Basics

What Is Hypotension?

Hypotension is a state of abnormally low blood pressure. Hypotension by itself is not a disease, it is a physiological condition. There is a sympathetic nervous system that regulates the blood pressure level in human body and its effect is balanced by the autonomic nervous system. Any change in the balance between the two works as the physiological cause of hypotension.

The obvious cause of abnormally low blood pressure is the decreased blood volume. The decrease in the blood volume may occur due to loss of blood, any kind of hemorrhage, lack of fluid in the body or starvation. Some medications too are responsible for hypotension. Loss of blood ultimately results in decrease in the cardiac output thus leading to hypotension. Beta blockers could be the other possible reason for abnormal low blood pressure level because they make the heart rate slower and reduce the ability of the heart muscles to pump blood.

Hypotension is of many types such as orthostatic, neurocardiogenic and post prandial hypotension. First one occurs when there is a change in the body posture i.e. when you get up. It is a common form of hypotension and is transient. In neurocardiogenic hypotension, there is an insufficient drop in the blood when the person is in a standing position. It occurs due to the fast pace of the vagus nerve which is attached to the sympathetic nervous system. The post prandial type of hypotension is caused due to malfunctioning of the autonomic nervous system. After aging it looses its ability to function properly thus leading to low blood pressure.

For most of the people, the BP level below 90/ 50 is called hypotension although it may vary according to the nature of the body. Hypotension is characterized by symptoms like short breadth, chest pain, headache, stiff neck, fever and upper back pain.

The treatment for hypotension depends on the factors leading to the occurrence of this condition. Although healthy people do not require any treatment, for others the solution lies in various drugs prescribed by the physician. Apart from the other treatments available to cure hypotension, systematic vasoconstrictor is also a good option. It is advisable to consult your doctor for a suitable treatment option to get rid of the problem completely.