What can Cause Hypotension?

Hypotension or low blood pressure is not easy to define. A particular blood pressure (BP) may be normal for a person (and cause no problem whatsoever) but same blood pressure may cause symptoms to another individual. Hence, it is not easy to define hypotension.

Hypotension may be caused by any of the following causes:

  • Dehydration: this is a common cause of low blood pressure. In dehydration you body loses more fluid than it consumes. Hence, there is fall in total blood volume (along with fall in fluid volume). Dehydration can lead to severe weakness, fatigue, dizziness etc. Diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, severe exercise (especially in hot and humid environment) may lead to dehydration and hypotension. Sometimes, due to severe dehydration there may be dangerous fall in blood pressure, leading to hypovolemic shock, a life threatening condition.
  • Blood loss: sudden loss of large volume of blood (due to injury, internal injury) can cause fall in blood pressure.
  • Pregnancy: during pregnancy due to rapid expansion of circulatory system, blood pressure may be lower than usual. However, blood pressure returns to normal pre-pregnancy level after delivery.
  • Hormonal problems: various hormonal problems can cause hypotension. For example, parathyroid disease, adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar can cause hypotension.
  • Heart disease: various heart ailments such as low heart rate, heart failure, heart attack, heart valve disease etc. can cause hypotension.
  • Septicemia: severe infection or Septicemia can cause fall in blood pressure, when infecting organisms enter blood stream it can lead to great fall in blood pressure.
  • Anaphylactic shock: this is severe and sudden allergic reaction (potentially life threatening medical emergency, unless treated promptly can cause death), which lead to dangerous fall in BP. Some medications (such as penicillin), insect venoms, latex etc. can cause anaphylactic shock.
  • Nutritional deficiency: deficiency of some nutrients in diet such as folic acid, vitamin B12, can lead to low red cell formation and maturation, which may cause hypotension.
  • Various medications can cause hypotension: diuretics (furosemide), beta blockers (prazosin), alpha blockers (atenolol, propranolol, and timolol), antiparkinsonian drugs (pramipexole, levodopa), antidepressants (doxepin, imipramine, protriptyline), sildenafil (brand name Viagra) and tadalafil (brand name Cialis) in combination with nitroglycerin (used for heart problem) can cause hypotension.

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1 Comment

  • Neil September 10, 2015 01.01 pm

    Nice Post! We hear lot about. hypertension nowadays because of increased stress in life, but one can not ignore hypotension too. A simple tip to avoid both is to have lots of water. Water is a medicine in itself for so many problems. Drinking lot of water avoids the situation whereby dehydration decreases blood volume and causes drop in blood pressure. Drinking every hour a glass of water can safe body from being dehydrated.

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