low blood pressure

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is the reading of pressure lower than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number (Representative image)

New Delhi: A man suffered a medical emergency mid-air on a Delhi-Mumbai Vistara flight and reportedly struggled to breathe.

He was later stabilized by a fellow passenger, a gynecologist, who realised that the man’s blood pressure had fallen "alarmingly", according to reports.

Sushant Shelke from Kolhapur was fed some sugar powder and put on oxygen on the doctor's advice. Sushant is now fine and was reportedly fasting for the last three days.

What is low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is the reading of pressure lower than 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for the top number or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number.

According to health experts, the various kinds of low BP are:

Postural hypotension

In this, there is a sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up after sitting on lying down. It is mostly caused by dehydration, during pregnancy, bed rest for a very long time, and certain medical conditions.

Postprandial hypotension

It usually happens an hour or more after eating meals. Common among older adults suffering from neurogenerative diseases like dementia and Parkinson's, postprandial hypotension goes away after eating and drinking water in time.

Neurally mediated hypotension

When you stand for very long hours, the blood pressure drops suddenly, causing this kind of ailment. It is very common among children and young people.

Multiple system atrophy

Also known as a shy-drager syndrome, this rare disorder affects the nervous system that controls involuntary functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and digestion.

Signs and symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, the common signs and symptoms of low blood pressure include:
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Nausea
  • Confusion and shock, especially in older people
  • Cold Skin
  • Decrease in skin colouration
  • Breathlessness
  • Weak pulse

What causes low blood pressure?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, low blood pressure can happen commonly even without any symptoms. It is estimated that 5 per cent of people have it at age 50, while that figure climbs to more than 30 per cent in people over 70.

There are several reasons a person suffers from low blood pressure.

  • Not eating properly: According to health experts, not eating meals on time and not including nutrients can lead to low blood pressure in individuals.
  • Dehydration: When there is not enough water in the body, the amount of blood in the decreases, causing the blood pressure to drop
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, several bodily changes cause blood vessels to expand rapidly, and hence you may have low blood pressure.
  • Endocrine disorders: Many people suffer from hormone-related issues like Addison's disease that cause blood pressure to drop
  • Prescription medications: Hypotension can also be caused by medications that treat blood pressure, heart failure, erectile dysfunction, neurological problems, and depression.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse: Recreational drugs can lower your blood pressure, as can alcohol.

What are the risks of hypotension?

f you have symptoms, the underlying cause is usually what determines the outlook for this condition. Complications that can happen because of hypotension include:

  • Falls: You can begin to feel dizzy and faint as a result of hypotension leading to broken bones, concussions, and other serious or even life-threatening injuries.
  • Shock: Suffering from low blood pressure can affect your organs by reducing the amount of blood they get, causing organ damage.
  • Heart issues and stroke: Low blood pressure can cause your heart to try to compensate by pumping faster or harder. Over time, that can cause permanent heart damage and even heart failure.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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