Lots of people have a naturally low blood pressure due to a healthy, active lifestyle. However, a healthy lifestyle isn’t the only cause of low blood pressure – and sometimes low blood pressure can mean that there isn’t enough blood flowing to your organs, including the brain. This can result in symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, heart palpitations, feeling sick and general overall weakness.
This can be caused by various factors such as your stress levels, how much exercise you do and if you’ve recently eaten. It can also be affected by the time of day, as blood pressure is normally lower in the evenings and mornings.
If your blood pressure is still low after these factors have been taken into account, it could mean that your low blood pressure is being caused by something much more serious. Here are 7 common causes of low blood pressure.
Common Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Dehydration is one of the main causes of low blood pressure, and even mild dehydration can cause you to feel faint and weak. You could be dehydrated due to not drinking enough water, or excessive vomiting, sweating or diarrhoea.
2. Hormone Problems
Hormone problems can also cause low blood pressure, such as Addison’s disease or diabetes. Addison’s disease causes the immune system to attack the adrenal glands, which produce hormones that control your blood pressure. Diabetes affects the normal control of your body’s blood pressure which can cause damage to the nerves that supply the blood vessels, leading to low blood pressure.
3. Heart Problems
Heart conditions, such as a heart attack or heart disease, can cause low blood pressure as the heart struggles to pump blood around the body.
4. An Allergic Reaction
Low blood pressure can also be caused by a serious allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock. This is because an allergic reaction causes your body to produce a large amount of histamine, which widens your blood vessels and causes your blood pressure to drop. These reactions are normally caused by an allergy to food, medication, animals, insects or latex.
5. Endocrine Problems
Thyroid conditions such as parathyroid disease and hypoglycaemia can cause low blood pressure. This is why a large number of undiagnosed thyroid patients have low blood pressure, causing them to feel faint and weak.
6. Nutritional Deficiencies
If you aren’t getting enough nutrients you may have problems with low blood pressure. This is normally caused by a lack of folate and vitamin B-12, as they help your body to produce red blood cells. If you aren’t getting enough of these vitamins your body won’t produce enough red blood cells, which causes low blood pressure.
Anaemia can also cause low blood pressure, as there isn’t enough hemoglobin or red blood cells in your body.
Tips To Help With Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can be frustrating, but there are lots of things that you can do to reduce the symptoms of low blood pressure.
Try to avoid standing up for a long time, as it is likely to may you feel dizzy and faint. When you do stand up make sure that you stand up gradually, especially if you have been sat or laid down for a long time. You can also try to increase your heart rate before standing up with physical movement by crossing and uncrossing your legs.
Try to eat lots of small meals instead of three big meals, as it will help to prevent postprandial hypotension (a form of low blood pressure). It can also be useful to avoid alcohol and caffeine late at night as they can dehydrate you.
However, it is important to speak to your doctor about your low blood pressure before attempting to treat it. If your low blood pressure is caused by a health condition your doctor may refer you to a hospital for further tests.