Beware of Low Blood Attacks

Have you ever felt dizzy vision, decreased concentration, pale, dizzy, even fainted? It could be a symptom of low blood pressure or hypotension. Blood pressure is said to be low when it is less than 90 mmHg in systolic (top number) or 60 mmHg in diastolic (bottom number). Normally, people under 60 have blood pressure less than 140/90 mmHg, and below 150/90 mmHg for people over 60 years. When blood pressure drops suddenly by 20 mm Hg, for example systolic 100 mm Hg to 80 mm Hg, it can be dangerous. You will feel dizzy and even faint because the brain does not get enough blood supply. The causes of this condition can vary.

Type of Hypotension

Here are the types of hypotension based on the cause of their occurrence:
  • Orthostatic hypotension

  • Orthostatic hypotension is a decrease in blood pressure when you change positions, for example suddenly getting up from a sitting or sleeping position, to a standing position. Decreased blood pressure is usually more than 20/10 mmHg. This condition is characterized by dizzy vision and decreased body balance, so the risk of falling and fainting. Generally, this type of hypotension is experienced by people aged over 65 years.
  • Postprandial hypotension

  • Postprandial hypotension is a decrease in blood pressure of about 20 mmHg in two hours after eating. This type of hypotension is also common in older people, especially those with Parkinson's disease or disorders of the autonomic nervous system. The cause is not yet certain, but it could be related to high carbohydrates.
  • Vasovagal hypotension

  • This type of hypotension occurs when a person is standing for too long. Children more often experience this type of hypotension than adults, for example standing long at the ceremony. Pain can also be the cause. If you faint, vasovagal hypotension sufferers will generally regain consciousness in a short time.
  • Acute hypotension

  • Namely hypotension that occurs when your body's organs do not get an adequate supply of blood and oxygen suddenly. This condition is usually associated with shock due to various causes, such as severe infections, large amounts of bleeding in a short time, heart attacks, dehydration or allergic reactions to anaphylaxis.
  • Chronic hypotension

  • This type is hypotension caused by chronic (chronic) conditions, such as Addison's disease and heart failure.
In addition to the things above, hypotension can also be caused by anemia or lack of blood, hypothyroidism, dehydration, or side effects of drugs such as antihypertensive drugs. In addition, the condition of pregnancy and heart rhythm disorders can also be a cause of low blood pressure.

Treatment and prevention of hypotension

How to handle low blood pressure depends on the underlying cause. For example, if the cause is heart failure, medical treatment and lifestyle changes are needed to avoid hypotension. If it is caused by a drug's side effects, then you can ask your doctor to change the medicine. General hypotension can be treated in the following ways:
  • Consumption of foods that are rich in salt because sodium can increase blood pressure. Especially for those of you who are elderly, consult your doctor before adding salt in your daily diet.
  • Drink more water to increase blood volume and prevent dehydration which can cause hypotension.
  • Do not change body position suddenly, and do not stand too long.
  • Sleep with 2-3 pillows so that when you wake up and stand there is no drastic decrease in blood pressure.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks.
  • Having a cup of coffee in the morning can help.
  • Use compression stockings to reduce the collection of blood in the legs.
If hypotension causes symptoms that are quite disturbing and cannot be treated in the ways above, then you can ask for a prescription from your doctor to increase blood pressure. Examples of medications commonly given are midodrine and fludrocortisone. Immediately check yourself to the doctor if you experience symptoms of low blood pressure accompanied by other complaints, such as chest pain, fever, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or fainting.


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