Have you ever turned pale and started to get dizzy? These are symptoms that usually appear when a person has low blood pressure, also known as hypotension. The moment your blood pressure drops below 90/60 mmHg (a parameter that is considered normal) , dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, or fainting may appear.
When blood pressure is below normal, it is usual to supply chocolate or some sugary drink to the person who is showing the symptoms of a “low blood pressure”. But is this what to do? There are several myths, but also truths, about low blood pressure.
Myth: “You have to drink sugar when you have low blood pressure”
Although this is done frequently, it is not advisable to take sugar when the blood pressure is below the parameters that are considered normal. The reason is that sugar has nothing to do with blood pressure. In fact, according to the University of Navarra Clinic (CUN), what should be done is to supply salty foods .
Truth: “To improve symptoms you have to drink water”
Hydration is essential when you have low blood pressure. This is because, sometimes, the causes of lowering blood pressure are lack of hydration , either because it is very hot outside or you are not drinking enough fluids that the body needs. As a consequence, blood pressure drops and it is important to drink water to improve symptoms.
Myth: “Low blood pressure can cause a heart attack”
This myth should be qualified, since in those situations in which the tension is so low that the heart does not receive enough blood, it can cause a heart attack. However, the Fundación del Corazón explains that hypotension “does not usually cause heart attacks . “
In addition, it adds very important information, since “having low blood pressure (90-60 mmHg) is good for the heart and blood vessels because the load they have to bear is less . ” In other words, low voltage is preferable to high voltage, but measures must still be taken.
Truth: “Coffee helps low blood pressure”
Coffee is another drink that can help raise blood pressure when it is lower than it should . In fact, it is a stimulant that people with high blood pressure can consume moderately. Its effect has to do with the fact that it constricts the blood vessels by increasing the pressure in the blood. However, its effect does not last that long.
Myth: “Hypotension is not normal”
In reality, hypotension is quite common, since its causes are usually related to lack of hydration, taking medications (anxiolytics, for example), excessive alcohol consumption or heat. It is true that there are people who are more prone to “blackouts”, however, at some point we can all experience one.
If the episodes become frequent or a disease such as diabetes has been diagnosed, it is appropriate to speak with the GP about what is happening. Sometimes, there may be a health problem, which does not necessarily have to be serious, and which should be checked.