Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hypotension

 

 

Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure, which can mean inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain and other vital organs. Low blood pressure refers to inadequate intravascular pressure to maintain the body's oxygen requirements.

Although commonly linked to shock, this sign may also result from cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, or metabolic disorders. Hypoperfusion states especially affect the kidneys, brain, and heart, and may lead to renal failure, change in level of consciousness (LOC) or myocardial ischemia. Low blood pressure may also be caused by certain diagnostic tests- most commonly those using contrast media- and the use of certain drugs. It may stem from stress or a change of position - specifically, rising abruptly from a supine or sitting position to a standing position (orthostatic hypotension)
Normal blood pressure varies considerably; what qualifies as low blood pressure for one person may be perfectly normal for another. Consequently, ever blood pressure reading must be compared against the patent's baseline. Typically, a reading below 90/160 mm Hg or a drop of 30 mm Hg from the baseline, is considered low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure can reflect an expanded intravascular space (as in severe infections, allergic reactions, or adrenal insufficiency), reduced intravascular volume ( as in dehydration and hemorrhage), or decreased cardiac output (as in impaired cardiac muscle contractility). Because the body's pressure-regulating mechanisms are complex and interrelated, a combination of these factors usually contributes to low blood pressure.

Common symptoms include;
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • General weakness
  • Light headaches and fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Unsteadiness
  • Head or neck discomfort
  • Fever higher than 101 degrees
  • Severe upper back pain
  • Cough with phlegm

  • Treatments can include;
  • Avoidance of prolonged standing
  • Slow, careful changes in position, especially on arising in the morning
  • Avoidance of alcohol
  • Avoidance of hot environments and hot showers or baths
  • Multiple small meals
  • Avoidance of rigorous exercise
  • Sleeping with lead-up tilt
  • Scheduling of activities in the afternoon
  • Increased salt and fluid intake
  • Prevention steps are;
  • Quit smoking or don't smoke in the first place.
  • Stay away from secondhand cigarette smoke and airborne irritants.
  • If you have seasonal allergies like hay fever, stay indoors during days or seasons when airborne allergens are high and, if possible, keep the windows closed. Use an air conditioner; avoid using fans that draw in air from outdoors; avoid air drying your clothes; shower and change your clothes after being outside.
  • If you have allergies year round, cover your pillows and mattress with dust mite covers, use an air purifier, avoid pets and other triggers.
  • Get regular exercise to promote blood flow.
  • Avoid heavy lifting.
  • Avoid straining while on the toilet.
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    2 comments:

    1. Hypotension is the opposite of hypertension. It is a condition, when the blood gushes through the arteries with low pressure. Its symptoms are dizziness and fainting.

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