Maintaining normal blood pressure is important for your health because it means that blood is optimally flowing through your body. Low blood pressure, also known as Hypotension, is a medical condition that causes the blood pressure in your arteries to drop abnormally below normal levels.
When blood pressure is too low, it may cause serious health complications and in some cases, it can even be life-threatening. It can be especially dangerous if symptoms are severe and long-lasting. Therefore, it’s important to understand what causes low blood pressure so that proper treatment and lifestyle changes can be made if necessary.
Here are some common causes of low blood pressure:
1. Pregnancy – low blood pressure during pregnancy is common due to hormonal changes and increased blood volume. This can lead to dehydration and other complications.
2. Dehydration – When the body does not have enough fluids, this causes the blood vessels to constrict which leads to lower pressure in the arteries.
3. Loss of Blood – Severe bleeding due to an injury or surgery causes a decrease in the amount of blood circulating through the body, which causes low blood pressure.
4. Medication Side Effects – Some medications can cause low blood pressure as an unintended side effect, such as diuretics or heart medications.
5. Heart Disease – Conditions such as arrhythmia and valve problems can disrupt how well the heart pumps blood throughout the body, causing low pressure.
6. Endocrine Disorders – Conditions such as hypothyroidism or adrenal insufficiency may cause low blood pressure by interfering with the hormonal regulation of pressure levels in the arteries.
7. Shock – Several conditions, such as septic shock or anaphylactic shock, can lead to life-threatening drops in blood pressure.
8. Allergic Reactions – When the body releases chemicals to combat allergens, this causes a rapid drop in blood pressure.
9. Lifestyle Habits – Low salt intake, extreme dieting, and smoking can all lead to low blood pressure.
10. Heat Exposure – Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures causes the body’s vessels to dilate, leading to decreased pressure in the arteries.
11. Anemia – This condition causes a decrease in red blood cell production, leading to lower levels of oxygen and nutrients being delivered throughout the body via the bloodstream.
12. Nutritional Deficiencies – Certain vitamins such as B-12 are required for healthy circulation and can cause low blood pressure when lacking.
13. Diabetes – This condition causes damage to the blood vessels, leading to a decrease in pressure.
14. Alcohol Abuse – Excessive use of alcohol causes dehydration and can narrow the arteries, both of which can lead to low blood pressure.
15. Age – Aging causes changes in hormonal production that can lead to decreased circulation, causing lower pressure levels in the arteries for seniors.
16. Standing Up Too Quickly – If a person stands up too quickly from sitting or lying down, this causes their blood vessels to constrict and their heart rate to drop abruptly, leading to hypotension (low blood pressure).
17. Stress – The body has an autonomic nervous system that responds to stress by causing the blood vessels to constrict, leading to low pressure levels.
18. Infections – Certain infections such as sepsis can cause low blood pressure due to the body’s response of releasing chemicals and reducing blood flow to fight the infection.
Anyone can easily monitor their own vitals at home using devices like digital wrist monitors, so you can track your readings over time while seeking advice from a healthcare provider when needed. If you have low blood pressure, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition or caused by an external factor like lifestyle habits or medication side effects. It is important to understand the causes of low blood pressure so that it can be managed through proper treatment and lifestyle changes if needed. Learning these common causes can help you recognize when something is wrong and seek out professional help if necessary, helping you stay safe and healthy for many years to come.