Why is low blood pressure a problem with the elderly?

Low blood pressure is a very common problem amongst elderly individuals and considering the kinds of symptoms that it emits can be a very frightening experience as well. Before we go into the details of the condition, it is essential that we understand the concept of blood pressure. Blood pressure is the amount of pressure applied on the arteries by the bloodstream flowing through it. This pressure originates primarily from the heart muscle at the time of contraction in order to pump the blood throughout the human body. Blood pressure is measured as a numeric fraction such as a reading of 120 / 60. This reading is considered to be a normal rate of blood pressure and the first number indicates the pressure exerted on the arteries at the time of heart muscle contraction. The second, lower number, indicates the pressure exerted on the arteries during the state of rest of the heart muscle. A reading of anything below 90/60 is considered to be low blood pressure and indicates the low amount of blood flow in the body. This results in the lack of oxygen and blood being supplied to vital organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys which could be quite significant in the overall health of the individual. Low blood pressure could cause significant damage to these vital organs, which could be quite serious in an aged individual.

Some of the more common symptoms of low blood pressure include severe dizziness, weakness, lethargy and nausea. Some individuals may also experience a certain difficulty in concentration and rapidly changing breathing patterns. An unbalanced diet is considered to be one of the foremost causes of low blood pressure. One should always make sure to consume the required amounts of vitamin B complex, vitamin C and proteins in order to safeguard their systems against low blood pressure. You should also make sure that you increase your intake of water while simultaneously reducing your intake of alcohol as it is a dehydrating agent and can significantly lower your blood pressure. Instead of indulging in three large meals over the course of the day, you should try cutting your meals down to 6 smaller ones. Also make sure that the food you consume has low carbohydrate content. A daily intake of about half a teaspoon of salt along with a glass of water is known to be extremely beneficial for sufferers of low blood pressure.

answered by G M

Low blood pressure (also called hypotension) can cause problems with the elderly. While most healthy people have little to no trouble with having low blood pressure, the elderly can experience a whole host of issues. Therefore, when a doctor notices an elderly patient with low blood pressure, he or she becomes concerned and will recommended treatment options.

The main problem that an older person may have with low blood pressure has to do with feeling dizzy and faint. It is very common for seniors to pass out or faint when their blood pressure suddenly drops below normal levels. This can then cause problems with bone fractures since their bones are already brittle and fragile. In addition, a sudden drop in low blood pressure with older patients often means that they have less decreased blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. This can also cause serious health problems and should be looked at seriously.

Here is an interesting fact—as most people age, they find they have problems with high blood pressure, but for twenty percent of elderly patients, the opposite is true. They worry about blood pressure being too low. Most elderly patients that have low blood pressure have what is called “postural hypotension”. This is problem has to do with the autonomic nervous system. In older patients, this means that when they sit, or lay down and then stand up, blood suddenly pools into the feet causing a sudden drop in blood pressure. For this reason, doctors will recommend that those suffering from low blood pressure take a gradual approach to standing or sitting up.

There are several treatment options for low blood pressure, however, most doctors will recommend adding a little salt to the diet or exercising more during the day. Both of these can help improve circulation and can help correct low blood pressure. 

answered by A K

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