What is Hypotension?

What is Hypotension
What is Hypotension

What is Hypotension?

What is Hypotension? Hypotension is a condition when blood pressure in the arteries is lower than normal and is commonly referred to as low blood pressure.

When blood flows through the arteries, the blood puts pressure on the arterial wall, the pressure is considered as a measure of blood flow strength or called blood pressure.

Inhibition or limited amount of blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs such as the kidneys can occur if the blood pressure is too low, so it can cause the head feels light and dizzy. The body will also feel unstable or shaky, even lose consciousness.There are two sizes used in blood pressure, namely systolic pressure (upper number) and diastolic pressure (lower number).

Normal blood pressure is between 90/60 and 140/90. Patients with hypotension have blood pressure below 90/60 and are accompanied by hypotensive symptoms. Whereas if the blood pressure above 140/90, then the person is suffering from high blood pressure / hypertension.

Symptoms of Hypotension

Not all who experience hypotension will feel the symptoms. The condition of hypotension also does not always require treatment. However, if the blood pressure is low enough, it is likely to cause symptoms such as the following.

  • Heart pounding or irregular.
  • Dizzy.
  • Limp.
  • Nausea.
  • Losing balance or feeling unsteady.
  • The view is blurry.
  • Pale and cold body.
  • Short or fast breath.
  • Fainting.
  • Dehydration.

If you experience symptoms of hypotension, you should immediately sit or lie down, drink water, and stop all the activities you are doing. Symptoms will usually disappear after a while.If you often experience symptoms of hypotension as mentioned above, see a doctor to measure your blood pressure and check if there are certain diseases that cause symptoms such as hypotension.

Causes of Hypotension

Actually blood pressure may change throughout the day, depending on the activity being performed and this is considered normal.

There are many factors that cause a person’s blood pressure to be low, such as age, medication, and weather conditions.

Hoter air weather can lower blood pressure. People who are relaxed or diligent exercise also generally have lower blood pressure. In addition, if you just eat, blood pressure can also decrease because a lot of blood that will flow into the digestive tract to digest and absorb food.

Blood pressure during the day and night is different. Usually during the day the blood pressure will increase, and the night will be lower.

Causes of hypotension due to certain conditions or diseases

Hypotension can be caused by certain conditions or diseases, some of which are:

  • Orthostatic hypotension. Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension usually appear when you change positions suddenly. A person with orthostatic hypotension decreases systolic blood pressure by 15-30 mm Hg when standing from a sitting or lying position.
  • Neurally mediated hypotension. This condition usually occurs when a person stands for too long, until the bloodstream is gathered at the bottom of the body.
  • Dehydration. Dehydration occurs due to the body’s lack of fluids and can be caused by lack of drinking, fasting or diarrhea.
  • Side effects of treatment. There are some drugs that can lower blood pressure, such as antidepressants, anti-hypertensive drugs such as alpha-blockers and beta-blockers, inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE inhibitors) to diuretic drugs.
  • Anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the content of hemoglobin in the blood is low. One of the symptoms of anemia is low blood pressure.
  • Pregnancy. Blood pressure in pregnant women is usually lower because of its rapidly developing blood circulatory system.
  • Hormonal imbalances. Diseases such as diabetes or Addison’s disease cause hormone production disorders. This can affect the balance of water and body mineral levels, and blood pressure.
  • Nerve disease. Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease can cause hypotension when infecting the nervous system that controls autonomic body functions such as controlling blood pressure.
  • Bleeding is great. The loss of large amounts of blood in the body will lower blood intake to the tissues in the body, so the body’s blood pressure will drop dramatically. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment.
  • Heart disease. Chronic diseases such as heart disease cause the blood can not be pumped properly by the heart to the entire body. As a result, blood pressure decreased.
  • Blood infection (sepsis). Sepsis occurs when an infection that occurs in the tissue begins to enter the bloodstream. As a result, blood pressure will drop dramatically. This condition is life threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. This condition can cause very itching, shortness of breath, and blood pressure dropped dramatically.

Diagnosis of Hypotension

Measuring blood pressure is a convenient and easy way to diagnose hypotension. Here are some things to do before measuring blood pressure to get the right blood pressure measurement results.

  • Empty your bladder or urinate.
  • Rest at least 5 minutes.
  • Done while sitting and not talking.

In addition to measuring blood pressure, there are several ways or other tests to diagnose the cause of hypotension due to certain conditions or diseases, and at the same time determine the appropriate treatment, namely:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG). This test aims to detect cardiac structure abnormalities, oxygen and blood supply problems to the heart muscle, as well as irregular heartbeat.
  • Echocardiogram. This test uses sound waves to produce images of the heart structure and check its function.
  • The stress training test. This test is done by making the heart work harder to more easily diagnose blood pressure. Can be done by walking on the treadmill.
  • Blood test. Blood tests can be done to check hormone levels and if the patient has anemia or diabetes.
  • Valsalva Maneuver. This test is done by asking the patient to take a deep breath and then cover the nose and exhale through the mouth, like you blow a very stiff balloon. This test is performed to check the condition of the respiratory autonomic nervous system.
  • Tilt test test. This test is usually done for orthostatic hypotensive patients to see the difference in blood pressure while lying and standing

Treatment of Hypotension

There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of hypotension, which is limiting the consumption of liquor and drinking lots of water. For those of you who like caffeinated beverages, avoid drinks that contain these nutrients at night.

Regarding the diet, eating more food in small portions is better than eating food in large portions with less frequent frequency. In addition, increasing salt intake can also prevent hypotension.

Patients with hypotension are also advised to avoid standing for long periods of time. Especially for patients with orthosatic hypotension, when standing from a sitting position or lying down, do it slowly.

If you are taking any medication that may cause side effects of hypotension, your doctor may change the dose of the drug or provide another alternative

Treatment for hypotension should be based on the underlying cause. Drugs for treating hypotension are usually given to increase the amount of blood or narrow the arteries to increase blood pressure.

If you are undergoing treatment, check your blood pressure regularly. And if you experience side effects, see your doctor immediately. Similarly, in the condition of your hypotension that does not go away or not disappear, check yourself in the nearest health agency to avoid complications of brain damage or injury when losing balance.

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