22 January 2018

Tanzania: What You Must Know About Low Blood Pressure

Photo: Pixabay
(file photo).

You might have heard at one point in time that certain pupils fell down after standing still for a long time at the assembly ground while at their schools. Perhaps you wondered how that could happen. Well, it's simple. This could be attributed to a "fall in blood pressure."

Standing for long periods can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, nausea and vomiting. This happens because of a miscommunication between the brain and heart. In medical science, this is known "neurally mediated hypotension."

For the years I have been practicing medicine, diagnosing patients with low blood pressure (hypotension) has been one of the commonest encounters.

In most cases, the patients reported to the hospital with a long history of dizziness. What's interesting is that the patients--of rural and urban background--always asked me to prescribe medications for their dizziness.

Well, from what I heard, some doctors have been doing so--prescribing all sorts of meds for dizziness. I am yet to find out on what grounds they do this; and perhaps that could be a good aspect for research.

But who usually complains? From my own experience, most of the patents who complain of dizziness are female rather than male.

But generally, low blood pressure causes dizziness and at times can lead to fainting.

How does this happen?

Maintaining blood pressure can be likened to sustaining the pressure of water circulating in the pipelines throughout your home. This is very important to know.

The pressure must be sufficiently high to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all cells and the removal of waste products in your body.

Both high and low blood pressure are a bad thing. If the blood pressure is too high it causes rapture of blood vessels and may consequently lead to bleeding in the brain.

This is how stroke comes about.

By the same token, when the blood pressure is too low, it implies that the blood can't deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to the cells nor properly remove waste products from them and th entire body.

But the question now comes: Is low blood pressure always a problem? Based on the information I hinted on earlier, what do you think?

It is said that healthy people with low blood pressure at rest tend to live longer. Therefore, do not always demand any aggressive interventions whenever you receive the news about your "harmless" low blood pressure.

According to heart.com, it is further emphasized that within certain limits, the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better. There is no specific number at which day-to-day blood pressure is considered too low as long as there are no worrying symptoms.

Low blood pressure can be caused by very low heart rate. There could also be a problem with heart valves, heart muscle damage, heart attack, heart failure or anything that causes a decrease in blood volume; such as excessive bleeding, diarrhoea, excessive urination and excessive sweating.

Severe infection can also cause low blood pressure. Are you surprised? Don't. This is what happens. That bacteria produce toxins that affect blood vessels. This can ultimately cause a significant fall and life-threatening decline in blood pressure. This is known in medicine as "septic shock."

Other causes include anaemia which may be attributed to lack of vitamin B12 and Folic acid.

So, if you experience dizziness or light-headedness, nausea and vomiting as well as fainting, see your Doctor.

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