Doctor's Notes on Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)
Low blood pressure is medically known as hypotension. Hypotension can be caused by diseases or conditions affecting the heart and circulatory system or by other kinds of conditions. Some of the most common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood due to bleeding, dehydration, overwhelming infection in the body (sepsis), shock, anaphylaxis, heart conditions including heart attack, and taking certain medications.
In hypotension, blood flow to the critical organs of the body is not adequate, and this causes characteristic signs and symptoms. Despite the exact cause of low blood pressure, the common signs and symptoms of low blood pressure are lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. Other associated symptoms may depend on the cause and can include increased thirst, chest pain, bleeding, nausea, fatigue, weak pulse, clammy skin, confusion, or rapid breathing.
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FaintingFainting or syncope, is a temporary loss of consciousness. Causes of fainting include vasovagal, situational, postural, cardiac, neurologic, and psychogenic. Treatment of fainting depends on the cause.
Severe Allergic Reaction (Anaphylactic Shock)Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction that is life-threatening. The symptoms of anaphylactic shock are breathing problems, shock, or death. A severe allergic reaction may be caused by an insect sting or certain foods to which the body has been "sensitized" and has developed a powerful antigen for. Anaphylactic shock is an emergency and requires immediate medical treatment.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.