The Dangers Of Chronically Low Blood Pressure For Those With Medical Conditions

2012-08-23 |

Diseases of the heart and circulatory system, called cardiovascular diseases, cause an astonishing number of deaths each year. In the US, problems with the cardiovascular system resulted in approximately 1 in 3 deaths as of 2007. This is despite the good news of a 25% drop in death rates from such conditions between 1997 and 2007. Needless to say, preventing cardiovascular disease remains an important health goal amongst physicians.

Because high blood pressure or hypertension is a significant cause of cardiovascular disease, it receives considerable attention. Many public service ads and public health campaigns attempt to communicate the importance of lower blood pressure in preserving our long term health. However, there is also a problem with having an abnormally low blood pressure, called hypotension. Unfortunately, in the shadow of high blood pressure, the risks of persistent low blood pressure are not as well known as they should be, especially for those with other medical conditions.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure?

While high blood pressure is a condition that is not usually detected except at the doctor’s office, the symptoms due to low blood pressure are more commonly noticed. However, while some symptoms will raise immediate concern, many of the symptoms are not very specific. The consequence is that many people with low blood pressure may still take some time before seeking medical attention.

Among the most dramatic symptoms that can occur from low blood pressure is feeling faint or fainting outright. This is most often associated with a specific type of low blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension. With orthostatic hypotension, standing or sitting up is the most common cause of the faint feeling. Generally this is one of those symptoms that is most likely to result in a person contacting their doctor.

The more subtle symptoms of low blood pressure that may be mistaken for other health problems include low energy, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Cold hands and feet, another symptom, may not even trigger some patients to consider that something is wrong, especially if the symptoms come on slowly. For those who are already managing existing conditions, these symptoms can be interpreted as just something else to manage with their current illness.

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Category: Disease Information, Health Risks, Symptom Information

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