Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
View Table of Contents
- Low blood pressure facts
- What is low blood pressure?
- What is low blood pressure? (Continued)
- How is blood pressure generated?
- How does the body maintain normal blood pressure?
- What are low blood pressure symptoms and signs?
- Causes of low blood pressure: Dehydration, bleeding, and inflammation
- Causes of low blood pressure: Heart disease
- Low blood pressure causes: Medications
- Other caues of low blood pressure
- How is low blood pressure diagnosed and evaluated?
- What is the treatment for low blood pressure?
What are low blood pressure symptoms and signs?
When blood pressure is not sufficient to deliver enough blood to the organs of the body, the organs do not work properly and can be temporarily or permanently damaged. Symptoms of low blood pressure caused by conditions or diseases depend upon the specific cause of the low blood pressure. For example, if insufficient blood flows to the brain, brain cells do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, and a person can feel lightheaded, dizzy, or even faint.
The most common symptoms of low blood pressure include:
- Fainting (syncope)
Symptoms of low blood pressure due to conditions or diseases include:
- Orthostatic hypotension: Going from a sitting or lying position to a standing position often brings out symptoms of low blood pressure. This occurs because standing causes blood to "settle" in the veins of the lower body, and this can lower the blood pressure. If the blood pressure is already low, standing can make the low pressure worse, to the point of causing symptoms. The development of lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting upon standing caused by low blood pressure is called orthostatic hypotension. Normal individuals are able to compensate rapidly for the low pressure created by standing with the responses discussed previously and do not develop orthostatic hypotension.
- Heart disease: Chest pain (a symptom of angina) or even a heart attack due to is insufficient blood pressure to deliver blood to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart's muscle), a person may develop.
- Kidney disease: When insufficient blood is delivered to the kidneys, the kidneys fail to eliminate wastes from the body, for example, urea (BUN) and creatinine, and increases in their levels in the blood occur.
- Shock is a life-threatening condition where persistently low blood pressure causes organs such as kidney, liver, heart, lung, and brain to fail rapidly.