Low blood pressure is detrimental for health in the long term. Several factors can lead to slower and reduced heart contractions and pulse. This leads to 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.
Irregular heartbeat is a common abnormality. In patients with a very fast heartbeat, also known as fluttering, blood pressure level falls lower than normal. During each heartbeat, the heart contracts itself and pumps out blood, and then relaxes and fills itself up again. If the speed of pumping is too fast, there is insufficient time for heart to fill itself up again, causing a drastic fall in the blood pressure overall. Similarly, a heart that has been damaged will not have the ability to pump blood as it used to, causing a drop in blood pressure as well.
In cases of low blood pressure, opposite effect occurs in the blood vessels as compared to high blood pressure. Hormones such as acetylcholine cause blood vessels to dilate, causing a decrease in the vascular resistance. This 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 fine in short intervals. However, if there is a continuous drop in the blood pressure, seek medical advice.
Loss of water 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 decreases drastically when he suffers from vomiting or diarrhoea and loses a lot of water.
The body regulates its normal functioning with the help of homeostasis. Endocrine glands play a major role in regulating blood pressure. Thyroid gland is responsible for blood pressure regulation, and if it functions poorly, it lowers blood pressure levels in the body. Similarly, if adrenal gland does not produce 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 or hypotension occurs a lot in pregnant, diabetic and obese people. If a person keeps sitting for a long time, the blood accumulates more in the lower part of the body, that is, 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 its constricted blood vessels and circulation. This condition is termed as orthostatic hypotension.
Pregnant women suffer from decrease in blood pressure as their body tries to regulate its normal state by also accumulating for the unborn. Since the mother’s body has to provide nutrition to the foetus along with blood supply, this causes a drop in mother’s blood pressure levels. In these cases, pregnant women are requested to intake healthy diet which helps their body adjust to new environment as soon as possible.
Some medicines can cause blood pressure to lower down; their formulas are used to treat patients with high blood pressure. However, overdose of these medications can cause adverse reaction. For example, medicines that are diuretic in nature 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 causes responsible for blood pressure and the situation. Treatment then depends completely on the patient history and patient history.