What Can I Do About Low Blood Pressure?

There are many reasons a person may experience low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure caused by severe dehydration is treated with intravenous fluids.
Low blood pressure can cause a person to feel dizzy and nauseated.
Someone who is suddenly experiencing bouts of dizziness should have their blood pressure checked by a doctor.
Internal injuries can result in low blood pressure readings.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Low blood pressure or hypotension has numerous causes. In some cases, it is seen in people who are highly athletic, and where no other symptoms are present, the condition may not need treatment. In other cases, it can indicate a variety of other conditions. Treatment thus depends upon cause and can vary significantly.

When a person has been ill with the stomach flu, dehydration can cause temporary low blood pressure. This is a common cause of hypotension and should be treated, since ignoring it can ultimately lead to organ failure. Any incidence of severe dehydration is treated with intravenous fluids until blood pressure rises to within normal levels.

Further, if nausea or diarrhea is the cause of fluid loss, doctors may want to evaluate the patient to see if this is being caused by bacterial or amoebic illness, which will be treated with antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs. They may additionally give medication to stop vomiting or diarrhea if it continues. Along with fluids, sodium is normally given so that the patient retains some of the fluid.

Certain medications, especially diuretics that cause shedding of excess fluid, and medications to treat a variety of heart conditions, even high blood pressure, can result in low blood pressure. When this is the case, doctors may try different medications, or change dosing amounts so that blood pressure rises. Raising the blood pressure to normal levels is essential to promote organ health.

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Internal injuries and internal bleeding may be the cause of lower blood pressure. If a person is in a car accident or has just had surgery, blood pressure is carefully monitored. Should blood pressure drop, this may indicate bleeding is taking place somewhere in the body. Doctors will then look for the source of bleeding and stop it, and may also give blood transfusions to raise blood pressure.

Abnormal heart rhythms that are excessively slow (bradycardia), or quick ones (tachycardia) can cause blood pressure to become too low. The heart may not have time to fill adequately, resulting in less blood to the surrounding organs. These conditions may be treated with medication, surgery, or implantation of pacemakers or defibrillators.

Blood infection (sepsis), which causes organ shut down, is treated with massive doses of antibiotics. Infection of certain organs like the kidneys or pancreas can also cause low blood pressure and may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotic treatment. Certain other medications like those for mood disorders can cause blood pressure to become too low and may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Since low blood pressure may result from so many different things, medical history and current condition are valuable factors in treating it. Untreated, it can wreak havoc on the body, cause shock, and result in organ failure. It’s therefore very important that blood pressure be evaluated when it is low, especially if the onset of low blood pressure is sudden and causes dizziness.

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Discuss this Article

anon307615
Post 7

Similar to anon281869, I have had low blood pressure since I was a teen. Now in my 40's I am really frustrated with the medical community, who seems to dismiss this condition as non-life threatening and thus not important. Chronic low blood pressure has a debilitating effect on sufferers.

I sometimes wish I could make one of these doctors live through a day of feeling that they can barely lift their arms, much less climb a set of stairs. I am not overweight or unfit, and on good days I can run up stairs without being out of breath. On bad days I can barely get up the first one.

So what causes a good day? Concerta (methylphenidate). It is not typically prescribed for low bp, but guess what? It is the only effective med I have found so far. Yes, I have tried caffedrine, which is usually prescribed for low bp. No, it was not very effective.

anon289807
Post 6

I'm just 16 years old and my blood pressure is 93/53. What can I do? The doctor is not available until Monday. Help?

anon281869
Post 5

I have had very low BP my whole life. I'm now forty. I've had it when I was slim. I've had it when I'm fatter. Exercise or no exercise. I do drink a lot of water. Every now and then I try to eat a banana or potatoes to make up for any need for potassium.

I've never actually passed out but have felt very dizzy and breathless. Off and on, I've had chest pain. I was hospitalized twice for it and the one time it showed elevated C reactive protein and irregular heart beat, but later the cardiologist just sent me home and told me it was anxiety. Have I had anxiety my whole life? I need help! This is scary. -- Breathless in Maryland.

anon50457
Post 4

The reason many people have lower blood pressure when at rest is because, when sitting down or staying still for periods of time, you muscles are relatively inactive, and your heart beats slower and easier than if you were climbing stairs and hiking across parking lots, so blood pressure will be lower.

Also, because when you are sitting,especially for over 30 minutes or so, your blood will tend to pool in your legs, which will cause your blood pressure to drop.

anon40546
Post 3

A woman is 90 years old, no medications, no indications from doctor being a problem, sits in chair a lot, uses walker, home bound. blood pressure low at rest but fine when at doctor's office, good overall heart and organs. Why low pressure when at rest?

obsessedwithloopy
Post 2

I wonder if low blood pressure, or high blood pressure are in any way connected to illnesses of the brain, such as Alzheimer?

Lack of blood supply to the brain, or too much pressure in the brain over a long period of time might interfere with the normal workings of the brain. I wonder if there is any connection?

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