Low blood pressure and high pulse
The combination of low blood pressure and high heart rate is very common and is caused by the body's natural response. When the blood pressure is low, it tries to maintain the amount of blood ejected from the heart in a certain time so that all vital organs are supplied with enough blood.
When determining this combination of values, it is therefore important to first get to the bottom of the cause of the low blood pressure. It is also advisable to check how well the body can react to fluctuations in blood pressure and thus whether the high pulse is the normal reaction of the body or a sign of a disorder of adaptability.
Causes of low blood pressure and high pulse
Since the increase in the heart rate and thus the pulse represents a rather short-term countermeasure by the body in the event of low blood pressure, the causes for this combination are usually acute stress situations. This can already be getting up too quickly after lying down for a long time. One then speaks of so-called orthostatic hypotension.
Other causes for the low blood pressure and high heart rate can be higher levels of stress such as stress or drug side effects or intolerance. Also a high loss of fluid, e.g. Heavy sweating, fever or heavy bleeding can cause the high pulse.
Another reason for an increased heart rate with low blood pressure is an underactive thyroid. Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and inflammation of the heart or other organs are other possible causes of a high pulse and should be ruled out as soon as possible .
A pulmonary embolism, which often occurs in connection with a thrombosis in the legs, is a particularly critical situation and can also be the cause of the symptoms. If you experience sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, bloody sputum or pain in your legs, you should go to an emergency room immediately.
Do you want to learn more about the causes of low blood pressure? Read more about this on the following page: Causes of Low Blood Pressure
What role can the thyroid play in this?
The hormones produced by the thyroid have an impact on almost all of the body's organ systems. They drive the entire metabolism and thus also have an influence on the heart function or blood pressure and pulse.
Due to the driving effect of the hormones, hyperthyroidism usually results in increased blood pressure and pulse. It is the other way around with hypothyroidism. As a rule, both low blood pressure and a reduced pulse rate can be observed.
The combination of low blood pressure and high pulse is somewhat less typical. However, this can also indicate an underactive thyroid. The high pulse is a consequence of the low blood pressure, which is caused by the lack of thyroid hormones. The body tries to transport enough blood to all vital organs despite the low pressure in the vascular system and thus to ensure functionality.
If you are more interested in this topic, then read our next article below: Symptoms of an underactive thyroid
Low blood pressure and increased heart rate after exercise
The stress on the body during sport increases both blood pressure and pulse significantly. After completion, the body counter-regulates, vessels are widened and the blood volume available centrally and the blood pressure drop.
If there was a very heavy loss of fluid or an abrupt cessation of exercise during exercise, this drop in blood pressure can happen very suddenly and lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and paleness. The blood pressure falls significantly faster than the pulse and the combination of high pulse rate and low blood pressure described occurs.
This phenomenon can be counteracted by paying attention to a slow end of the activity and a sufficiently long cooling phase. Furthermore, a sufficient amount of drinking should be important.
Low blood pressure and high pulse during pregnancy
Both low blood pressure and a high pulse are very common in pregnant women. The two phenomena are not always due to the same cause, as they influence each other and are difficult to differentiate.
The increased pulse is usually a natural reaction of the body during pregnancy and is caused by the increased need for blood per unit of time, as the mother's circulation must also be adequately supplied to the child. However, various diseases, such as anemia, can also be the cause. This would also explain low blood pressure.
If accompanying symptoms occur in connection with the high pulse or if the value is consistently above 120 beats per minute, a doctor should be consulted to be on the safe side.
The low blood pressure can be due to pregnancy-related causes such as the dilatation of the vessels and an overall higher volume requirement. However, existing heart diseases, which appear due to the increased stress on the cardiovascular system during pregnancy, can also be a possible cause.
Medicines such as β-blockers, or diuretics, cause low blood pressure. Whether this requires treatment depends primarily on the associated complaints and whether these persist. In order to assess a possible risk to the child as well as the possible risk of premature birth, the attending physician should definitely clarify the situation.
Are you interested in this topic? Read more about this under: Low blood pressure during pregnancy
Diagnosis of low blood pressure and high pulse
To diagnose blood pressure and pulse, it is advisable to regularly check the values over a longer period of time. This can be done either with special long-term blood pressure monitors, which the patient has to wear for 24 hours, or through regular measurements with their own blood pressure monitor and precise logging.
Since both blood pressure and pulse are very situation-dependent, individual values are not meaningful and are therefore not suitable for making a diagnosis.
A Schellong test can also be used to check for orthostatic hypotension and circulatory function. Here, blood pressure and pulse are determined both while lying down and when you get up quickly and stand for a long time. The course of the individual values and the relationship to one another then allow statements about the body's ability to regulate the circulation.
Read more about this test at: Schellong Test - An examination of the circulatory function
A number of side effects can be associated with low blood pressure and a high pulse. Especially if you are not used to it, a high pulse and a racing heart can often lead to fear and even panic.
The resulting feeling of shortness of breath often exacerbates these symptoms. Furthermore, physical symptoms such as nausea, headache or abdominal pain in connection with an excessively high pulse can occur.
However, the low blood pressure is more noticeable than the increased pulse. This is particularly evident in exhaustion, tiredness, poor concentration, headaches and sleep disorders. Cold limbs, especially hands and feet, can also be signs of low blood pressure.
If the blood supply to the head is reduced due to the low blood pressure, dizziness and lightheadedness or even fainting are the consequences. In the context of orthostatic hypotension, ringing in the ears, palpitations as well as pain in the heart area or a feeling of oppression can occur.
If, in connection with low blood pressure and increased pulse rate, the sensation of heart stumbling occurs, this is usually a sign of the presence of cardiac arrhythmias.
The rapid, uncoordinated contractions of the heart or parts of it lead to the fact that less blood can be expelled than normal. Blood pressure drops and accompanying symptoms such as dizziness or nausea occur.
The frequency of individual contractions of the heart outside of the actual rhythm varies in every person. However, these usually go unnoticed as they have no further influence on the heart function. Both external influences and illnesses, however, can lead to these irregular contractions becoming more frequent and so-called arrhythmias occurring.
The external causes include e.g. Anxiety or nervousness, excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol, and possible side effects of medication. Diseases that can lead to irregular heartbeat are e.g. coronary artery disease (CHD), Heart attacks, diseases of the heart valves or inflammation of the heart muscles.
In any case, prompt clarification by a doctor is recommended. One of the first measures is usually a long-term EKG. This is worn by the patient on the body for 24 hours and allows statements to be made about the frequency and length of the arrhythmias as well as possible triggering situations.
Are you interested in this topic? Read our next article below: Heart stumbling - How dangerous is it?
Another common symptom associated with low blood pressure and a high pulse is recurrent nausea.
Due to the reduced blood flow to the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, the ingested food is used much more slowly than normal. This leads to the food staying in the stomach for a significantly longer period of time and a feeling of nausea.
Paying attention to a low-fat diet, as high-fat foods take a particularly long time to be digested, as well as drinking sufficient amounts can help to reduce nausea. Still water, unsweetened teas or even diluted fruit juices with no added sugar are recommended for drinking.
The following article gives you more detailed information on this topic: Low Blood Pressure and Nausea - What You Can Do and Low Blood Pressure and Dizziness
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is one of the common side effects of low blood pressure and high pulse. Since the heart beats faster and the blood flow is increased, the oxygen exchange in the lungs must also take place in a shorter time. To ensure this, the frequency of the breaths increases with a high pulse. This is a completely normal reaction of the body, but subjectively it can express itself as a feeling of shortness of breath.
The accompanying restlessness and fear often accelerate the pulse even further and worsen the shortness of breath. In order to improve the situation one should try to remain calm. It can also help to bend your upper body forward while sitting and support your arms on your legs. As a rule, the feeling of shortness of breath should go away on its own after a short time.
If there are additional symptoms such as chest pain, cough, bloody sputum or pain in the legs, an immediate investigation should be carried out in an emergency room to rule out a pulmonary embolism.
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Often headache occurs with low blood pressure and an increased pulse. This is a result of the low blood pressure and is caused by the reduced blood supply to the head.
Stimulating the circulation through sufficient exercise, especially in the fresh air, can help to counteract this. Increasing the blood volume by drinking more can also help to improve the symptoms. Pain medication can also be used for rapid improvement. In no case should these represent a permanent solution.
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If strong sweats occur in connection with the low blood pressure and high pulse, these can either be an accompanying symptom of the same illness or, due to the strong loss of fluid, also the cause of the low blood pressure. Possible causes for both are e.g. acute stressful situations, stress and inflammatory diseases in the body.
A change in the hormonal balance such as pregnancy or menopause can be a cause of the symptoms. The treatment of the complaints can look very different and depends on the respective cause.
What to do?
As a rule, low blood pressure does not require any special therapy as long as a possible pathological cause has been ruled out by a doctor. However, since the high pulse is in most cases a result of the blood pressure being too low, an increase in it can lead to a slower pulse rate.
Furthermore, accompanying complaints can be reduced. No medication is required to increase blood pressure; instead, a number of measures and home remedies can help.
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Which home remedies can help?
With regard to nutrition, the following measures can help to increase blood pressure:
- higher salt intake
- Drinking quantity of 2-3l per day
- several small meals a day
Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular training, as well as massages and alternating showers can also help to stimulate the circulation. Sufficient sleep and lying down with the upper body raised by 20 degrees also help to reduce any high pressure when lying down and the circulatory reaction when getting up quickly.
In general, care should be taken to get up slowly after lying down for a long time in order to avoid dizziness and fainting. Compression stockings or tights can also be used to increase blood pressure. These increase the pressure on the vessels and prevent the blood from "sinking" into the legs. Such stockings can make a significant difference, especially for activities that require long periods of standing.
If there is a tendency to orthostatic hypotension with dizziness and blackness in front of the eyes, crossing your legs while standing or possibly squatting can help to normalize blood pressure again.
When treating low blood pressure and thus also the increased pulse, the main focus is on stimulating the circulation. A whole range of measures such as Exercise, contrast baths, massages, and regular exercise are used.
Active ingredients from homeopathy can also have a supportive effect. These are e.g. Veratrum album, Pulsatilla, Acidum phosphoricum and Nux vomica. It should be noted that the complaints can be caused by completely harmless causes as well as by more serious diseases. Therefore, a doctor should always clarify the matter first.
What is the prognosis?
If pathological causes for the low blood pressure and high pulse rate have been ruled out, there is no further cause for concern. Although it is difficult to make statements about how long it takes for the individual to counteract the symptoms, positive effects can usually be determined very quickly if the instructions and appropriate measures for treatment are followed.
Often things like drinking enough water and exercise are integrated into everyday life after some time in such a way that they no longer require special attention and the blood pressure stabilizes well.
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