Low Blood Pressure - What Is It And How Is It Treated?

If you get care through a health clinic or a primary care physician, then you likely have had your blood pressure taken. Blood pressure checks are a standard part of the physical, and although most doctors are concerned with high blood pressure, an unusually low reading may be an issue as well. Keep reading to learn about the possible causes of low blood pressure and how it may be treated.

What Causes Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of things. If you are a healthy adult, then it may be caused by heredity. This means that your blood pressure is likely to remain on the low side throughout your life. 

Other causes include pregnancy, a reduction in your blood volume, long-term bed rest, and poor nutrition. In general, these cases are self-limiting and blood pressure will rise if you eat well, drink fluids, retain daily activity, and give birth to your child. While the situation is active, your physician may choose to monitor your blood pressure so it does not drop to a level that is dangerous. 

Infections, heart problems, and endocrine disorders can often cause a drop in blood pressure as well. Testing will often be required to see which, if any, of these health problems are a concern. Imaging may be used to diagnose a heart valve or heart failure issue, and blood tests might be necessary to find endocrine disorders, like Addison's disease. Blood tests can be used to find bacteria in the blood as well, to diagnose septicemia.

How Is The Problem Treated?

Medication can be used to treat endocrine, infection, and heart failure issues. Surgical procedures may be needed to restore health due to heart valve degeneration. 

If low blood pressure continues and all underlying issues have been treated, then your physician will ask if you experience any problematic symptoms. Dizziness, fatigue, pale skin, fainting, nausea, and a feeling of cold across the body are a few examples. 

If symptoms are troubling, then a treatment plan will include diet changes. A diet that is higher in sodium can help to increase blood pressure to a normal level and so can the consumption of more water. You may be asked to stick to a diet plan where five or more small meals are eaten throughout the day. This can assist with the retention of blood sugar levels to keep dizziness and fatigue at bay.

If you want to know more about blood pressure and whether or not yours is high or low, speak with a primary care physician.