What Are The Symptoms Of Hypotension?

Hypotension, also known as low blood pressure, is caused when blood vessels dilate reducing the blood pressure. Learn about it!

Hypotension, also known as low blood pressure, is caused when blood vessels dilate reducing the blood pressure. As an immediate reaction sensors in the body send out signals to the brain and heart to increase the heart rate. This in turn increases the output of blood that is pumped to the body by the heart. Even so, the result is little or no change in the blood pressure. When a person has low blood pressure the blood is unable to supply enough oxygen and nutrients to the cells. This also makes it impossible for the blood to properly remove waste from the cells. In some cases a normal healthy person will have a normally low blood pressure while they are resting. In this case the person will tend to live longer.

Blood pressure in the body is determined by three factors. The amount of blood that is pumped from the heart, the capacity of the blood vessels and volume of blood in the vessels. The greater the amount of blood that is pumped by the heart per minute, the higher a persons blood pressure will be. When the heart beats slow or the contractions of the heart are weakened the amount of blood that is pumped may be reduced. There are many factors that affect the blood pressure in the body. When more blood is circulated through the body the blood pressure will rise. It will also rise when the blood vessels have a smaller capacity. Thus any loss of blood from dehydration or excessive bleeding will reduce the bodies blood pressure, as will any dilation of the blood vessels.

There are sensors in the body that constantly monitor the blood pressure. Two of the primary sensors can be found in the chest and neck. These sensors detect any change in the blood pressure and compensate in order to maintain a steady blood pressure. This is done when nerves in the body receive signals from the sensors and carry these signals to the brain centers. These signals are passed from the brain centers to key organs such as the heart, kidneys and blood vessels to affect the needed change. The heart will immediately change the rate and strength of the heart beats. The kidneys regulate the amount of water that is excreted while the blood vessels dilate or constrict according to the signal they receive. Even so, these changes are limited. In cases where excessive bleeding has occurred these compensatory mechanisms can be insufficient causing the blood pressure to fall. In this case, when the bleeding is stymied, new blood cells will be manufactured and the volume of blood will eventually be restored.

Symptoms of low blood pressure include fainting, dizziness, light headedness, occasional palpitations, blurred vision and even confusion. In some cases where the ability of the nerves to conduct signals are impaired by various diseases low blood pressure can result from a malfunction. Orthostatic hypotension, which is usually a side effect of certain drugs given for cardiovascular problems in elderly people. These include strong diuretics, nitrates, calcium blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. The best treatment for unconsciousness due to low blood pressure is to lie flat with the legs elevated. If the heart beat is too slow it can be surgically corrected by the implantation of a pacemaker. In some cases, defibrillators can be implanted to jolt the heart back to a normal rhythm or drugs can be prescribed.

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