Most people believe that high blood pressure is one of the signs of vascular atherosclerosis, but in reality it is not. As modern cardiologists note, hypertension is the main cause of atherosclerosis, not its consequence.
The fact is that with high blood pressure microdamages of the walls of blood vessels appear, which are then filled with cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of cholesterol plaques. But in patients not suffering from hypertension, atherosclerosis can provoke a drop in blood pressure and even cause severe hypotension.
But how are low pressure and atherosclerosis interrelated, why does the blockage of blood vessels cause hypotension, how dangerous is low pressure in atherosclerosis and how to treat it properly? These questions are of interest to many patients suffering from atherosclerosis with low blood pressure.
Why pressure decreases with atherosclerosis
Everyone knows that normal blood pressure is 120/80 mm. Hg article, but not any deviation from this indicator can be considered a pathology. It is possible to talk about the patient’s painful condition and the presence of hypotension only when the pressure drops below 100/60 mm. Hg Art.
At the same time, in patients with a diagnosis of atherosclerosis, there is a marked decrease in diastolic or simply lower pressure. This is especially true for patients over 40 years of age who also have age-related changes in the cardiovascular system in addition to atherosclerosis.
This feature is explained by the fact that during atherosclerosis in large vessels of the body, in particular in the aorta, cholesterol plaques are formed that disrupt the normal circulation of blood. In addition, the vessels themselves with age lose their former elasticity, becoming more fragile and brittle.
As a result, the total volume of blood circulating in the human body is reduced, which is the most detrimental effect on the blood supply in the limbs. But blood pressure is measured in the brachial artery, which feeds the blood of muscles and other tissues of the hands.
Hypotension is particularly severe in patients who, in addition to atherosclerosis, also suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In this case, atherosclerotic changes in the vessels, diabetic angiopathy also joins - pathological damage to the vascular walls due to high blood sugar levels.
Angiopathy is capable of completely destroying small, and then large vessels, thereby completely disrupting the blood circulation in the limbs. Such a condition often ends with tissue necrosis, the development of severe necrosis and even loss of legs.
No less dangerous for the patient is the simultaneous development of atherosclerosis and heart failure, which can be a consequence of heart attack, congenital heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In this case, the patient will also experience a marked decrease in diastolic pressure.
Low pressure hazard
Today, there is a lot of talk about the enormous harm to health that hypertension can bring, without at all paying attention to low blood pressure. But it is no less dangerous pathology that can provoke the development of severe complications.
Particularly serious consequences of low blood pressure is for the operation of the central nervous system, in particular the brain. The fact is that with insufficient blood supply, brain cells lack oxygen and nutrients, which breaks neural connections and leads to gradual death of brain tissue.
As shown by pathology, long-term preservation of low blood pressure in a patient leads to irreversible changes in the brain and can cause a complete disruption of all functions of the central nervous system.
The deterioration of the normal blood flow is reflected in the work not only of the brain, but also of other internal organs and systems of a person. So with low pressure there is a disorder in the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, the musculoskeletal system, emotional state, cardiovascular and reproductive systems.
Danger of low brain pressure:
- Pressing and arching pains concentrated in the occipital and frontal parts of the head. Strengthens with fatigue, plentiful food intake and weather changes;
- Constant dizziness. With a sharp rise, darkening in the eyes and severe dizziness up to loss of consciousness;
- Motion sickness in transport;
- Memory impairment, loss of concentration and confusion;
- Slowing thought processes, lowering the level of intelligence;
- In the most severe cases, dementia.
The effects of hypotension on the gastrointestinal tract are also negative. Patients with hypotension have a constant heaviness in the stomach; heartburn and belching; nausea and urge to vomit; lack of appetite, bitter taste in the mouth; abdominal distention and frequent constipation.
Damage to low blood pressure for the cardiovascular system:
- Pain in the heart;
- Shortness of breath even after small loads, and often in a calm state;
- Numbness of the limbs, due to which the arms and legs can be very cold;
- Heart palpitations, heart rhythm disturbances.
The danger of chronic pressure reduction for the musculoskeletal system: pain in the joints; pain in the muscles that pass during physical activity (physical activity improves blood circulation in the muscle tissue); swelling mainly in the region of the legs.
The effect of low pressure on the patient's emotional state:
- Increased irritability, constant anxiety;
- Sleep disturbance, trouble falling asleep;
- Apathy, marked decrease in working capacity;
- Lack of interest in life, unwillingness to do anything;
- Chronic fatigue, lack of vigor even after a full sleep;
- The strongest lethargy after waking up, you need at least 2 hours so that the patient can finally wake up and go about their business. The peak of activity usually occurs in the evening;
- Depression and neurosis;
- Intolerance to loud sounds and bright light.
The harm of hypotension for the reproductive system is obvious. In men, there is a deterioration of potency and, over time, complete sexual dysfunction; and in women - a violation of the menstrual cycle.
As can be seen from the above, low blood pressure can be no less harmful to human health than hypertension. At the same time, if high blood pressure can be lowered with the help of a whole list of various medical preparations, then there are practically no drugs to increase it.
The only drug for hypotension are caffeine tablets, which are known to be very harmful to the cardiovascular system and are not recommended for people with vascular atherosclerosis. For the same reason, with this disease should not consume a large amount of coffee, despite the hypotension.
It is important to understand that low pressure in atherosclerosis is not a separate disease, but only a consequence of blockage of blood vessels and IHD (coronary heart disease). Therefore, in order to cope with hypotension, every effort should be made to treat atherosclerosis and lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
How to increase blood pressure in atherosclerosis? Will help:
- Physical activity. Walking in the open air, easy jogging, morning exercises, swimming and cycling will be equally useful as with atherosclerosis, and low blood pressure. Exercise will help to effectively lower the level of cholesterol in the blood, while normalizing blood pressure, increasing the tone of blood vessels, improving blood circulation and strengthening the heart muscle. However, it is important to competently combine sports loads with proper rest in order to prevent overwork;
- Massage. All types of massage, including acupressure and reflex, are very useful for patients with low blood pressure in atherosclerosis. It helps to significantly increase blood circulation, normalize the work of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, improve metabolism and strengthen muscle tissue;
- Cold and hot shower. The use of a contrast shower also has many positive reviews in the treatment of hypotension. The alternating effect of cool and warm water on the body causes a sharp narrowing and expansion of blood vessels, which allows to strengthen the vascular walls, increase their elasticity and improve blood circulation in the limbs. However, it is important to note that the temperature difference should not be too strong;
- Full sleep. People with low blood pressure need more time to sleep and recuperate, so night sleep in patients with hypotension should be at least 9 hours. At the same time, it is important for patients with low blood pressure to go to bed before midnight, and best of all at 23:00;
- Proper nutrition. With atherosclerosis complicated by hypotension, it is very important to follow a low-cholesterol diet. The basis of such medical nutrition should be foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, vegetable fiber and other essential substances for health;
- Herbal tinctures. To improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system and improve the tone of the vessels, alcoholic tinctures of medicinal herbs, such as ginseng, eleutherococcus, pink radiol, echinacea, and levzeya safflower will help. It should be noted that these herbal tinctures should be taken only in the first half of the day so as not to provoke insomnia.
Normal pressure in atherosclerosis
Many patients are interested in the question, can there be atherosclerosis under normal pressure? No, this is impossible, as students of medical students are told about at the first lectures.
Vascular blockage with cholesterol plaques has the most negative effect on the cardiovascular system, which immediately affects blood pressure.
What is hypotension is described in the video in this article.