Low Blood Pressure Symptoms, Signs and Complications

Having explained the basic information about what is low blood pressure (hypotension) and how low should the blood pressure be to be classified as such, and causes of low blood pressure, wherein, why you can get low blood pressure is explained, you now need to know how to identify whether you have low blood pressure or not.

You need to now know what are the symptoms of low blood pressure and the complications that can arise.

Low blood pressure (Hypotension) results in low blood supply (and low oxygen supply) to the various organs in the body, namely the brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and the peripheral parts of the body. This can give rise to  certain low blood pressure symptoms and the ensuing complications or problems.

Most of the times, you can ignore low blood pressure if you do not have any symptoms. But if you do experience them, you must seek medical opinion. The severity of the symptoms can vary, but even if mild you must seek your doctor’s opinion.

Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

The symptoms and signs arise due to low blood and oxygen supply to the various organs of the body.  Nature of symptoms accordingly arise.

Dizziness

  • Brain: Low oxygen supply to the brain causes confusion, headache, dizziness, difficulty in concentration, and generalized weakness.

Chest pain

  • Heart: The coronary arteries supply blood to the walls of the heart. Low blood supply to these arteries results in pain in the chest due to angina or a heart attack.

Breathing problems

  • Lungs: Shallow and rapid breathing and shortness of breath  may be seen.

Inadequate filtration of the blood

  • Kidneys: Kidneys are the filters in the body that filter the blood off impurities, which are then passed out through the urine. Low blood supply to the kidneys results in inadequate filtration of the blood and urea and creatinine get accumulated in the blood showing their higher blood levels than normal.

Difficulty in vision

  • Eyes: Blurred vision

Peripheral symptoms

  • Peripheral Symptoms of low blood pressure are a generalized weakness, fatigue, sweating and a pale and cold skin.

Symptoms of low blood pressure during pregnancy

In pregnancy, there is an expansion of the blood circulation and the hormone progesterone causes the blood vessels to expand. This causes the blood pressure to fall during pregnancy. It starts to fall at the beginning of the first trimester (first three months) and stays low till the middle of the second trimester. This is all due to the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy.

The symptoms experienced are similar to the ones seen in other people such as those explained above. The pregnant woman may experience dizziness and even fainting.  The light-headedness can be worse especially on getting up suddenly from the sitting or lying down position.

Low blood pressure chart during pregnancy

The low blood pressure may be mild, borderline low or severe. The respective ranges are shown below.

Severity                              Systolic                                 Diastolic 

Low BP (mild)                      60 mm Hg                             40 mm Hg
Borderline low BP               90 mm Hg                              60 mm Hg
Extremely low BP               50 mm Hg                              33 mm Hg

Symptoms of low blood pressure during exercise

Some people with low blood pressure may not experience any symptoms, and some may.

During exercise, there is an extra flow of blood to the muscles. This reduces blood flow to the brain. Less blood flow to the brain may cause dizziness especially on a sudden change of posture.

Other possible symptoms include sweating, slow thinking, visual blurring, and nausea Some people may even faint.

That does not mean that persons with low blood pressure should not exercise. Exercise will keep you fit and that is important not just with this condition, but even otherwise. Having strong calf muscles especially will encourage blood returning back to the heart.

As a low blood pressure patient, you can do aerobic and even strength training exercises. However, always take your doctor’s advice, before you start an exercise program.

Complications of Low Blood Pressure

The effects of chronic low blood pressure on the body can be multiple. However, they are more likely to occur in patients with very low blood pressure.

  • Persistent low blood pressure can cause the various organs of the body to fail and the patient may go into shock. He may have a stroke, his kidneys may fail or he may have a heart attack.
  • Due to fainting, the person may receive injuries from a fall.
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