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What are Some Low Blood Pressure Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2016
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Low blood pressure symptoms can include everything from clammy skin to chest pain, depending on the cause of the drop in blood pressure, the patient's general health, and a number of other factors. Also known as hypotension, low blood pressure can become a medical problem when the blood pressure drops low enough to cause organ damage. For people in shock after a severe trauma, it can drop precipitously and pose an immediate health threat. There are a number of treatments available for this condition.

Also known as hypotension, low blood pressure can occur in the wake of blood loss, during heart failure, and at other times. Some people have chronic low blood pressure without symptoms and it is not a cause for concern, although it will be noted on the patient's chart. Once symptoms start to develop, it can become a serious medical problem.

Dizziness, fainting, nausea, and clammy skin are all low blood pressure symptoms. Other low blood pressure symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, altered level of consciousness, nausea, depression, thirst, and shallow or rapid breathing. These symptoms occur because the body is not being supplied with enough blood and organs are struggling to get enough oxygen to function. Neurological symptoms like dizziness tend to onset first because of the brain's high demand for oxygen.

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In a condition called postural or orthostatic hypotension, people experience drops in blood pressure when they stand up because the systems in their bodies that are supposed to regulate blood pressure and compensate for changes of position are not working. For these individuals, low blood pressure symptoms will onset when standing. Other people can develop low blood pressure due to blood loss, organ failure, and a wide variety of other conditions that can come with symptoms like seizures, chest pain, strong smelling urine, and difficulty breathing.

When people notice low blood pressure symptoms, they should seek medical attention. A doctor can perform an evaluation to determine why the blood pressure is low and can offer treatment options including medications. It is especially important if the symptoms onset very rapidly or become debilitating. Long term low blood pressure can interfere with the function of organs like the kidneys, heart, and brain. This can develop into permanent damage if it is not addressed.

In people with a history of low blood pressure, the development of symptoms can indicate a change in status. The patient's blood pressure may be even lower than usual or new medical problems may be interacting with the low blood pressure to cause symptoms.

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