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Low blood pressure symptoms

Low blood pressure (hypotension) with these signs and symptoms requires medical attention:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Fainting
  3. Poor concentration
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Nausea
  6. Hands feeling cold and clammy
  7. Sudden pale skin
  8. Rapid and shallow breathing
  9. Tiredness

"These low blood pressure symptoms occur when there are inadequate blood flows to your vital organs," says Dr Ian Phoon, Associate Consultant at SingHealth Polyclinics – Pasir Ris, a member of the SingHealth group.

Low blood pressure: 6 other causes

Low blood pressure may be caused by many underlying medical conditions. The following conditions can be serious and may lead to shock.

  1. Heart disease
    Blood pressure may fall if the heart is not effective in pumping blood. Some of these heart conditions can be life-threatening. These conditions include abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, heart valve defects and heart failure.
  2. Decrease in blood volume
    The decrease of blood volume in the body can be the result of the loss of body fluids or blood. Severe blood loss caused by external injuries such as an accident, or internal bleeding such as bleeding from stomach ulcers or very heavy menses, can cause low blood pressure. Loss of body fluids from conditions associated with severe vomiting and diarrhoea is another common reason for low blood pressure.
  3. Severe infection
    When bacteria leave the original infection site (most often in the lungs, abdomen or urinary tract) and enter the bloodstream, it results in a severe infection known as sepsis. The bacteria release toxins that cause dilation of blood vessels, leading to a profound and rapid decline in blood pressure.
  4. Hormonal problems
    Our body’s endocrine system consists of hormone-producing glands, e.g. thyroid gland, adrenal gland, pancreas, etc. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may cause low blood pressure. A low cortisol (“stress hormone”) level which is produced by the adrenal glands can cause low blood pressure as well. However, this is not a common cause of low blood pressure.
  5. Severe allergic reaction
    There are various types of allergic reaction. These allergic reactions can occur in some people as a result of allergies to drugs (e.g. antibiotics), food such as peanuts or insect stings (e.g. bees or wasps). The most serious reaction is known as anaphylaxis, which can cause a sudden fall in blood pressure and can be fatal.

“The good news is that most low blood pressure cases do not need any treatment if there are no symptoms. Serious low blood pressure cases are uncommon. However, if your symptoms persist, you are advised to see a doctor,” concludes Dr Ian Phoon.

What is low blood pressure? Find out in the previous page.

Ref: T12​