Thursday, December 15, 2011

Low blood pressure - blessing or illness?

Some physicians say that a low blood pressure is a blessing and not a disease. Considering the global epidemic of hypertension that is silently taking lives by damaging vital organs, this is very close to the truth. Low blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure that is lower than normally expected for a single person in the given conditions and is therefore a very relative term. Blood pressure that is borderline low for one person may be normal for another. Athletes and people who lead a healthy lifestyle often have lowered blood pressure. It can be hard to find the cause of low blood pressure if you do not have a family history of heart problems, you are not diabetic or pregnant, and you are not taking medications which effect blood pressure. In the case of mild disorders drug therapy is not required.
Severe problems with hypotension can occur because of atherosclerosis, heart failure, disturbances in heart rhythm, when taking sedatives, in case of treating hypertension with inappropriate medications or because of overdoses. Sometimes the cause may be unknown, such as colds, recovery from illness or person can have a congenital hypotension. In such cases, you should contact your doctor.
Treatment for hypotension includes minor physical activities (running, cycling, walking) or increasing activity during day (taking stairs instead of an elevator, combining periods of movement with periods of rest). This will stabilize blood circulation and increase the elasticity of blood vessels. Alpha-sympathomimetic drugs can also be given for treating hypotension. They narrow the blood vessels by stimulating alpha-1 receptors. It is not recommended to use alpha-sympathomimetics after 4 p.m. because they may cause sleep disturbances. You can help regulate your blood pressure by drinking a lot of fluids (mineral water)
in order to maintain a stable blood volume, wearing compression stockings to support the flow of the blood from the leg veins back to the heart, avoiding alcohol and combining cold and hot showers. By taking enough vitamins and minerals you can also help relieve the symptoms of hypotension. The most important are vitamin C (preserves the function of blood vessels), vitamin E (ensures optimal supply of oxygen to tissues), and B vitamins, especially vitamin B5. Rich sources of these vitamins are eggs, bananas, oranges, avocados, broccoli, beans, sunflowers, soybeans, meat, milk and wheat germ. Alternative herbal treatments can also help a lot with your low blood pressure. One of them is rosemary ointment applied over the heart to increase blood pressure. Ginger and ginseng are also used to normalize blood pressure.

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