What are the causes of low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure (tekanan darah rendah) is a condition where your blood pressure falls below the normal level, which is less than 120/80 mmHg. It is also called hypotension. Hypotension in adults is defined as having a blood pressure that is below than 90/60. Some people might have no issue with low blood pressure as it often does not cause any problem. However, some of the patients with low blood pressure can experience disturbing symptoms of hypotension such as dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, fainting, clammy skin, nausea, fatigue or lack of concentration. Your blood pressure is based on factors such as physical condition, body position, stress level, breathing rhythm, medications and also time of day. Any changes to any one of these factors will result in changes with your blood pressure. There are a lot of causes that facilitate these factors. This article will go through the different causes of low blood pressure.

  • Dehydration. This is the most common cause of low blood pressure. It happens when the body loses a significant amount of water. Conditions such as vomiting, fever, severe diarrhea, strenuous exercise and overuse of diuretic medication can often lead to dehydration.
  • Severe bleeding. Losing a lot of blood can also cause low blood pressure. This usually happens during an accident that involved serious injury or internal bleeding. It will lead to a severe drop in blood pressure and patients will need immediate attention.
  • Severe infection. Severe infection or septicemia happens when bacteria enter the bloodstream. This can lead to a severe drop in blood pressure that can be life threatening. This condition is also known as septic shock.
  • Heart diseases. The main function of the heart is to pump blood throughout the body. If the heart fails, the blood pressure will be low and the blood will not reach its target. Some of the heart diseases that lower the blood pressure include heart attack, heart valve problems, heart rate problem and also heart failure.
  • Endocrine disease. Endocrine diseases will often involve the release of hormones. Some hormones are responsible for lowering the blood pressure. The endocrine diseases that can trigger low blood pressure include hypoglycemia (low sugar level), parathyroid disease, Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency) and also diabetes (high sugar level) in some cases.
  • Pregnancy. Women that are pregnant can be susceptible to low blood pressure. This is because the circulatory system will expand rapidly during pregnancy, hence causing the drop in blood pressure level. However, once the baby is delivered, the blood pressure will usually return back to normal.
  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). Allergic reaction that is very severe can also trigger low blood pressure. There are a lot of allergic types in this world including an allergic reaction to food, medications, insects, dust, some materials and so on.
  • Lack of Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is essential in producing red blood cells, cells that are responsible in carrying oxygen to other body cells. Vitamin B-12 deficiency will also lead to low blood pressure.
  • Medications. Some medications that include diuretics and beta blockers can lower the blood pressure. If taken excessively, it might lead to hypotension and will have an adverse effect.

As stated before, some hypotension cases are mild. However, some can be very serious and need urgent treatment. This is because extreme hypotension can be a life threatening condition. If you are having symptoms of severe hypotension such as confusion, cold and pale skin, rapid and shallow breathing or weak pulse, it is recommended to see your doctor as quick as possible. Your quick action might be your lifesaver.