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Blood pressure (low) - hypotension


Theheartpumpsbloodaroundthebodythroughthebloodvessels.Bloodpressureistheamount offorceexertedonthearterywallsbythepumpingblood.Bloodpressurevariesaccordingto environmentaldemands.Forexample,itrisesduringphysicalexertionanddropsinextremeheat. Hypotension,orlowbloodpressure,meansthatthepressureofbloodcirculatingaroundthebody islowerthannormalorlowerthanexpectedgiventheenvironmentalconditions.However, hypotensionisarelativetermanindividualmayhavelowbloodpressurecomparedtoothersof similarphysicalcharacteristics,butmaybeperfectlyhealthy. Lowbloodpressureisonlyaproblemifithasanegativeimpactonthebody.Forexample,vital organs(particularlythebrain)maybestarvedofoxygenandnutrientsifthebloodpressureistoo lowforthatparticularindividual. Symptoms Substantialbloodlosscancauseasuddendropinbloodpressure(shock).Themostdramatic symptomofsuddenhypotensionisunconsciousness.Usually,lowbloodpressuredevelopsover time.Symptomsinclude: Light-headedness,whenstandingfromasittingorlyingposition Unsteadiness Dizziness Weakness Blurredvision Fatigue Fainting.

Ima ge des crip

A range of causes Bloodpressureismeasuredusingadeviceknownasasphygmomanometer.Ifthemeasurement drops30mmHgbelowthepersonsusualbloodpressure,thisisconsideredtobehypotension. Lowbloodpressurehasmanydifferentcausesincluding: Emotionalstress,fear,insecurityorpain(themostcommoncausesoffainting) Dehydration,whichreducesbloodvolume Thebodysreactiontoheat,whichistoshuntbloodintothevesselsoftheskin,leadingto dehydration Blooddonation Internalbleeding,suchasaperforatedstomachulcer Bloodlossfromtrauma,suchasaroadaccidentordeepcut Pregnancy Medicationsforhighbloodpressure Diuretics,whichproducefluidloss Medicationsfordepression Medicationsforcertainheartconditions Allergicreactiontocertaindrugsorchemicals Someformsofinfection,suchastoxicshocksyndrome Heartdisease,whichcanhamperthepumpingactionoftheheartmuscle Somenervoussystemdisorders,suchasParkinsonsdisease Addisonsdisease(wheretheadrenalglandsfailtoproducesufficientblood-pressuremaintaininghormones).

Orthostatic hypotension

Bloodpressure(low)-hypotension

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Generally,whenyoustanduprightfromasittingorlyingposition,thebloodvesselsinyourbody respondtogravitybyconstricting.Thisincreasesbloodpressure.Orthostatichypotensionmeans thatthebloodvesselsdontadjusttoastandingpositionand,instead,allowthebloodpressureto drop,resultinginafeelingoflight-headedness. Causesinclude: Nervoussystemdiseases,suchasneuropathy Prolongedbedrest Dehydration Irregularheartbeat(heartarrhythmia).

Treatment Treatmentforhypotensiondependsonthecause.Forexample,thedosagesofexisting medicationsmayneedtobealteredorableedingstomachulcersurgicallyrepaired.Ifnoparticular causecanbefound,drugsmaybeusedtoraisebloodpressure.Inextremecases,alowerbody pressuresuitmayberequired. Where to get help Yourdoctor

Things to remember

Hypotension,orlowbloodpressure,meansthatthepressureofbloodcirculatingaround thebodyislowerthannormalorlowerthanexpected. Lowbloodpressureisonlyaproblemifithasanegativeimpactonthebodyandproduces symptoms. Somecausesofhypotensionincludebloodloss,dehydrationandcertainmedications,such asantihypertensivedrugs.

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HeartResearchCentre
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Bloodpressure(low)-hypotension

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