Something as light as lightheadedness may signal something very harmful.
Lightheadedness can be a symptom of low blood pressure.
What is scary is that low blood pressure can have underlying causes that may be an indication of serious heart, endocrine or neurological disorders.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps out blood. It is determined by two factors:
- Resistance to the flow of blood caused by the walls of the arterioles, smaller arteries
- Amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart into the arteries
If less blood is being pumped into the arteries then the blood pressure tends to be lower. Also, if the arterioles are larger and more flexible they have less resistance to the flow of blood leading to low blood pressure values.
A low blood pressure reading is having a level that is 90/60mmHg, or lower. If only one of these numbers is also lower than its low blood pressure. A sudden fall in blood pressure can be dangerous. A change of just 20 mm Hg in either of the values can cause dizziness and fainting when the brain fails to receive an adequate supply of blood.
Why you need to worry about your low blood pressure values
Dizziness, lightheadedness, and the fainting like feeling is commonly experienced by people who have low blood pressure. When the blood pressure level falls, there is not enough oxygen-rich blood is being delivered to the brain, thus affecting its function. At this juncture, the person loses consciousness temporarily, medically called syncope. The symptoms tend to worsen when changing posture i.e. either from lying down or sitting, to standing up. Additionally, certain other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating and nausea may also be felt.
In case of conditions like uncontrolled bleeding, severe infections or allergic reactions, when the value falls it can be life-threatening.
Low blood pressure is sometimes a warning signal for a medical condition like ‘Shock' that can be fatal. Lack of blood flow implies that the cells and organs are not getting enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly. As a result there can be multiple organ damage. Shock requires immediate medical treatment and can get worse very rapidly.
It is always safe to discuss with your doctor regularly if you often feel dizzy and have low blood pressure. It is important to have the cause of your low blood pressure properly diagnosed. Once your doctor has diagnosed the underlying problem, the right diet and correct exercise program must be followed.
Who is at a risk for Low Blood Pressure?
Hypotension can affect people of all ages. However, people who take certain medicines—such as diuretics or other high blood pressure medicines are at an increased risk. Certain conditions like nervous system disorders (Parkinson's disease) and some heart conditions also increase the risk for hypotension. Other risk factors include being immobile (not being able to move around very much) for long periods, nutritional deficiencies, being out in the heat for a long time, endocrine disorders and pregnancy. Hypotension during pregnancy is normal and usually goes away after birth.
Home Remedies for Low Blood Pressure
- Basil leaves (Tulsi) are very effective in normalizing blood pressure. Extract juice from about 15 basil leaves and add honey for flavor and take this juice in the morning on empty stomach . Drinking this juice at least once daily will be very beneficial home cure for low blood pressure.
- Soak some raisins in a bowl of water overnight and eat it the first thing in the morning followed by a glass od water.
- Drink a cup of raw beetroot juice twice daily for about one week.
In addition to these home remedies, do regular, mild exercise as it helps to promote blood flow. Repeated instances of feeling nauseated or giddy must be informed and consulted with the doctor to check if any of your prescription medications are causing a problem.
Don't ignore those dizzy spells. They can spell problems later.