What is Hypotension ?


Hypotension, or low blood pressure as it is essentially known as, is a very common condition. It is present in a lot of people without any tell tale symptoms and only gets discovered when a person starts to feels giddy as and when he tries to get out of bed or up from a chair suddenly.

Causes Low blood pressure (hypo tension) can result from shock and some diseases. It can also cause fainting.

Conditions Like hypertension (high blood pressure), slightly low blood pressure may be a particular person’s normal pressure. Provided there are no other symptoms and the individual feels well, the low blood pressure can be considered a chance variation from the average, probably associated with a prolonged life expectancy. But, if low blood pressure occurs in an individual whose blood pressure is normally higher, it may be caused by some recent illness. In this case, it should be only temporary and should improve spontaneously.

Disorders such as diabetes mellitus, tabes dorsalis and Parkinson’s disease may result in low blood pressure, more so on changing posture. This results from involvement of the nervous system which also affects the nervous supply to veins which do not contract effectively resulting in pooling of blood in the extremities. Patients who have had a heart attack also have low blood pressure.

Symptoms Frequently, there are no symptoms and the condition is found at a routine physical examination. The person may feel dizzy from a sudden change in position, such as standing up quickly may cause fainting. Serious low blood pressure may bring on the symptoms of shock, pallor and a feeling of coldness.

Treatment There is a spontaneous improvement in most individuals, although treatment of the cause helps the return to normal. Drug treatment that may cause the low blood pressure should, if possible, be discontinued. Patients with peripheral neuritis are more difficult to treat. An improvement may be made by an increase in blood volume achieved by additional salt in the diet and sometimes with corticosteroid drugs.