Hypotension (low blood pressure): symptoms, pregnancy, causes


What is hypotension and how is it measured?

Hypotension, or low blood pressure, is lower than normal blood pressure. In most cases, low blood pressure does not cause health problems, but it can produce symptoms if it reaches a level below 9 by 6 of pressure.

Generally, thin and female people are the ones who have the problem the most. Hypotension is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) through diastolic and systolic pressure.

Diastolic occurs when the cardiac musculature relaxes so that the blood refills its cavity, the pressure drops to its minimum value and this is known as minimum pressure.

Systole is the contraction to expel blood from the inside of the arteries, reaching the maximum value and is known as the maximum pressure.

The ideal blood pressure reference value would be 12 (systolic) by 8 (diastolic). For the pressure to be considered low, it is below 9 (systolic) by 6 (diastolic), and usually causes some symptom


The types of hypotension may or may not have symptoms. Most of the time she does not need treatment and can be separated into: orthostatic hypotension, neurally mediated hypotension, severe shock-related hypotension and also pregnancy.

Orthostatic / postural hypotension

This type of hypotension usually occurs after lying for a long time, sitting or standing and quickly changes the position, causing blood flow and pressure to not adjust to the body quickly. Often in these cases it is necessary to return to the starting position and make the movement slowly so that blood flow and pressure reach the other parts of the body correctly.

The symptoms of this type of hypotension are dizziness, dizziness and fainting.

Mediated neural hypotension

It usually occurs in young people and children, it occurs when the brain and heart do not communicate properly. This hypotension happens when the person has been standing for a long time and blood accumulates in the legs and the pressure drops.

This happens because the body believes that the body pressure is high and slows down the heartbeat, causing hypotension and symptoms such as dizziness, vertigo and even fainting. It can also happen in situations of unpleasant and terrifying experiences.

Severe hypotension linked to shock

This type of hypotension happens when the vital organs are unable to receive enough blood and oxygen to function properly. If left untreated, the problem can be fatal.

Postprandial hypotension

It is the pressure drop caused after eating food, as blood flows to the digestive tract after meals. It occurs mainly in the elderly, causing falls, dizziness and even fainting.

Shy-Drager syndrome

This disease causes damage to the autonomic nervous system that controls heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and also breathing. The main symptoms of this syndrome are urinary incontinence, slow movement, muscle tremors, speech and coordination problems.


During pregnancy, one of the main symptoms of mothers is low blood pressure. Although not as problematic as hypertension, spontaneous abortion or eclampsia can occur .

Hypotension usually gains more strength between the third and sixth months of pregnancy , when the baby is growing and needs more blood in the placenta. The tip for future moms is that they always stay hydrated, nourished and avoid very hot places.


Hypotension can be caused by heart problems or by making sudden movements, such as getting down or getting up quickly. Some possible causes are:

  • Heat.
  • Dehydration.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Anemia due to lack of folic acid and vitamin.
  • Heart problems.
  • Endocrine problems.
  • Serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
  • Remain lying or standing for a long time.
  • Medicines that can cause hypotension (blockers, beta-blockers, diuretics, antidepressants are some of them).
  • Decreased blood volume.
  • Septic shock.
  • Standing, sitting, or lying down for a long time.

In addition, there are some diseases that can cause the problem, such as hypothyroidism, heart disease, lodging for a long time, lack of salt in the body, Addison’s disease and insufficiency of the anterior pituitary lobe.

Risk factors

Cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s and diabetes can influence and become a risk to patients with hypotension.

The main risk factor for hypotension is the use of some specific drugs that will be mentioned below.

Age is another factor that can bring risks, the younger the hypotensive, the more likely he is to have mediated neural hypotension, unlike orthostatic hypotension that mainly affects people who are older.


Although there are several types of hypotension, the symptoms are often the same. The main and most common are:

Very hot days that cause excessive sweating can cause a deficiency in the volume of fluids and also dehydration, causing tiredness , dizziness and even fainting.

Dizziness is very common in patients with orthostatic hypotension (the act of getting up or sitting too fast after staying in the same position for a long time), in addition to causing these symptoms, vertigo, headache, fainting and sudden loss of consciousness can occur.

To avoid the problem, the body creates measures to prevent blood pressure from falling, and the most common symptoms are: cold skin, pallor, cold hands, fast or irregular heartbeat.

Blurred vision, fever , constant thirst, weakness and even vomiting and nausea are also common symptoms of hypotension.

Diagnosis and which doctor to consult?

The specialists responsible for diagnosing hypotension are the cardiologists or the general practitioner. Before performing the consultation, it would be important to pay attention to your symptoms, and in what situations this occurs. Writing down the time at which this occurs and what you were doing before will be crucial for the doctor to make the diagnosis more quickly.

The diagnosis is usually made after the doctor’s conversation with the patient and also after carrying out some tests such as:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG);
  • Blood pressure reading;
  • Stress test;
  • Echocardiogram;
  • Inclination test;
  • Valsalva maneuver (act of forcibly exhaling the air against the blocked nose and closed lips, causing the air to go towards the ear).

Treatment and recommendations

The treatment usually varies according to the type of hypotension, but in most cases, the doctor only gives some recommendations of what can be done so that the pressure rises quickly and so that there is no dizziness, dizziness, nausea or fainting.

  • Add salt to the diet;
  • Wear compression stockings;
  • Discontinue the use of medications that can lower blood pressure;
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, and in some cases, serum can be added intravenously;
  • Medicines to treat infections or severe dehydration;
  • Get up slowly and take a deep breath when performing the action;
  • Eat small meals;
  • Do not use alcoholic beverages, or decrease the use.

When you are standing for a long time and feel dizzy, sit on the floor cross your legs and try to put your head between your legs so that blood circulates faster in the body.


NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained on this site is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.


What can occur with complications in moderate cases is that if there is fainting and falling, injuries to the hypotensive patient may occur.

In cases of severe hypotension, if oxygenation in the blood is lacking, cardiac and brain damage may occur.


The problem cannot be prevented, but it is possible to prevent some symptoms of hypotension with treatment and following the recommendations given above, such as using compression stockings, or adding salt to the diet.

In case of symptoms similar to those mentioned in the article, it is recommended to consult the trusted doctor so that he can examine and refer the best treatment for you. In addition, it is very important to always be informed about health issues to prevent possible complications.

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