When you think of blood pressure, you might think of your Aunt Dorothy who has chronic high blood pressure and needs to take a prescription medication. But low blood pressure can also signal problems, so you shouldn’t assume that lower is better! Low blood pressure is often temporary and not a huge concern, but if you notice the following symptoms over a long period of time you should take steps to address your hypotension.
“Brain fog”. If you’re suddenly experiencing memory problems, can’t focus, or have trouble staying organized, this could be a symptom of a medical problem. In particular, if you experience brain fog in conjunction with the following symptoms, it’s probably time for a check-up with your physician.
Low energy. Even though you’re getting eight or more hours of sleep at night, you feel groggy and spaced out. You start skipping your workouts, and you’re falling asleep at your desk. Fatigue can be the result of several different medical problems, but as with brain fog, if you experience it along with these other symptoms then low blood pressure is a likely culprit.
You feel dizzy or lightheaded, especially if you stand up quickly. You can’t find the TV remote, so you stand up to go change the channel manually. Suddenly the room is fuzzy or black, and you lose your sense of balance. If this only happens every so often, it’s probably not a big deal. You might just be dehydrated, in fact, so drink some water right away. But if you notice this problem often, you might have chronic low blood pressure.
You experience other symptoms. These symptoms aren’t as common, but some people with low blood pressure report blurred vision, nausea, fainting, shallow breathing, and muscle weakness. Some researchers even believe low blood pressure can be linked to depression.
If you suspect hypotension, or low blood pressure, make an appointment with your physician to discuss your concerns. Generally, however, most doctors are reluctant to treat low blood pressure with medications unless the problem is severe. Instead, they will usually recommend lifestyle changes such as:
- Get enough sleep
- Quit smoking
- Address stress
- Maintaining proper hydration
- Exercising regularly
- Eating enough salt
If these lifestyle modifications don’t alleviate your symptoms, a more serious problem like heart disease or endocrine problems could be at play. So don’t attempt to treat your symptoms alone on a long-term basis. Share your concerns with your doctor, so that you can be examined for underlying health problems linked to hypotension.