Hypotension: how dangerous is low blood pressure and what can help?

Hypotension: how dangerous is low blood pressure and what can help?

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Low blood pressure: How people with hypotension get back on their feet
Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness: the effects of low blood pressure can be quite a nuisance. However, hypotension is often harmless. Simple tips can usually help to get your blood pressure going again. However, if the blood pressure is low, a doctor should be contacted.

Most people are warned about high blood pressure
When it comes to the topic of blood pressure, you are usually warned about high values. After all, high blood pressure is considered a significant risk factor for potentially fatal cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks or strokes. Although values ​​above 140 to 90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) are currently referred to as hypertension, experts say that the new blood pressure target should be 120 instead of 140.

Up to five million Germans have low blood pressure
However, there are also people whose blood pressure is too low. In Germany alone, this is said to be the case for an estimated three to five million. Up to five percent of the population is affected worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), blood pressure is less than 100 to 60 mmHg in women and less than 110 to 70 mmHg in men. So-called hypotension is not always harmless, it can also be a sign of illness.

Find out causes of hypotension
In a message from the dpa news agency, experts have important information on the subject. According to the press spokesman for the German Association of Resident Cardiologists (BNK), Heribert Brück, a doctor should use an examination to find out whether the low blood pressure has an organic cause. Too low blood pressure can be an indication of an underactive thyroid or heart diseases such as cardiac muscle weakness.

Those affected do not always notice circulatory disorders
"The low blood pressure in itself is not a disease," said Brück. Rather, there is a circulatory disorder. People often only experience hypotension when dizziness, ringing in the ears or sensitivity to cold develop in certain situations. According to the information, medical professionals distinguish between regulatory, chronic and episodic hypotension.

Circulatory disorders
For example, in the former there are problems with rapid physical changes of position. This can include abruptly straightening the body up after bending down or getting up too quickly after lying down. Those affected may then be dizzy and see little asterisks. With a chronically or episodically reduced blood pressure, on the other hand, there are disturbances in the blood circulation. This can manifest itself, among other things, in poor concentration and rapid fatigue.

Seniors should take low blood pressure seriously
According to the pharmacist Ursula Sellerberg from the Federal Chamber of Pharmacists in Berlin, older people in particular should take low blood pressure seriously. For example, if seniors have trouble getting up, they risk falling when taking the first steps. "This can lead to painful and complicated bone fractures, especially in older people who often suffer from osteoporosis," warned Sellerberg.

No medication for hypotension
Blood pressure patients are sometimes prescribed medications to lower blood pressure. "In the case of low blood pressure, no drugs are usually administered," explained Brück. Rather, they rely on means for self-help. "It can often be helpful to improve blood circulation and oxygen supply," said Christian Dannhart of the Kneipp Bund - Federal Association for Health Promotion and Prevention in Bad Wörishofen.

Alternating showers for self-help
Hydrotherapy in the form of alternating showers is ideal for this. These stimulate the cardiovascular system and promote blood circulation. "You should always finish the shower with cold water," explained Dr. Norbert Smetak from the BNK in an older message from "Cardiologists on the Net".

If the change from warm to cold on the whole body is too violent, you can start by rinsing off individual parts of the body with changing water temperatures. "However, a doctor should be consulted in advance," warned Brück. With certain previous illnesses such as vein disorders, alternating showers are not always recommended.

Saline-rich food and mineral water
In addition, a salt-rich diet is recommended for low blood pressure. For some people, a diet high in salt can actually be healthy. "A diet rich in minerals and vitamins is also important, so lots of fruit and vegetables," said Dannhart. In addition, it is important for the circulation to drink enough. It should be at least two liters of mineral water a day.

Cycling with your legs in the air
Medicinal plants that have a stimulating effect on the circulation are also said to have a positive effect on hypotension. Last but not least, exercise also helps. "One way is to boost the circulation by cycling in the air with your legs up in the morning before getting up," Sellerberg explained.

“Regular physical activity also helps to improve the ability of the blood vessels to regulate. In addition to endurance sports such as swimming, cycling and jogging, sports with fast actions such as badminton or squash are also advantageous, ”says Dr. Smetak. In addition, moderate exercise in the fresh air is recommended.

"Relaxation techniques such as yoga or breathing exercises can also promote blood circulation and thus improve the oxygen supply to the brain," says Dannhart. A tip from Sellerberg: "Those affected should often lie down flat and put their legs up." (Ad)

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