I went to my doctor office complaining of headaches and dizziness. After many tests and assessments, he diagnosed me with a sinus infection and low blood pressure. Low blood pressure? What is that and what does this mean?
Well, I figured I’d share this with you because I know I’m not the only person who has this. It can be the result of many things: medication, low sodium intake, pregnancy (not my case), and more.
Although we tend to self-diagnose ourselves, it’s always good to talk to your primary care physician first.
Here are the symptoms of low blood pressure:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fainting (called syncope)
- Dehydration and unusual thirst
Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not automatically signal low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration (a loss of as little as 1 percent to 2 percent of body weight), can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue.
- Lack of concentration
- Blurred vision
- Cold, clammy, pale skin
- Rapid, shallow breathing
Low blood pressure can occur with:
- Prolonged bed rest
During the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, it’s common for blood pressure to drop.
- Decreases in blood volume
A decrease in blood volume can also cause blood pressure to drop. A significant loss of blood from major trauma, dehydration or severe internal bleeding reduces blood volume, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure.
- Certain medications
A number of drugs can cause low blood pressure, including diuretics and other drugs that treat hypertension; heart medications such as beta blockers; drugs for Parkinson’s disease; tricyclic antidepressants; erectile dysfunction drugs, particularly in combination with nitroglycerine; narcotics and alcohol. Other prescription and over-the-counter drugs may cause low blood pressure when taken in combination with HBP medications
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What can you do about it?
- Eat a diet higher in salt.
- Drink lots of nonalcoholic fluids.
- Limit alcoholic beverages.
- Drink more fluids during hot weather and while sick with a viral illness, such as a cold or the flu.
- Have your doctor evaluate your prescription and over-the-counter medications to see if any of them are causing your symptoms.
- Get regular exercise to promote blood flow.
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