What is the treatment?
When a person suffers from chronic blood pressure syndrome it is not considered a serious matter. Medical trouble can arise when there is a sudden drop in the blood pressure levels. When this happens the brain is unable to receive adequate supply of blood. This can cause the person suffering from the low pressure attack to feel lightheaded or dizzy. This sudden drop occurs generally in people who have been sitting or lying in a particular position for long and then suddenly stand up. This sudden drop in blood pressure levels is known as orthostatic hypotension or sometimes as postural hypotension.
There is a third kind of low blood pressure or hypotension when someone stands for a long time which is called neurally mediated hypotension. If it causes someone to faint it is known as vasovagal syncope. When the cardiovascular system or nervous system fails to respond correctly to certain unexpected changes encountered by the body it is known as postural hypotension. This failure on the part of the cardiovascular or nervous system to adapt to the sudden changes is signalled by the body by transmitting certain messages to the heart which makes it beat more rapidly and also to the blood vessels making it narrower.
The condition of either low or high blood pressure is more prevalent in older people because the supply of blood flow to the brain and heart muscle is lowered with age. The symptoms of low blood pressure include feeling lightheaded or dizzy or unsteady, blurring of vision, body weakness, tiredness, nausea, clammy and pale skin and tendency to pass out. Pregnancy, dehydration, blood loss, heart disorders, septicaemia or any other serious infection, anaphylaxis or a significant insufficient of nutrients in your daily diet can be some of the reasons for the sudden drop on your blood pressure levels.
How is the treatment done?
Low blood pressure in itself is not a serious condition. Often it can be a symptom of another health problem. The underlying conditions differ from person to person. Therefore, it is necessary for the doctor to identify the real cause of your blood pressure problem. First, fix an appointment with your doctor; notify him/her about your medical history, your age, the symptoms you are currently experiencing, and the reasons for the occurrence of the blood pressure drop. The doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination of the concerned patient. Then she or he will make the patient undergo a series of tests where the patient will be asked to stand up suddenly after lying down for some time. During this time, the doctor will take the pulse rate and will check the blood pressure levels.
If the doctor feels necessary then she or he may perform an ECG or an electrocardiogram in order to check the pulse rate and also an echocardiogram/ultrasound test in order to see the condition of the heart and take pictures of it for later reference. She or he might also take blood test samples from the patient in order to check for anemia or any issues with your blood sugar level.
In order to check for irregular heart rate the doctor may ask the patient to get an ECG or a Holter monitor done. An exercise test or stress test may also be advised. In certain cases, a ‘tilt table’ test is performed for a patient experiencing postural hypotension in order to assess the response of the body to unexpected changes in movements or position.
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
A person who is experiencing shock or symptoms of low blood pressure like feeling lightheaded or dizzy on an off and on basis. Although chronic low blood pressure might not be a serious health issue in itself, it can be a symptom of a much severe underlying medical condition.
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
All those people who are experiencing the symptoms of low blood pressure mentioned above do not need to go visit a doctor.
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
The doctor may advise you to increase the amount of salt in your diet because sodium increases pressure drastically. Also, increase the quantity of your fluid intake daily in order to prevent dehydration by drinking lots of water.
You may also be advised to wear stockings that put on compression on your legs by pooling the blood. This can help to reduce inflammation and pain. You may also be prescribed certain medications such as fludrocortisone and midodrine/orvaten help to treat the problem of hypotension or low blood pressure.
How long does it take to recover?
With proper rest, medication and water (for drinking, in case the low blood pressure occurred as a result of dehydration) you can recover within a few hours.
What is the price of the treatment in India?
In India one strip of 2.5 mg of Midodrine costs about 2,3000 Rupees, an ECG test costs about 250 Rupees in India, and an ultrasound test can cost you about Rs. 1000- 4000 in India.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
The results of the treatment depends on well you adhere to the post-treatment guidelines. If you can look after your daily diet and also identity the reasons behind your sudden blood pressure levels you can prevent the sudden attacks from occurring on getting up after lying for some time.
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Alternatives for low blood pressure problems include certain home remedies such as increasing the daily water consumption level and cutting down on alcohol which will help to tackle the dehydration levels, having a balance diet which incorporates nutritional items such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and protein such as chicken and fish. Other remedies include gently moving from one place to another instead of getting up suddenly or moving too fast. Avoid sitting with your legs crossed and try to consume small portion of really low-carb foods. Also, keep eating small portions of food throughout the day to prevent the blood pressure levels from dropping suddenly.
Rs. 250- Rs. 4,000