What is a low blood pressure headache?

A low blood pressure headache can occur when a person's blood pressure drops to extremely low levels. Blood pressure is the force that blood exerts on the inner walls of blood vessels. When pressure is low, it deprives the brain and other vital organs of adequate nutrients and oxygen. The deprivation of these vital nutrients and oxygen to the brain is what causes the headache.

Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension. It is preferred over high blood pressure, because studies have shown that people who have lower blood pressure have a reduced risk of developing kidney or heart disease. However, when the pressure drops too low, it can cause serious, long-term damage to vital organs such as the brain, kidneys, heart, lungs, and liver. Some of the symptoms of a low blood pressure headache include feeling light-headed, fainting, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. These symptoms are often worse when a person changes position, such as getting up from a sitting or lying position.

If the blood vessels open too wide, it can lead to low blood pressure. Other causes of low blood pressure include anemia, heart conditions, hormonal changes, dehydration, and certain medications. In general, blood pressure is considered low when it falls below "90 over 60," or 90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) when the heart beats and 60 mmHg between beats. However, this number does not determine if one's pressure is too low, because some people may not experience any symptoms even at lower levels, such as 90/50 mmHg, and others may experience symptoms at higher levels, such as 100/60. mmHg. Therefore, low blood pressure is often determined by the signs and symptoms associated with it.

Headache pain can be caused by a number of things, such as toxins around the brain area, lack of oxygen or nutrients, stress, or fatigue. Low blood pressure can deprive the brain of essential nutrients and oxygen, because the blood is the vehicle for oxygen and nutrients to reach the brain. If blood pressure is low, then not enough blood gets to the brain in time to remove toxins and deliver nutrients to cells. As a result, a low blood pressure headache occurs.

Treatment for a low blood pressure headache depends largely on its cause and severity. If it is the result of dehydration, then fluids and electrolytes are often used as effective treatments. In cases of low blood supply, intravenous fluids or blood transfusions are suitable treatment options. The risk of a low blood pressure headache can be reduced by drinking plenty of fluids, getting plenty of rest, eating small meals, avoiding alcohol, and avoiding standing for long periods of time.

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