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
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:
2) Moderate or severe
3) Severe inflammation or
infection of organs
4) Heart disease
Here are some symptoms a loved one may be exhibiting if
experiencing chronic low blood pressure:
1) Dizziness or
3) Lack of concentration
4) Blurred vision
6) Cold, clammy and pale
7) Rapid, shallow
Many times low blood pressure isnít serious. However, if
a caregiver sees a trend of low readings and the
symptoms above in their loved one, itís time to seek
medical attention. Sometimes these small symptoms all
add up to a larger, more serious problem.
So, how low is low? There is no good answer, as every
personís normal is unique. Many experts believe that
115/75 is optimal, and low to be 90/60. Only one of the
numbers has to be in the low range to be considered ďlow
A caregiver can help a loved one prevent low blood
pressure by implementing these simple home practices,
recommended by Mayo Clinic.
- Drink more water.
Fluids increase blood volume and prevent dehydration; so
important for those with low blood pressure.
- Follow a healthy diet.
- Go slowly when changing
body positions. This will reduce dizziness. Mayo
recommends a person with low blood pressure take a few
deep breaths before sitting up in bed, then rising
slowly. An elevated position for the head also helps the
effects of gravity.
- Eat small, low-carb
meals. This helps limit the trend of blood pressure
dropping sharply after meals. Drinking caffeinated
coffee or tea with meals may also help increase blood
pressure during that time.
- Use more salt. Many
people are encouraged to limit their salt intake. For
someone with low blood pressure, however, salt can be a
good thing. Make sure a loved one checks with their
doctor about the amount of salt to use, depending on
other health conditions.
- Wear compression
stockings. This helps relieve the blood that pools in
veins and increase blood flow throughout the body.
- Medications. Several
medications are available to treat low blood pressure.
Make sure a loved one consults their physician for any
possible medication benefits.
Low blood pressure is something that can be recognized
and treated early on. As a caregiver, itís important to
have a basic knowledge of the symptoms and also ways to
maintain healthy blood pressure for a loved one. High or
low, it is essential to the bodyís well-being.
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