Low blood pressure
Are you hypotension? Many healthcare experts consider people with low blood pressure are lucky and gifted by nature. So be happy for your condition.
What Is Healthy & Low Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps, if it is lower than healthy range known as low blood pressure.
The left lower chamber (ventricle) of the heart receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and heart pumps blood throughout the body. The blood flow exerted pressure on the arteries during the heartbeat is called the systolic blood pressure. It is the first or top number in a blood pressure reading. The pulse you feel is the contraction of the heart's left ventricle.
The heart fills with blood between heartbeats; the pressure drops on the arteries is called the diastolic blood pressure.
A blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) is considered normal. If the reading is 90/60 or lower, then it is considered as low blood pressure.
The medical term for low BP is hypotension. Low pressure would seem to be something to strive! Because high blood pressure (or hypertension) is a well-known risk factor for heart disease and other problems.
What are the factors that determine your Blood Pressure?
The pressure in your arteries depends on a couple of key factors; they are baroreceptors (pressure sensors in arteries & veins), blood volume, heart’s ability to pump, cardiac output, heart rate, and blood vessel elasticity.
- Baroreceptors – are pressure sensors in your body. Healthy blood pressure maintenance depends on the ability of baroreceptors to measure the pressure.
- Blood volume - When the heart pumps more blood with every heartbeat, then the blood pressure will be higher. On the other hand, if the heart pumps lesser blood with every heartbeat, then the blood pressure will be lower.
- Heart’s ability to pump - Proper functioning of heart valves is essential for the heart's ability to pump blood through the body. Some heart valve problems are regurgitation (valve leakage), stenosis (valve narrowing), and atresia (valve not appropriately developed in a child).
- Cardiac output – is the volume of blood being pumped by the heart in a minute. It is equal to the heart rate multiplied by the stroke volume. So, if there are 70 beats per minute, and 70 ml of blood pumped with each beat of the heart, then the cardiac output is 4900 ml/minute.
- Heart Rate - is the measure of the number of heart contractions per minute (bpm). The heart rate can vary according to your body's oxygen requirement and excrete carbon dioxide.
- Blood vessel elasticity - The presence of thickened or narrow artery wall resist blood flow, which results in high blood pressure. On the other hand, a dilated artery wall exerts reduced resistance, which results in low blood pressure.
Additionally, it also depends on how properly your kidneys, liver, and blood vessels work. Without knowing why the pressure is low, you cannot treat hypotension properly.
How does your body maintain healthy Blood Pressure?
Baroreceptors are sensors in the blood vessels that sense the blood pressure and send it to the brain, so that the brain maintains a healthy blood pressure by communicating with the kidneys, arteries, veins, and heart to increase, decrease, or maintain blood pressure, as needed.
Heart’s function is to ensure all the organs and tissues receives sufficient blood supply. If your blood pressure is too low, baroreceptors send signals to the brain. The brain instructs
- the heart to beat faster, pump more blood per beat,
- constructs the arteries (carry oxygen-enriched blood from the heart),
- relaxes the veins (bring oxygen-depleted blood to the heart)
Which results in raised blood pressure until it attains a healthy blood pressure.
If the above said control loop not able to maintain healthy blood pressure, then the next master control system is by involving kidney pressed into service. If the blood pressure is low, the kidney keeps more water in the blood by excreting less urine than usual, thus increases your blood pressure.
This control loop is slow acting; it takes hours compared to baroreceptor control, which is very quick.
Is low blood pressure bad for your health?
People with low blood pressures have reduced risk for stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease. Healthy athletes who exercise regularly have lower blood pressures.
Therefore, low blood pressure is a sign of good health & fitness. However, that is not always the case. Some low blood pressure causes might be a health issue that needs prompt treatment to avoid risk.
If you know the low blood pressure risk factors, then you can avoid low blood pressure and its problematic symptoms. Many hypotensive patients may experience disturbing low blood pressure symptoms such as dizziness and fainting, which may indicate serious heart, endocrine, or neurological disorders. Severely low blood pressure can deprive the brain and other vital organs of oxygen and nutrients, leading to a life-threatening condition called shock.
Thus you need to diagnose low blood pressure in time and take proper treatment by following
- Healthy low blood pressure lifestyle such as doing exercise regularly and eating healthy foods,
- Following simple low blood pressure home remedies,
- Taking medication for low blood pressure and
- Can try natural low-blood pressure treatments such as herb, yoga, acupressure & reflexology.
Other names for hypotension
Different names for hypotension are low blood pressure, neutrally mediated hypotension, neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, postprandial hypotension, and postural hypotension.