Causes of low blood pressure

Learn about the different types of low blood pressure and what can cause it


Low blood pressure is detrimental to health in the long term; several factors lead to slower and reduced heart contractions and pulse. This results in a decrease in blood pressure levels in the body. Low blood pressure reduces the quality of blood flow in the body, which results in a reduction of average body circulation. Inadequate blood flow can result in permanent organ damage.

Heart as a Cause of Low Blood Pressure

Irregularity in ones heartbeat is a common abnormality. In patients with a rapid heartbeat, also known as fluttering, blood pressure level falls lower than normal. During each heartbeat, the heart contracts and pumps out blood, then relaxes and fills itself up again. If the speed of pumping is too fast, there is insufficient time for the heart to fill itself up again, causing a drastic fall in the blood pressure overall. 

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Dilation of Blood Vessels

In cases of low blood pressure, the opposite effect occurs in the blood vessels as compared to high blood pressure. Hormones such as acetylcholine causes dilation of blood vessels, resulting in a decrease of vascular resistance. This decrease creates a difference in the flow volume, as the heart tries to cope up with the dilated blood vessels. Ideally, this allows a body to relax and is not an issue in short intervals. However, if there is a continuous drop in the blood pressure, you should seek medical advice.

Dehydration and Low Blood Pressure

A lack or insufficient water hydration affects the volume of blood, as well as interstitial fluids. Interstitial fluid is located in the space between cells and capillaries, allowing healthy nutrient exchange, which is directly disturbed by dehydration. Moreover, loss of water also causes the blood volume to thicken up, which causes blood distribution to slow down again, decreasing blood pressure overall. For this reason, a person’s blood pressure drastically decreases when he suffers from vomiting or diarrhoea and loses a lot of water.

Role of Endocrine Glands in Hypotension

The body regulates its normal function through homeostasis. Endocrine glands play a significant role in regulating blood pressure. The thyroid gland is responsible for blood pressure regulation, and if it functions poorly, it lowers blood pressure levels in the body. Similarly, if the adrenal gland does not produce a sufficient amount of cortisone, similar results are observed. People with abnormal pituitary glands or diabetes also suffer from low blood pressure.

Orthostatic Low Blood Pressure

Orthostatic low blood pressure or hypotension frequently occurs in pregnant, diabetic and obese people. If a person keeps sitting for a long time, the blood accumulates in the lower part of the body, that is, the legs. When that person stands up quickly after a long period of sitting down, it takes a little while for the body to adjust back to its constricted blood vessels and circulation. This condition is known as orthostatic hypotension.

Pregnancy and Low Blood Pressure

Pregnant women suffer from a decrease in blood pressure as their body tries to regulate its normal state while accounting for the unborn. Since the mother’s body has to provide nutrition to the foetus along with blood supply, this causes a drop in the mother’s blood pressure levels. In these cases, pregnant women are requested to intake a healthy diet which helps their body adjust to the new environment as soon as possible.

Effect of Medication on Low Blood Pressure

Some medications can lower blood pressure; their formulas are used to treat patients with high blood pressure. However, consuming too much of these medications can cause an adverse reaction. For example, diuretic medications cause loss of fluid in the body, lowering blood pressure.

Low blood pressure may not be as important as its underlying causes. Doctors try to identify the reasons responsible for low blood pressure and the extent of it. Treatment then depends entirely on the patient history and patient history.

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