What Lowers Blood Pressure? 12 Causes
What Lowers Blood Pressure?
A low blood pressure reading appears as two numbers. The first number is a measure of systolic pressure (the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood) and is often the highest. The second number measures diastolic pressure (the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats).
Normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 systolic/diastolic. In healthy individuals, low blood pressure without any symptoms is not often a problem and doesn’t require any medical attention. However, hypotension can be a sign of a hidden problem, especially in older folks, where it may cause an inadequate flow of blood to the brain, heart, and other essential organs.
What’s considered to be low blood pressure?
It’s important to note that what is considered low blood pressure to one person may be normal for someone else. Several doctors consider persistently low blood pressure too low only if it causes observable symptoms.
Some specialists define low blood pressure as readings below 90 MM Hg systolic or 60 MM Hg diastolic. Your readings need to have only one figure in the low range for your blood pressure to be considered lower than usual. In simple terms, if your diastolic reading is a perfect 70, but your systolic reading is 60, you are considered to have lower than normal pressure.
An unexpected fall in blood pressure can be very dangerous. For example, a change of just 15 MM Hg, or a drop from 115 MM Hg systolic to 95 MM Hg systolic, can cause dizziness or fainting when the brain fails to receive sufficient supply of blood. And huge drops, especially those caused by severe infections, allergic reactions or uncontrolled bleeding, can be life threatening.
Athletes and individual who exercise regularly have a tendency of having low blood pressure and a slower heart rate than people who aren’t as fit. In some rare cases, low blood pressure can be a sign of a serious illness, even life-threatening conditions.
What lowers blood pressure?
1. Heart problems
Some heart conditions that can lower blood pressure include very low heart rate, heart attack, heart failure and heart valve issues. These conditions may lower your blood pressure because they prevent your body from being able to circulate adequate blood.
Since a woman’s blood circulatory system expands quickly during pregnancy, there is a higher probability of blood pressure to drop. This is normal, and blood pressure often returns to normal after you have given birth.
Your blood pressure usually increases as you get older, but a drop in blood pressure from eating or movement is more common with age.
4. Endocrine problems
Thyroid conditions such as adrenal insufficiency, low blood glucose, parathyroid disease and, in some cases diabetes can cause low blood pressure.
5. Blood loss
Losing a lot of blood from internal bleeding or a major injury reduces the quantity of blood in your body, leading to a huge drop in blood pressure.
6. Hormone problem
Having an illness that affects the production of certain hormones in your body can cause low blood pressure. Examples of these conditions include Addison’s and diabetes disease. When it comes to Addison’s disease, the immune system attacks and destroys the adrenal glands (two small glands above the kidneys that produce hormones to control your blood pressure and maintain the balance of water and salt in your body). A tumor or an infection that can damage the adrenal glands can also cause low blood pressure.
When you become dehydrated, your body loses more water than it takes in. dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue and weakness. Severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics, strenuous exercise, fever, and vomiting can all lead to dehydration.
Hypovolemic shock is a life-threatening complication of dehydration. This condition occurs when low blood volume causes an unexpected drop in blood pressure and a decrease in the quantity of oxygen reaching your tissues. If left untreated, hypovolemic shock can cause death within a few hours or minutes.
8. Neurological disorder
Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s diseases are problems that affect your nerves. In the event that autonomic nervous system gets infected, one can experience low blood pressure.
The autonomic nervous system controls bodily functions that you don’t actively think about, they include digestion and sweating. It additionally controls the narrowing and widening of your blood vessels. If your autonomic nervous system gets infected, your blood vessels could stay too wide, which can lead to low blood pressure.
9. Severe Allergic Reaction
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) is a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. The Severe allergic reaction is always caused by certain foods, insect venoms, and certain medications. Anaphylaxis can also cause breathing problems, itching, hives, a drop in blood pressure and a swollen throat.
10. Miscommunication between the brain and the heart
Low blood pressure that occurs after standing for a long time happens when your body tells your brain that your blood pressure is too high when it’s actually very low. This causes your brain to slow down the heartbeat, further lowering your blood pressure.
11. Lack of nutrients in your diet
Lack of certain nutrients in your diet especially folate and vitamins B-12 can cause a problem in which your body doesn’t produce adequate red blood cells, causing low blood pressure.
12. Severe infections
Severe infections can happen when an infection in your body enters the bloodstream. This problem can lead to a life-threatening reduction in blood pressure called septic shock.
Medications that can lower blood pressure include:
- Alpha-blockers, such as labetalol and prazosin (Minipress)
- Drugs for Parkinson’s disease, such as Mirapex (Pramipexole) or those rich in levodopa
- Water pills (diuretics), such as hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Oretic), and Lasix (Furosemide)
- Beta-blockers, such as propranolol, atenolol, and timolol
- Viagra (sildenafil) or Cialis (tadalafil), particularly in combination with nitroglycerin (the heart medication)
- Certain types of tricyclic antidepressants, including doxepin
When to see your doctor
If you experience lightheadedness or dizziness, it’s a wise idea to visit your healthcare professional. If you have gotten dehydrated, have spent too much time in a hot tub or sun, have low blood sugar, it’s very important to understand how rapidly your blood pressure drops than how low it drops. It’s also important to keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time your symptoms occurred.