech, and incontinence, its main characteristic is severe orthostatic hypotension in combination with very high blood pressure when lying down.
     COMPLICATIONS of hypotension includes damage to the heart and brain.

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Lifestabilizer is owned and managed by me! Adaora Nwobu. I am a wife and a mother of one cutie! I am a Nurse! I reside in Illinois USA It is a pleasure and great privilege to bring to you tips on HEALTH, FOOD AND FASHION.

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