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Last Updated: Sep 04, 2019
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Low Blood Pressure: Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

What is a Dangerously Low Blood Pressure? What are the Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure? What are the Causes of Low Blood Pressure? What are the Safety Precautions For Low Blood Pressure? How Do You Test For Low Blood Pressure? What are the Treatment for Low Blood Pressure? How is the Treatment of Low Blood Pressure Done? Who is Eligible for the Treatment of Low BP? Who is not Eligible for the Treatment Low BP? Are There Any Side Effects? What are the Post-treatment Guidelines? How Long Does it Take to Recover? What is the Price of the Treatment of Low BP in India? Are the Results of the Treatment Permanent? What are the Alternatives to the Treatment of Low BP? How to Increase Blood Pressure Naturally? What Foods are Good for Low Blood Pressure?

What is a Dangerously Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure is otherwise called hypotension and it causes the inadequate blood supply to the main organs of the body. Many symptoms would develop due to low blood pressure. A blood pressure reading has two numbers namely systolic and diastolic.

The upper reading is systolic pressure, i.e. the pressure in the arteries is monitored when the heart beats and fills the arteries with blood. The lower reading is diastolic, i.e. monitoring the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between the beats.

The normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg whereas the low blood pressure is 90/60 mmHg. However, the pressure varies from person to person depends on the diseases, medication and age etc. Untreated low blood pressure can be life threatening and can even leads to Coma. If one is constantly experiencing the symptoms like shallow breaths, fatigue, drowsiness, shocks, rapid pulse, pale skin and confusion, it is advised to get in emergency help as these are the signs of low blood pressure that can be harmful.

What are the Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure?

Symptoms of low blood pressure are as follows:

  • When there is an insufficient supply of blood to the organs, it may temporarily or permanently be damaged. Depends on the organ, the symptoms are noted. If the brain cells do not receive enough oxygen, then dizziness, light headedness or even faintness can be experienced by the person. Some people may experience, nausea, vomiting, palpitation, thirst, shivering, fatigue, blurry vision, lack of concentration.
  • Chest pain or even heart attack may occur when there is no sufficient supply of blood to the coronary arteries.
  • When kidneys receive insufficient blood, they fail to eliminate wastes from the body and thus increase urea, creatinine levels in the blood.
  • Shock is a dangerous condition where there is persistent low pressure causing organs such as heart, kidney, liver, lung and brain to fail quickly.

What are the Causes of Low Blood Pressure?

Causes of low blood pressure are as follows:

Postural Hypotension

Changes in a posture like from standing to sitting or lying can lead to a downfall in blood pressure but in such case, the blood pressure gets back to normal level quickly. It is mostly seen in older people especially diabetic people can experience such problem when their autonomic nervous system gets damaged.

Heart Ailments

Heart valve problem, low heartbeat rate, heart failure may lead to severe low blood pressure because the heart cannot pump enough blood to maintain the pressure up.

Low blood pressure after meals:

Sometimes, blood pressure falls down after immediate meals and thus causing dizziness, faintness. It is very common in high blood pressure, diabetic, older and Parkinson’s patients. This is because after eating our intestines need more blood supply to digest the food. The heart starts beating faster and the blood vessels in other parts of the body narrow down to support in maintaining blood pressure. Lying down after eating, reducing carbohydrate intake and eating smaller meals frequently helps in mitigating this problem. Coughing and swallowing may also cause low blood pressure due to the vagus nerve stimulation.

Other than the above,

  • Shock with dehydration and weakness
  • Infection in the blood
  • Diseases such as thyroid, adrenal insufficiency, and diabetes
  • A severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock
  • A huge amount of blood loss through injury
  • Medicines like beta-blockers, nitroglycerin, antidepressants, diuretics, etc.,

What are the Safety Precautions For Low Blood Pressure?

Changing our lifestyle model is quite sufficient to save from low blood pressure.

  • Drink water sufficiently to keep the body hydrated as dehydration is the key cause of low blood pressure.
  • Do not get exposed to the hot environment. While exposing to heat, it dilates the blood vessels, increases sweating thus leads to low blood pressure ultimately. Do avoid physical exertion when you feel it is severely hot.
  • Do not consume alcohol since it has the tendency of lowering blood pressure.
  • If you are a prolonged stander, then drink water frequently.
  • Do avoid keeping crossed legs while sitting or sleeping since this manner decreases blood into the lower part of the body and drops blood pressure significantly.
  • In every two hours have a meal or snack as the body requires a balanced diet. Make sure to take nutritious intake to keep yourself healthy.

How Do You Test For Low Blood Pressure?

Firstly, the physician will check you clinically by understanding your pulse rate, symptoms and medical history. Then, he will advise you to do other tests such as

  • ECG (Electrocardiogram) to measure heart rhythm and rate
  • Echocardiogram to visualize the heart valves
  • Blood tests for anemia and blood sugar levels check out
  • If you experience low blood pressure while standing or due to faulty brain signals, a tilt table test can evaluate how your body reacts to the posture changes.
  • Sometimes heart problems cause issues in lowering blood pressure. A Stress test is advised and you will be made to walk on a treadmill or do some exercises. When your heart is working harder, its function will be monitored with ECG or Echo and at the same time, your pressure is also checked.

What are the Treatment for Low Blood Pressure?

Generally, lifestyle changes are recommended for low blood pressure such as

  • Eating a diet with extra salt
  • Drinking more fluids
  • Regular exercises to improve blood flow
  • Avoid straining and heavy lifting
  • Using stockings to reduce the blood flow to the lower body

If these measures do not help out you, you may be put in medications.

  • Midodrine: It helps to activate receptors on the smallest arteries and veins to increase blood pressure. This drug helps in increasing blood pressure in people with standing blood pressure, postural hypotension.

  • Fludrocortisone: It is widely used. It promotes sodium retention in the kidneys which leads to edema that is necessary to improve blood pressure. But, it also causes potassium depletion. So, when you take this drug, you should comply with potassium supplements

  • Too little amount of folate in the body has low blood pressure effects. Hence, eat folate-rich foods such as liver, asparagus, garbanzo beans to improve your pressure.
  • When you have a decreased amount of Vitamin B12, it might lead to anemia which in turn brings down blood pressure. Eat fortified cereals, eggs, and beef to improve Vitamin B12.

How is the Treatment of Low Blood Pressure 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 of Low BP?

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 Low BP?

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?

The side effects of taking flodrocortisone include heart failure, muscle weakness, expansion of the heart, easy bruising, headaches, light-headedness and sudden increase in blood glucose levels.

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 of Low BP 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 of Low BP?

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.

How to Increase Blood Pressure Naturally?

Certain foods definitely help in increasing blood pressure naturally and they are:

  • Too little amount of folate in the body has low blood pressure effects. Hence, eat folate-rich foods such as liver, asparagus, garbanzo beans to improve your pressure.

  • When you have a decreased amount of Vitamin B12, it might lead to anemia which in turn brings down blood pressure. Eat fortified cereals, eggs, and beef to improve Vitamin B12.

  • Licorice helps in reducing the effect of aldosterone, the hormone which is responsible to regulate the salt impact on the body. Drinking licorice tea improves your blood pressure level.

What Foods are Good for Low Blood Pressure?

Food supplements that are good for low blood pressure are as follows:

  • Olives: Olive is rich in vitamin E, copper and Iron. Since it is slightly salty taste, it helps in improving the blood pressure. Salty foods are safe for the people who have a sudden pressure dip.
  • Coffee: It temporarily and immediately boosts the blood pressure. When you feel giddy, dizzy, take a cup of tea or coffee and it will spike blood pressure by inducing the cardiovascular system and boosting the heart rate.
  • Tulsi Leaves: Tulsi leaves have high levels of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C that helps in regulating blood pressure. Chew at least six tulsi leaves every morning to reinstate normal blood pressure. Presence of Eugenol is an antioxidant keeps the blood pressure in control and lowers cholesterol levels.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am suffering from high blood pressure, ihd (ischemic heart disease) blockage 30%in one nali. But at no my problem is headache, gas, constipation and yesterday when I went for treatment my blood pressure was 90/150 I am already taking tab eritel 80ch, uniaz16,cardivas 3.125, nikostar 5, deplatt a 150, rozat 10 pls help me is headache is due to high bp? I need to increase blood pressure medication? Help me for constipation cremaffin plus causing cramp and heart burn in stomach.

DM - Cardiology, MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS, Training Course In Emergency Medicine
Cardiologist, Secunderabad
Hi Gaurav your BP seems need to adjust your BP medication..I will be in position to suggest your the required change in your BP medicine after knowing the pattern of your BP check 2 times( morning and evening) for atleast 3 day.....
1 person found this helpful

I am 61 .my bp is 90/130. The lower one is not coming down inspite of my taking regular medicines. I am taking telmikind 40 mg- morning an s-numlo 5 mg-night. I have tried all other life style changes but to no effect. As a result I generally develop headache early in the morning. Can we modify the above dosage to bring down this 90 bp to acceptable levels?

MD Medicine, DM Neurology
There is a need to bring down the blood pressure below 130/90 mm hg, I also notices that you have weight of 98 kg which is way high for your height and age, I guess you require to increas numlo to 5 mg tablet and also the medicines for depression ...
1 person found this helpful

She is 60 years old having blood pressure and diabetes mellitus type 2 from 6 years continue with medicines tab telmisartan40 mg + amlodipine 5 mg tab metformin 500+ glimepiride 1 mg now she had the symptoms of slow talk, not talking properly (recent and past memories lost ).she also don't know what is she talking. Mainly loss of memory / slow talk / voice changes pls guide treatment part, investigation, or counseling required etc. Stress level is high .i guessed.

MBBS, MD Internal Medicine, PhD (Endocrinology), FRCP(Edin)
Endocrinologist, Vellore
Dear lybrate-user, it looks like she may be having memory problems which have impacted on her speech. Check her free t4, tsh and vitamin b12 levels if the b12 value is < 300pg/ml start on inj methycobal 500 ug im once a week for 4 weeks and then o...
1 person found this helpful

My mother 63 age has the following problems. On and of vertigo problem for past 4 months. On medication 1.vertin 32 2. Nootriphil 3.ceelong 4.absokut 3g 5. ativan 1 mg also taking medicine for bp sugar for the past 4/5 days 1. Feeling a floating /flying like sensation. Feeling light 2. Fainting feeling like I am going to fall down anytime increasing with turning the head bp taken now is 60.113 3. At these times clarity vision blurs for last 5/6 days I am stressed and moving/doing things beyond my physical capacity dull headache in forehead could someone please help.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MRCS- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, DLO RCS England, FRCS
ENT Specialist, Bangalore
Dear lybrate-user, one of the common causes for dizziness in patients with long standing blood pressure issues is either uncontrolled high blood pressure or low blood pressure especially on standing up, what we call postural hypotension. Your phys...

My dad is 75 years old. Since last october, he is suffering from mental health issues. He started to get angry on frivolous matters, talking much on unnecessary things, imagine non-existent things (like someone has stolen his dress), etc. We therefore consulted a physiatrist for medical help. Initially, since there was not much improvement in my dad’s condition the doctor increased the dosage. But when my dad became too silent, the doctor started decreasing the dosage. As the medication continued for next 5 months, my dad started behaving in reverse order (talking very less, always sleeping, lost appetite for eating, walking very slowly, getting irritated with sounds). As his condition was same even after reducing the dosage 2-3 times, we consulted another physiatrist who was highly recommended by people know to us. However, things got worse and in the first day of medication itself my dad’s health worsened. He was not able to stand / walk properly and was completely drowsy. For the next few days, the doctor changed the medication several times. Currently, he has stopped medicines for mental health issues and has prescribed medicines for improving his physical health. However, my dad hasn’t recuperated properly and still not able to walk around freely, sometimes loosing balance when standing, sitting, climbing up steps and getting down from steps, seems lost in his thoughts and don’t communicate much with us. He also has difficulty in wearing his shirts (especially, putting buttons on). He also gets confused while choosing places to sit and ends up sitting on the edge / corners of the chair and sofa. He has also lost his appetite for eating. To sum up, before we started this medication, he was able to do his daily chores all by himself without our support. But now he is completely dependent on us. We are lost for reasons for this change of behavior and physical condition of my dad. Kindly let us know, if we are doing proper medication and any suggestion you have on treatment. Following are his present medications: •syndopa 275 (4 times a day every 4 hours) •selgin 5 mg (2 times a day) •syndopa cr (1 time in night) •complete td (1 time in night) •betonin syrup (5 ml for three times) he is also taking his regular medicine for blood pressure (arkamin 100 mg and amladoc 5 mg one time each) we are also worried about him taking excessive medicines at this old age. Please help us with your valuable guidance.

Pain Medicine Externship, Fellowship In Addiction Psychiatry & Addiction Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Psychiatrist, Panchkula
Hello sanjeeva I hear your concerns in this regard. I think you need to speak with your doctor or setup an online consult so that the medication regime can be streamlined after taking into account detailed medical history and past reports.

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