Blood vessels which carry blood are elastic in nature – they are free to expand and shrink or collapse readily due to the thin wall and flexible nature according to the flow or pressure of the blood. Contraction of the blood vessel is termed as vasoconstriction and dilatation of the blood vessels is called vasodilatation. Blood flow rate depends on pressure exerted by vessels (resistance), size and length of the blood vessel, flow direction with gravitational force, viscosity of the blood, etc. But the major factors are ability of distention and capacitance of the blood vessels.
Blood pressure is the resistant force faced by the blood against the vessel wall (artery or vein). Arterial pressure has a more significant value than the venous pump (since it is only a backflow). BP usually varies according to the age, sex, heart functions, density of the blood, etc. BP also indicates the strain of the heart – more the pressure, more strained is the heart. Blood pressure alters depending upon the requirement of oxygen for the body. It is mainly controlled by higher functions of the brain in relation to the pituitary, adrenal and thyroid glands. The factors which usually trigger change in blood pressure are mind, water balance, sweat, etc.
Blood pressure is required for blood to reach the brain or other parts of the
Normal blood pressure
The maximum pressure (systolic pressure) is attained at the end of contraction of the heart (systole). The minimum pressure (diastolic pressure) is attained at the end of dilatation or relaxation of the heart (diastole). Pulse pressure is the difference of these pressures. It is raised in elderly persons and diseased persons. Optimum BP (expected to be normal) is sketched as 120/80mmHg. But variation is widely accepted depending upon the age, sex, individual, work, sleep, medicines, etc. The exceeded pressure over 140/90mmHg is considered as hypertension or high BP. The lower pressure, below 100/70mmHg, is considered as low BP which is also known as hypotension.
is the pressure reading below 100/70mmHg. Usually sportive or strong persons will have strong heart and stable lower pressure than normal (120/80mmHg) i.e., it would be 110/70 or 100/70mmHg but not below that. This lower pressure usually reduces the risk of cardiac or heart problems. This stable pressure also indicates that heart is well trained to withstand any exertion. Even though low BP rarely creates problem, it needs to be taken count of. Low blood pressure sometimes signals rapid deterioration of health.
Incidence – Mostly short persons are found to have lower BP than taller persons. Also, sedentary obese patients suffer more commonly from low BP than active lean persons. Women have higher incidence of low BP than men. Also, some family members tend to have low BP without any symptoms. It may be normal for them.
Common causes – Researchers have identified lots of causes in correlation with hypotension. They are:
- Blood – reduced volume, less density, anaemia, blood loss from injury or diseases like cancer and bleeding diathesis
- Blood vessels – more flexible and relaxed blood vessels, low pumping efficiency of heart, diseases of blood vessels
- Heart – Hole in heart (patent ductus arteriosis), valve damage or its regurgitation, heart failure, changes in heart rate or rhythm (arrhythmias)
- Loss of body fluids – due to diarrhoea after food allergy or poisoning, excessive or exhaustive sweating, allergic responses
- Infections – pancreatitis, peritonitis, pulmonary oedema, septicemia
- Drugs – medicines used for high BP, diabetes, heart disorders, depression, pain, and sleep can lower the BP. Oral contraceptive pills also tend to lower the BP
- Hormones – Adrenal insufficiency, pituitary disorders and hypothyroidism
- Nervous system – stroke, Parkinsonism, autonomic nerves dysfunction
Surgery – using anaesthesia during surgery can lower the BP
- Habits – smoking, alcohol and addiction to drugs; coffee, tea, chips and pickles
- Temperatures – exposure to extreme temperatures of cold and hot (sunstroke)
- Mind – thoughtfulness, surcharged emotion, brooding
- Others – deep sleep, being bedridden, breathlessness, saltless food
- Fainting or reeling sensation or giddiness
- Low vitality or weakness
- Lack of concentration and sleepiness
- Headache and stiff neck
- Chest pain and palpitation
- Shortness of breath or breathlessness
Complications – When the blood pressure is low, there will be inadequate blood flow causing lack of oxygen to the heart, brain and other organs. This may cause loss of functions. Sudden drop in pressure or further drop in pressure in low pressure patients can make them collapse, thus endangering life. Low diastolic blood pressure increases the risk of dementia in aged persons – Alzheimer’s disease.
- Check blood pressure regularly
- Exercise regularly
- Plenty of juices or water. As the blood pressure falls, heart slows down or vice versa. Water volume can correct it
- Plenty of vegetables and fruits to energise your body to become active
- Grains, beans, peas and nuts to boost up blood pressure
- Non-vegetarian foods like egg, fish, mutton and chicken will also raise the blood pressure. But mind – it is better to have them within limits or otherwise it may increase the cholesterol level and complicate the situation
- Salt need not be avoided, but it should not be used in excess, since it may hold more water in the tissue spaces
- Smoking, alcohol, coffee and tea
- Fried items and fast foods
- Hot sun and extreme cold weather
- Vigorous exercises which causes profuse sweating
- Unnecessary drugs
- Being overweight
As a general rule –
- Eat well, work well and sleep well
- Be active and be busy
- Don’t be thoughtful and accumulate stress
General treatment – High BP patients are usually managed easily with medicines for life time, but no one prescribes or provides treatment for low blood pressure, unless otherwise it shows symptoms like dizziness, weakness, fatigue or palpitations, since medicines used for increasing BP will create a strain on the heart and cause side-effects.
Hypotension is an ongoing process of chronic fatigue. The transient drop or doctors advice oral rehydration therapy or IV (intravenous) drips to increase blood volume. In case of reduced pulse or heart rate, treatment is concentrated in boosting the heart functions by increasing its rate and efficiency.
The most dangerous side-effects of continuous use of other system of medicines makes the sufferer prefer Homeopathic treatment. With its curing effect, Homeopathy can raise the spirit and strength of patients with low BP. Patients are generally pleased
As low BP doees not strain the heart like high BP, people tend to be careless about it and skip treatment. Also there won’t be any symptom at all, to make them seek treatment. But often, low BP forces the patient to get emergency care. So, proper treatment is necessary to avoid emergency situations.
The patient should help himself/herself overcome stress and strain, tormenting anxiety, grief, extreme distress. Homeopathy can also treat these mental symptoms.
Homeopathic medicines commonly used in cases of low BP are Acid flour, Adrenalin, Ars alb, Aurum mur, Bartya carb, Bartya mur, Bryonia, Crataegus China, Conium, Ferrum met, Gelsemium, Lycopodium, lycopus, Nat mur, Pulsatilla etc. These medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a Qualified Homoeopath.