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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What to do if you have low BP ?

What to do if you have low blood pressure?
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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Assuming we are talking about chronic hypotension; providing you are not symptomatic (which could indicate that BP is so low that it's unable to push blood around the body sufficiently), absolutely nothing. The lower the BP, the lower the stroke risk. Oh, Edit: Why the thumbs down? Can't be Doubtfire, it's way past his bedtime. Perhaps a more comprehensive answer was needed.... It really depends whether or not you are talking about acute or chronic hypotension. With chronic hypotension, In most cases there is no identifiable cause, but rarely it can indicate pathology. Perhaps the most common is Addison's disease and diabetes. Orthostatic hypotension is very common in the elderly because the baroreflex mechanisms which control the heart rate and vascular resistance naturally decline with age. Certain drugs can sometimes cause low blood pressure too. There are also some cardiac (more seen in acute situations), neurological and haematological causes too. These are less common causes. Acute hypotension on the other hand is very significant. In some cases it can be an indication of different forms of shock including cardiogenic shock following an MI, septicaemia, hypovolaemia, anaphylactic and other problems like PE. There are quite a few other situations where a plummet in BP would be indicative too. But generally speaking, if your BP is lower than average, it's a perfectly normal healthy indication. If you are unsure of anything then pop along to your GP and he will run some tests. The yanks tend to advise increasing sodium in the diet to raise blood pressure, this is an absurd idea frankly.
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