Have you ever experienced a sudden onset of dizziness after you sat up suddenly after lying down for a while? Or have you felt like you were going to faint after you stood up from squatting or kneeling on the floor? These are signs of one type of low blood pressure called orthostatic hypotension.
Normally when you lie down, or sit inactively for long periods your blood pressure will remain low. After all, you are at rest and you won’t need extra oxygen to support your activities. Even while standing up quietly for long periods of time your blood pressure is relatively low because your blood tends to settle in your lower limbs. To suddenly rise or become active means that your blood flow has to speed up, and the oxygen needed for this change in activity level has to be pushed all around your body, including to your brain.
If your body’s reactions were normal at the time, your blood pressure would accommodate the changes so quickly you’d never even notice it. Unfortunately some health issue may reduce your body’s ability to overcome the hypotension. If your blood pressure becomes low it could be just be temporary and due to minor illness, but then again the symptoms may persist due to major health problems. That’s why you need to pay attention to the symptoms if you get them, and keep track of their regularity.
Of course your body will try to raise your blood pressure to account for the blood that has settled in your lower limbs, but it may not be quick enough. Sometimes the coronary muscles won’t get enough blood supply and you may feel the result of that as a pain or tightness in your chest. An even worse result of low blood pressure could be cardiac arrest (heart attack).
While the kidneys are doing their best to keep your blood volume higher, a sudden drop in blood pressure could stop proper blood flow to your kidneys. The urea and cretinine (chemical waste molecules) that your kidneys normally remove would end up staying in your bloodstream and causing damage. Kidney failure could be a fairly serious result of ongoing hypotension.
Another serious reaction to having an episode of severe hypotension is shock. The overall result would be damage to not only your heart, brain and kidneys, but also your lungs and liver. Without immediate medical attention a person suffering from shock could fail to regain consciousness (become comatose) or possibly pass away.
The long term effects of hypotension on your heart, kidneys and brain will show that damage, whether permanent or temporary, was due to lack of proper nutrients and oxygen. There are subtle and occasional signals of sickness that you may attribute to other causes, but if they are due to low blood pressure, it’s best that you discover that sooner than later. If you are experiencing symptoms like heart pains and dizziness then you need to have a check up and discovery tests done by a physician.