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low blood pressure. How Do I Know If I Have Low Blood Pressure?
Your doctor can determine if you are having significant low blood pressure. Symptoms of dizziness and lightheadedness upon standing do not necessarily mean that you have postural hypotension, or low blood pressure. A wide range of underlying conditions may cause these symptoms. It's important to identify the cause of the low blood pressure so the appropriate treatment can be given.
First, your doctor will look at your history, including your age, your specific symptoms and the conditions under which the symptoms occurred. Then he or she may perform repeated evaluation of your blood pressure and pulse rate after you've been lying down for at least five minutes and after you stand quietly for one minute and for three minutes to look for postural hypertension.
Other tests, such as an ECG to measure heart rate and rhythm problems and an echocardiogram (an ultrasound test to visualize the heart) may be performed, along with blood tests to look for anemia or blood-sugar problems.
More sophisticated home ECG monitoring (a Holter monitor or event monitor) may be necessary to check for heart problems that occur intermittently.
An exercise stress test or electrophysiology test (EP test) may also be helpful.
Serious forms of postural hypotension may require a test called a tilt table test. This test evaluates the body's reaction to position and changes in position. The person lies on a table and is strapped to it, then the table is raised to an upright position for up to an hour. Blood pressure, heart rate and symptoms are recorded. Often medications are given to help guide treatment.
What Are the Treatments?
If you have an underlying medical problem that causes low blood pressure, seek treatment for the underlying condition. For many people, chronic low blood pressure can be effectively treated with diet and lifestyle changes.
Initially, your doctor may counsel you to increase your blood pressure by making these simple changes:
* Eat a diet higher in salt.
* Drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids â€” a minimum of eight glasses per day. Sports drinks that are high in sodium and potassium are recommended, especially during exercise or in hot weather.
* Consume extra salt and drink more fluids during hot weather and while sick with a viral illness, such as a cold or the flu.
* Have your doctor evaluate your prescription and over-the-counter medications to identify any that may be causing your symptoms.
* Get regular exercise to promote blood flow.
* Be careful when rising from a prone or sitting position. To improve circulation, stretch your feet back and forth before standing up. Then proceed slowly. When getting out of bed, sit upright on the edge of the bed for a few minutes before standing.
* Elevate the head of your bed at night by 5-20 degrees by placing bricks or blocks under the head of bed.
* Avoid heavy lifting.
* Avoid straining while on the toilet.
* Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water, such as hot showers and spas. If you get dizzy, sit down. It may be helpful to keep a chair or stool in the shower in case you need to sit; to help prevent injury, use a chair or stool that is specifically designed for showers or bath tubs.
* To avoid problems with low blood pressure after meals, try eating smaller, more frequent meals and resting after eating to lessen episodes of dizziness. Avoid taking low blood pressure drugs before meals.
* If needed, use elastic support (compression) stockings that cover the calf and thigh. These may help restrict blood flow to the legs, thus keeping more blood in the upper body.
* If tolerated, drink coffee in the morning. The amount of caffeine normally found in two cups of coffee (250 mg) can decrease low blood pressure in young adults and can be safely used by older adults as well. If these measures don't lessen the problem, you may need medication.
The following medications have proved effective in treating low blood pressure:
* Fludrocortisone. Fludrocortisone is a mineralocorticosteroid that appears to be effective for most types of postural hypotension, or low blood pressure. It works by promoting sodium retention by the kidney, thereby causing fluid retention and some swelling, which is necessary to improve blood pressure. But this sodium retention also causes a loss of potassium. Therefore, when taking fludrocortisone, it's important to also take adequate amounts of potassium each day. Fludrocortisone has none of the anti-inflammatory properties of cortisone or prednisone and it is not a muscle-building agent.
* Midodrine. Midodrine activates receptors on the arterioles (smallest arteries) and veins to produce an increase in blood pressure. Studies show that it is effective in improving standing blood pressure in people with postural hypotension related to nervous system dysfunction, such as those with Shy-Drager syndrome.
Medically reviewed by Michael Aronson, MD, July 2005.
SOURCES: Goldstein D.; et al. "Orthostatic Hypotension From Sympathetic Denervation in Parkinson's Disease," Neurology 2002, vol. 58 pp 1247-55. Thaisetthawatkul P and others, "Autonomic Dysfunction In Dementia With Lewy Bodies." Neurology 2004, vol. 62, pp 1804-1809.
Autonomic Failure: A Textbook of Clinical Disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System (Oxford Medical Publishers by Christopher J. Mathias (editor) 4th edition Jan. 2003
I am not sure why that is happening...i would go see a doctor ...that sounds serious and i wouldnt play around. Good luck i hope u feel better soon!
This is probably orthostatic hypotension, or a sudden drop in blood pressure when you get up.
However, it would be a good idea for you to get a medical checkup, including an EKG (heart trace) test, cholesterol check and blood tests for anemia too.
that happens to me when i have the flu or a cold or somthing. I would go to a doctor though, it could be somthig serious.
that happenes to me too i think its cause ur getting up to fast after having sat for a while try getting up slowly but when it happens just close ur eyes and wait till u feel better...thats wat i do
go to the doctor tell him about it and he might send you to an eye doctor ..you really should go
Hey I had this problem too!
You need to exercise more. Even 15 minutes every morning will do some difference. And also eat right. Eat whole wheat bread and cereals or anything that has fiber. Fiber helps unclog your blood arteries. Also garlic or green tea does that too. They both have nitrous oxide.
I think my problem was that my heart was too weak. Now I m walking all the time (my university that I m going is big so I have to walk a lot of distance to go between classes).
Good luck! I hope I helped!
A better idea though is to go to a doctor too. You never know. It's better to check up yourself!
It is a somewhat common thing, it is a head rush. When you stand up too fast, you become light headed and the blurred vision and loss of balance is the result.
You have iron poor blood, you are anemic. It is caused by blood leaving your head. I'll bet:
1. You rarely exercise.
2. Eat poorly with few vegetables
3. Do not take an iron suppliment with your meals
You need to exercise your lungs more. Find something fun to do that requires heavy breathing.
If this recurs, TOO OFTEN, it could be, either due to HYPOGLYCAEMIA, OR a SUDDEN fall in BLOOD-PRESSURE.
dmdoc is right. Most likely your symptoms are from orthostasis. When a person stands, their autonomic nervous system signals the blood vessels to constrict some to prevent a drop in blood pressure that occurs as a natural physiologic effect (secondary to blood pooling due to gravity). When your cardiovascular system in general does not respond adequately to a change in position, most commonly rapid transition from lying or sitting into standing, essentially you can think of it as a temporary inadequate blood pressure to perfuse the brain fully.
It's probably benign, but you should check with your physician to rule out something more serious. If you're otherwise young and healthy, some of the tests that dmdoc referred to might be over zealous.