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Blood Pressure: Itís a Balancing Act

By: Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

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Most people hear about all the symptoms and side effects of high blood pressure. The opposite end of the spectrum can be just as daunting if not kept in check. Low blood pressure is desirable in many cases, unless the reading is too low.  Low blood pressure can cause major damage to organs, especially the brain.

When the pressure is not enough to deliver blood to the bodyís organs, they will not work properly and can become temporarily and even permanently damaged. With the brain, a low blood pressure limits oxygen, causing lightheadedness, dizziness and faintness.  Other examples of low blood pressure dangers include affects on kidneys, which will be unable to eliminate wastes from the body, or on the arteries, which will decrease blood supply to the heart and may result in heart attack.

ďShockĒ is the result when low blood pressure becomes life threatening after persisting for a long time. Caregivers need to know when low blood pressure needs to be addressed by a medical professional, and ways to keep the body working at its maximum capacity.

Here are some common causes of low blood pressure, which is most common in people over the age of 65:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Moderate or severe bleeding
  3. Severe inflammation or infection of organs
  4. Heart disease
  5. Medications

Here are some symptoms a loved one may be exhibiting if experiencing chronic low blood pressure:

  1. Dizziness or lightheadedness
  2. Fainting
  3. Lack of concentration
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Nausea
  6. Cold, clammy and pale skin
  7. Rapid, shallow breathing
  8. Fatigue
  9. Depression
  10. Thirst


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