Blood pressure is a force exerted on the walls of blood vessels by the circulating blood. The pressure in the blood is generated by heart pumping the blood into arteries, and is regulated by response of arteries to this blood flow. The blood pressure is expresses as systolic/diastolic, where top number indicates the pressure in the arteries when heart muscles contract and pump blood into them. The bottom number represents the pressure inside arteries when heart muscles relax after contracting. Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension.
For most healthy adults, systolic blood pressure is in the range of 90-120, and diastolic blood pressure is in the range of 60-80 mm Hg. Blood pressure lower than 120/80 is defined as low blood pressure, and 130/80 is considered high blood pressure.
Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure
For some people, low blood pressure is an indication of serious underlying health problem. Some of the most commonly experienced symptoms of low blood pressure are lightheadedness or dizziness, nausea, lack of concentration, fainting, rapid or shallow breathing, cold and pale skin, thirst, fatigue and depression.
In most instances, low blood pressure is not serious. If despite the low readings you feel fine, the doctor may just prescribe the routine exams. Occasional lightheadedness or dizziness are also relatively minor problems that can be caused due to mild dehydration. It is however important to keep the record of all your symptoms of low blood pressure when they occur. If you develop fainting along with chest pain, nausea vomiting or numbness/weakness in the body, call the emergency services. These could be the indicators of ongoing heart attack or other dangerous problems with central nervous system.
The first symptom of low blood pressure comes from the most sensitive organ to the blood flow, the brain. Dizziness, lightheadedness and loss of balance occur when getting up from a sitting or lying down positions. In severe cases, fainting occurs. Heart is also immediately affected by the low BP. Shortness of breath and chest pain along with palpitations can occur due to rapid heart rate and increased force of beat.
The paleness of the skin is caused as venous system dilates, and pools blood, requiring more blood from the skin. The symptoms of low blood pressure also affect kidney, liver and GI tract gradually.
For most of the people, the low blood pressure treatment includes making few diet and lifestyle changes. However, in certain cases, doctor may also prescribe Fludrocortisone or Midodrine for treating low blood pressure.