You may already have read that there are many causes for low blood pressure, but you may still not be sure which one applies to you.
The following information will give clues on how to test yourself to narrow down the possibilities. First and foremost…
When do you have low blood pressure?
There is a high probability that you are hypotensive without knowing it. Any time you feel light-headed, confused or dizzy you may have entered into a low blood pressure zone. Low blood pressure can be continuous, frequent, or sporadic. The same applies to related symptoms such as faintness, weakness, or blurry vision.
Do not assume that you have no issues just because your doctor did not mention it. The stress of seeing a doctor may elevate your numbers temporary and skew your doctor`s opinion. Buy your own equipment and check your numbers at various situations at home. This is the only way to know yourself inside out. You may find this downloadable log quite helpful for timing your task.
Do this before discovering your own causes for low blood pressure
- Be aware what hypotension actually means in a medical jargon. If you don’t know the definition and don’t know how your doctor looks at it you won’t be able to communicate effectively and your findings may be dismissed. Before talking to your doctors you need to know what low blood pressure really is.
- Establish whether your readings keep low all the time or fluctuates between low and high numbers. The distinction between these two, makes a big difference as to the causes. If it keeps down all the time you have to look into the heart muscle and the blood volume. If it fluctuates you need to check how your nervous system functions first. Here is a summary of common causes of fluctuating blood pressure.
- Find out how your circulation behaves when body moves. One of the most crucial tests for that is called an orthostatic test. Despite a fancy name it is a simple test, one can do at home. You do not need any special equipment or knowledge to do it. A standard blood pressure monitor will do just fine.
How to do orthostatic test
- Find a comfortable sofa and lay down.
- Test yourself after lying down for 5 min. Keep lying down while testing.
- Test yourself again immediately after getting up from lying down.
- Compare the results
If numbers drop more than 10 or 20 point you have a condition called orthostatic hypotension. Why this is important to know? Because this can strongly clue you into your causes for low blood pressure.
Orthostatic causes for low blood pressure
Surprisingly, very many people may find that their numbers, instead of going up as they should, are going down with the test. That’s not good. You will need to get yourself familiar why this may be happening and what fluctuating blood pressure signifies.
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Causes of low blood pressure after getting up
There are many potential causes for low blood pressure, some may indicate very serious diseases. However, before worrying about the least likely worst case scenarios let`s investigate the more common and more likely situations. Among them are
- Prescription medication, especially blood pressure lowering treatments; Blood pressure medications do not work like your own heart and your own nervous system. They lower, but do NOT regulate blood pressure. They may be your number one cause for erratic numbers. Ask your doctor to adjust the medication.
- Dehydration; Even if you do not feel thirsty, low blood pressure can indicate insufficient water intake or overuse of diuretics. Most people are unaware that they use diuretics daily. Coffee, pop, tea including some herbal teas are among commonly used diuretic beverages. To prevent dehydration drink more water and use less of diuretics, especially if your mouth is dry.
- Stress; Studies have shown that some people can significantly drop their blood pressure at the time of stress. Long-term stress can wear off organs responsible for stress response, adrenals. This in turn can cause low blood pressure numbers. How to revive tired adrenals? Check adrenal diet that works.
Heart palpitations after getting up
If, after doing the orthostatic test, your heart rate speeds up significantly and causes palpitations you may have a condition called POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)[i]. You may also want to investigate the following other causes:
- Presence of heavy metals; Order hair analysis to check that as blood test only shows short-term exposure.
- Nervous or immune system dysfunction; a cardiologist or a naturopathic physician may help
- Autoimmune disease; a number of blood tests would be needed; your doctor will decide
- Over-reactive adrenals, saliva tests for adrenals is best and you can order it on-line
- Diabetes, ask your doctor for blood test called: HbA1C to see how your blood sugar behaves
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal test can be useful here as well. “Healthy diet” may cause it as well.
Consider that low blood pressure may be your first signal of compromised health. Frequently poor circulation also includes other parts of the body and may manifest as dry skin, dry mouth, inability to sweat, vision problems, and in more advanced cases incontinence and impotence. Living with poor circulation is problematic and can lead to irreversible long term effects. Don’t ignore low blood pressure. Find the causes. Apply the right treatments.