Here Are 7 Symptoms & Signs of Low Blood Pressure
You often hear about high blood pressure and how it could adversely affect your health. In fact, this is among the contributing factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even erection issues.
What about low blood pressure?
Also known as hypotension, low blood pressure is when the systolic and diastolic number is 90/60 or even lower (1).
While this may not be a cause of concern compared to high blood pressure, this condition must not be taken lightly. In fact, it could be the body’s way of saying that something’s not right.
This is more alarming especially on the elders since this could mean inadequate blood flow to your heart and other vital organs.
The next question is this: how will you know if you have low blood pressure?
In this article, you will:
- Have a better understanding of what low blood pressure means
- Learn about the signs and symptoms of low blood pressure
- Find out quick tips on how to prevent this condition
A Quick Glimpse On Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is that force that pushes against the walls of the arteries. This means every time the heart beats, blood is pumped into the arteries.
Blood pressure is measured by systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is when the blood pressure reading is at its highest every time the heart beats and pumps blood. This is the number on top and the bigger number as well.
On the other hand, diastolic pressure or the number below measures when your heart is at rest, between beats.
Ideally, every individual must have 120/80 reading. Anything below than that, specifically 90/60 could be due to any of the following reasons:
- Hormonal issues
- Intake of over-the-counter medications
- Prescription medicine
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Heat stroke
- Dilation of blood vessels
- Serious conditions such as liver disease or heart failure
To identify the cause, you need to know the signs and symptoms that will tell you that your blood pressure is low. This means there is not enough pressure to deliver blood to various organs of the body.
The signs and symptoms will vary, depending on the cause. Nonetheless, below are the warning signs you need to watch out for:
1. Watch Out For Lightheadedness As Among The Symptoms
Lightheadedness is that feeling of fainting anytime or a reeling sensation. This may be accompanied with loss of balance and clouded vision.
Generally, thy symptom is not a cause of concern. It usually happens when you move quickly from a seated or lying to an upward position, which is also known as postural hypotension.
The immediate change in position leads to decreased blood flow in the brain; hence a drop in your blood pressure.
- Lightheadedness is among the signs of low blood pressure
- It is characterized by fainting feeling or reeling sensation
- It is often caused by sudden change in movement that results to a decrease in blood flow in the brain
2. Take Note Of Dizziness As One Of The Signs
Dizziness is the feeling of being lightheaded or unbalanced. Unlike lightheadedness, it affects your sensory organs, particularly eyes and ears. This could lead to fainting.
This symptom, particularly prolonged dizziness or dizziness with no apparent reason, may be a result of many underlying conditions, including low blood pressure.
Any sudden movement could drop your blood pressure, thereby causing loss of balance among others.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness are two different symptoms
- Unlike lightheadedness, dizziness affects the sensory organs
- Sudden movement could cause blood pressure to drop; hence this symptom
3. You Might Experience Loss Of Consciousness, Too
What’s the common denominator between dizziness and lightheadedness? Both signs could lead to loss of consciousness, which is also a symptom for low blood pressure.
Unconsciousness is when a person is unable to respond to stimuli. This could be for a few seconds, also known as painting, or longer period, depending on the cause.
Someone may lose consciousness as a result of sudden changes within the body. In this case, sudden drop of blood pressure due to abrupt change in position or standing for a long time, could lead to fainting.
- Loss of consciousness or fainting may happen due to dizziness or lightheadedness
- Unconsciousness is the inability of a person to respond to stimuli
- Sudden changes in position or prolonged standing could cause blood pressure to drop and may lead to fainting
4. That Uncomfortable Feeling That Led To Nausea And Its Effect On BMI
Nausea is defined as the discomfort in the stomach. There is also a sensation of wanting to puke and a precursor to vomiting.
This sign may be due to a variety of reasons like food, medications, and medical conditions. This includes low blood pressure.
Nausea, as an indicator of low blood pressure, often happens after eating or medically known as postprandial hypotension. Every time you eat, your intestines need a huge amount of blood supply to digest the food.
This means the more you eat, more blood is needed and your BMI could be adversely affected without you noticing it.
As a result, blood pressure tends to drop and may cause you to vomit.
- One of the signs of low blood pressure is nausea
- Nausea is that stomach discomfort and the urge to vomit
- This happens because of the intestine’s constant need of blood supply to digest food
5. Fatigue Comes Knocking At Your Door
You had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Still, you felt tired upon waking up. Worse, your usual cup of Joe can’t get you up and about.
This could be fatigue and may be caused by low blood pressure.
According to a 2018 study published in Biomedical Reports, there is a significant association between low blood pressure and fatigue, specifically chronic fatigue syndrome (2).
Another study published in 2009 revealed that individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome have lower systolic blood pressure (3).
It is unclear as to why fatigue causes low blood pressure or the other way around. Based on the studies, fatigue, in response to environmental stimuli like stress or emotionally upsetting events, could cause the immune system to become hyperactive.
This could cause fluctuations in your blood pressure levels.
- Fatigue is among the signs of hypotension
- There is a relationship between fatigue and low blood pressure
- The body’s response to stimuli causes the immune system to become more active, thereby affecting your blood pressure levels
6. Clammy Skin – For No Apparent Reason
Clammy skin, also known as wet or sweaty skin, is normal. In fact, this is the body’s normal response to heat and any physical exertion.
But if you find yourself sweating for no obvious reason, then you need to get yourself checked. This could be a sign of low blood pressure and don’t take this lightly especially if it is accompanied with other symptoms like shallow breathing, chest pain, and weak pulse.
When your heart muscle does not get enough oxygen, blood pressure tends to drop. It could also be due to shock wherein there is not enough blood circulating in your body. This could lead to a drop in blood pressure, thereby causing you to sweat.
- Clammy or sweaty skin is normal, until you start sweating for no reason
- This indicates that you could have low blood pressure
- Problem with blood circulation could cause the blood pressure to drop
7. The Relationship Between Depression And Hypotension
Depression, which is classified under mood disorders, can be due to a variety of reasons. Did you know that this could also be brought about by low blood pressure?
According to a study published in Hypertension, experts found out depression is associated with low blood pressure, specifically systolic blood pressure (4).
There are several reasons to explain the relationship between the two. First would be the use of antihypertensive drugs that potentially lowers blood pressure levels.
Another explanation could be the involvement of the central monoamine system. Any alteration in neuropeptide Y, a type of modulator of norepinephrine signaling and the only neurotransmitter involved in various stress responses, could decrease blood pressure levels.
Consequently, depression alters neuropeptide Y. However, further study is required to determine the impact of this modulator and its relationship with depression vis-à-vis hypotension.
- There is a relationship between low blood pressure and depression
- Most individuals with depression have low blood pressure
- Experts discovered the common denominator between these two conditions: neuropeptide Y.
Should You Be Worried?
Generally, hypotension doesn’t post a serious threat in your health. Some even have low blood pressure without experiencing any symptoms mentioned above.
The condition is also manageable, especially if you are sure that you have low blood pressure based on the enumerated signs and symptoms, and a medical professional assessed you.
Still, this doesn’t mean you should treat it lightly.
What you can do is identify your triggers and do what you can to avoid them. A trip to the doctor will also help a lot in managing low blood pressure and to avoid further complications as well.
More importantly, keep yourself hydrated, exercise regularly, and eat healthy.