Hypotension or low blood pressure is not as common as hypertension, but is no less a severe health complication. A drop in your blood pressure is unusually characterised by dizziness, fatigue, nausea or difficulty in breathing. Most people are clueless about what to do when your blood pressure dips. Our expert Dr Akshay Challani, Critical Care Specialist and Physician, Akshjyot Clinic, Navi Mumbai, explains the first aid in case of hypotension.
Lie down: The moment you experience the giddiness, dizziness, black out or any other symptom of low blood pressure, lie down on a flat surface. Close your eyes for a few minutes or until you feel your pressure normalise.
Have ORS: Oral rehydration salts or ORS not only rehydrates the body but also supplies salt and other electrolytes, which helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance. Prepare a sachet of ORS as explained on its pack and drink. However, if you suffer from diabetes, avoid taking ORS as it contains sugar.
Drink water: If you don’t have ORS available, you can drink plain water as well. You can even add a pinch of salt and sugar to the water. Sodium in the salt improves your blood pressure while sugar helps in restoring the glucose level (if caused due to low blood glucose or hypoglycaemia).
Lick salt: Yes, a common practice that most people follow is to lick salt or eat salty food to improve the body’s salt content, which stabilises your blood pressure. You can even drink a glass of salt water (add 1/4th teaspoon of salt in a glass of water) to restore your blood pressure. But ensure not to eat or drink excess salt as it might lead to high blood pressure.
Once you feel your blood pressure has normalised, consult your doctor immediately to diagnose the exact cause. Most people tend to ignore this and only consult a doctor when their blood pressure is really low. You should screen your blood pressure regularly, as in some cases people might not show symptoms even when their pressure falls below 110/60 mm Hg. Always visit your doctor and never self-medicate.