Low Blood Pressure and the Elderly
As we age through our lives and enter our twilight years, one thing you’re sure to notice is the increase in tips, advice, and conversations related to health and wellness. It makes sense, after all, we all want to age with dignity and remain capable and healthy for as long as possible, and for many of us, by the time we’ve become seniors we may have developed a chronic condition, or had one catch up with us. One topic you’ve probably heard over and over is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a concern, of course, and has all sorts of negative health outcomes if left untreated, but equally dangerous and under discussed is low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure can make exercise and daily activities difficult, and can make the injuries from a fall or other trauma much more severe. The good news, however, is that low blood pressure is often treatable once diagnosed, and if the underlying cause is curable, then the low blood pressure will be cured as well.
The medical term for low blood pressure is hypotension, which is defined as a blood pressure that measures under 90/60. It doesn’t always cause symptoms, but can be life-threatening in severe cases where the organs aren’t receiving enough blood. Signs include lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, fainting and fatigue.
Low blood pressure can occur for many reasons. It can be as simple as dehydration, or it can be the result of a potentially more serious health concern. Testing for hypotension is as simple as getting a blood pressure reading from your healthcare provider, and may include additional tests based on initial findings. Diabetes, low iron levels, thyroid or hormone problems may be the culprit, and a blood test is required to determine that.