Low Blood Pressure (cont.)
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Low Blood Pressure Signs and Symptoms
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If low blood pressure is the normal state for a patient, then there will be no symptoms.
If low blood pressure is symptomatic, then the patient may feel:
The symptoms will depend upon which organ in the body is lacking adequate blood flow.
Exams and Tests for Low Blood Pressure
The key to diagnosis is a good history and physical examination. If low blood pressure is found incidentally and no other symptoms exist, then documenting the lower readings will help remind the healthcare provider during future visits.
If the patient is symptomatic, documenting risk factors and exploring potential causes requires a detailed history of the situation; for example:
Physical examination may include postural vital signs. The patient has the blood pressure and pulse rate taken when laying flat and again when standing (some may add a third set of measurements when sitting). If the blood pressure drops or the pulse rate increases, it may be an indicator of decreased intravascular volume from dehydration or bleeding. The rest of the examination will likely be directed by clues from the history, but may include palpation of the thyroid gland in the neck, listening to the heart and lungs, and examination of the abdomen and the extremities.
Blood tests may be done, again directed by findings in the history and physical examination.
Consideration for further testing will depend upon the potential underlying cause of low blood pressure.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/28/2016
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