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Suggest remedy for fluctuation in BP and weakness

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Posted on Mon, 11 May 2015
Question: Hi Dr. Rynne, My question: My blood pressure fluctuates from a high of 145/90 to a low of 95/58. when its low my pulse increases, today to 125. These episodes of low blood pressure and high pulse rate don't seem to have a pattern, but sometimes occur after a meal, often accompanied by feelings of abd fullness an feelings of significant lightheadedness and weakness. But they pass and I feel ok, back to full activity. I'm 78, had aortic valve replacement 1 1/2 yrs ago, have mild/moderate COPD. Have been placed on losartan and pantoprazole, but they seem to bottom out my BP. Would like to continue to ignore these syx, but wonder if that's the best strategy. Thanks for any ideas. Prudie Orr
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Answered by Dr. Noble Zachariah (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Explanation follows

Detailed Answer:
Hello Ms. XXXX,
Welcome and thank you for your query.
Your observation that your blood pressure drops and heart rate increases after a meal is very relevant. After a meal the blood flow to your digestive system increases for proper digestion. This leads to a redistribution of the blood pumped out of the heart and also a drop in the systematic blood pressure. The body tries to compensate and to increase the amount of blood pumped out of the heart by increasing the heart rate. The feeling of dizziness is due to the decreased blood supply to the brain due to the redistribution of blood and the lower systemic blood pressure. If you lie down during these episodes, you would feel better.
Once the digestion and absorption of the food is over, the BP, heart rate and the blood flow in the systemic circulation return to normal and you feel fine.
If your BP doesn't go above 145/90 without Losartan, you may not require it.
Do get back to me if you have more queries.
Best wishes,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Noble Zachariah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2320 Questions

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Suggest remedy for fluctuation in BP and weakness

Brief Answer: Explanation follows Detailed Answer: Hello Ms. XXXX, Welcome and thank you for your query. Your observation that your blood pressure drops and heart rate increases after a meal is very relevant. After a meal the blood flow to your digestive system increases for proper digestion. This leads to a redistribution of the blood pumped out of the heart and also a drop in the systematic blood pressure. The body tries to compensate and to increase the amount of blood pumped out of the heart by increasing the heart rate. The feeling of dizziness is due to the decreased blood supply to the brain due to the redistribution of blood and the lower systemic blood pressure. If you lie down during these episodes, you would feel better. Once the digestion and absorption of the food is over, the BP, heart rate and the blood flow in the systemic circulation return to normal and you feel fine. If your BP doesn't go above 145/90 without Losartan, you may not require it. Do get back to me if you have more queries. Best wishes,