Blood pressure is an integral part of the body system. The metabolism of the body, directly and indirectly, regulates it. Failure in the maintenance of normal blood pressure leads to two abnormal conditions, respectively.
- HYPERTENSION or HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.
- HYPOTENSION or LOW BLOOD PRESSURE.
Hypotension defined as decreased blood pressure measuring about 90/60 mm of Hg. Usually, blood pressure reading of standard human measures about 120/80 mm of Hg, used as a reference.
EXPLANATION OF THE READING OF SPHYGNOMANOMETER:
A sphygmomanometer is a device which is used to measure the blood pressure level. It is a standardized form of measurement. It comprises of a reading scale with a mercury marker, cuff for wrapping the upper arm, a rubber bulb along with an exhaust valve to adjust the pressure and a stethoscope for detecting the sound. Usually, two points considered for the completion of the reading. The first point, after rising the pressure you get to hear the sound defines the Systolic pressure. The point during the gradual release of the pressure, where no sound is heard, defined as Diastolic pressure.
MECHANISM OF HYPOTENSION:
The combined dual effect of cardiac output and systemic vascular resistance(SVR) controls blood pressure.
BLOOD PRESSURE= CO X SVR
Any condition that causes an interruption in any of the two variable factors will lead to Hypotension. Usually, the restoration of normal blood pressure occurs by the following mechanism.
For instance, when the blood volume decreases as a result of bleeding or dehydration, the increase of the cardiac output or constriction of the blood vessels or modification of both the factors will cause restoration of the normal BP. However, failure of any of the reflexes causes the development of abnormalities in blood pressure resulting in Hypotension.
TYPES OF HYPOTENSION:
There are different categories of Hypotension, depending on the cause and the associated factors:
- Orthostatic Hypotension (Postural Hypotension): It is a condition in which the blood pressure drops when you stand up on a quick mode.
- Increased cases of Hypovolemia
- Instances of increased dehydration(generally occurs due to vomiting )
- Reduced ability to move.
- Abnormal heart condition( irregular heartbeat, heart rhythm)
- Pregnant conditions.
- Anemic condition.
- Hormonal imbalance resulting in hypothyroid condition, low blood sugar level)
- Excessive use of certain medications( alpha-blocker, beta-blockers, diuretics)
- Medicines for Parkinson’s disease.
Mechanism: Usually, gravity causes the pulling of blood in the lower extremities. Contrastingly the increase of blood vessel constriction and heart rate causes return of the blood to upper extremities and the brain. This dual mechanism gets impaired in orthostatic Hypotension, resulting in low blood pressure. It causes lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, and weakness.
- Postprandial Hypotension: It is the sudden fall of the blood pressure after eating, observed in aged people.
Mechanism: The blood flow in the body increases once you are done with eating. It results in the constriction of the blood vessels and the increase of the heart rate to restore constant blood pressure. However, in some case, the blood pressure falls giving rise to dizziness, weakness, and increases chances of unconsciousness. The people with the severe autonomic nervous system and Parkinson’s diseases are likely to have postprandial Hypotension.
- Neurally Mediated Hypotension: It is the sudden drop of blood pressure due to prolong standing for an extended period. It is most observable in children and lower age adults.
Mechanism: Usually occurs because of the generation of faulty signals. It results in the miscommunication between the brain and the heart. The lack of synchronization causes the development of low blood pressure.
- Multiple System Atrophy With Orthostatic Hypotension: It is caused by the damage of the components of the autonomic nervous system, modulating heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and breathing. Blood pressure tends to fluctuate all the time. It is also known as Shy – Drager Syndrome.
DIAGNOSIS: Before initiating, it is essential to know what causes low blood pressure. There are many tests recommended for Hypotension. Some of the patents are:
BLOOD TESTS: It is the primary level of diagnosis recommended by most of the doctors. The test comprises of blood sugar test to determine whether you are hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic. Hemoglobin count is also recommended to see whether the patient is anemic or not. Both of the condition directly links with Hypotension.
ELECTROCARDIOGRAM: it is one of the sophisticated test comprising of electrodes placed at different areas of the chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes detect the electrical signal of the heart, displayed on the screen. The EEG gives you a vivid idea about any abnormality in blood flow, irregular cardiac rhythm, or structural abnormality of the heart.
TILT TABLE TEST: this test is an easy detection of low blood pressure. It gives you confirmation of neutrally Mediated Hypotension. It can detect how your body responds to changes in a different position.
The low blood pressure treatment can be initiated only after a confirmed diagnosis. Some of the widely used treatment is-
- INCREASE INTAKE OF SALT: Doctors recommend increased intake of salt in the diet. Salt contains Na responsible for improving blood pressure.
- EXCESS INTAKE OF WATER: Excess intake of water increase the blood volume, therefore, preventing chances of dehydration, directly or indirectly helping in treating Hypotension.
- USAGE OF COMPRESSION STOCKINGS: This stocking is generally made of plastic used in relieving the pain in the varicose vein, thereby decreasing the accumulation of blood in lower extremities.
- PROPER MEDICATION: Proper medication, depending on the type of Hypotension, is recommended.
Based on the type of blood pressure, you can make some functional changes in your lifestyle. Self-awareness, along with medication, is the best deadly combination to cure Hypotension. Some of the revisions to make in lifestyle are- avoid consumption of alcohol, keep your body hydrated, opt a healthy diet, have an eye on your body postures and positions, eat less but increase the number of meals. All the ways mentioned above of improvement are easy and can be implemented by oneself. You need to give a try to accomplish it.