What is Hypotension?
Hypotension, or low blood pressure, is a condition where the arterial blood pressure is abnormally low. Usually, the lower your blood pressure the healthier you are. However, hypotension can sometimes restrict blood flow to your brain and other vital organs.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury and recorded as two figures- systolic pressure, which is the pressure of the blood when your heart beats to pump blood out, and diastolic pressure- the pressure of the blood when your heart rests between beats. You are said to have hypotension if you have a reading of around 90/60 or less.
If you have low blood pressure, you have protection against some of the diseases caused by high blood pressure.
How common is Hypotension?
There are some medical conditions that cause blood pressure, including pregnancy, heart problems, endocrine problems, dehydration, blood loss, severe infection, lack of nutrients in your diet and severe allergic reaction.
What are the symptoms of Hypotension?
Low blood pressure can be an indication of good health and will not have any symptoms. However, low blood pressure can cause dizziness, fainting, light-headedness, blurred vision, palpitations, confusion, nausea and general weakness.
If you experience the symptoms of hypotension after changing positions, for example, standing up, it is known as postural hypotension. If you experience these symptoms after eating, it is known as postprandial hypotension.
How is Hypotension treated?
If you have hypotension and no symptoms you will not require treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms medication may be prescribed, and the underlying cause treated. Lifestyle changes such as a greater intake of salt may also help with hypotension.