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Low blood pressure

(23 Posts)
Jux Mon 25-Jan-16 19:12:50

DD has low pressure, usually not a too bad thing, but the gp took it, asked her to stand up and said that it was so low at that point that she couldn't find it. DD had gone because she was often feeling faint and ill. GP told her not to miss meals and to eat healthily.

She doesn't miss, and hasn't been missing, meals.
She has a healthy diet.
She is not anorexic.

This, whatever it is, is impacting on her life and her ability to work. She can't think when she's having a spell, she can't concentrate, she gets weak and shakey; she was nearly in tears last night because she hadn't been able to work for much of the w/e and hadn't finished her homework.

She is 16 in first year of sixth form, so it's quite important to try to get her well again.

Besides force-feeding her liqurice, I don't know what to do for her. I have no idea what could be causing it either. Any ideas?

Jux Tue 26-Jan-16 08:46:23


Pleasemrstweedie Tue 26-Jan-16 11:18:30

How low is low?

Jux Tue 26-Jan-16 11:30:09

Low enough for the doctor to say what she said, it's a direct quote from dd who was quoting the gp. DD is 16 so goes by herself, so neither dh or I were actually in the room. DD is not given to lying, btw.

Micah Tue 26-Jan-16 11:36:45

Why liquorice?

Exercise can help. If she's sat for long periods clenching he leg muscles to drive her circulation, or rolling her ankles- get a roller or some such to play with under the desk.

Salt helps me. I often get a crisp or chip craving- usually means I need salt to up my BP. If she's eating healthily just make sure she isn't cutting out salt.

Drink- electrolyte/sports drinks, milk, anything to keep fluids up.

If she gets a spell have a drink and a salty snack, lie down, then stand up very gradually.

princessconsuelabannahammock Tue 26-Jan-16 11:39:12

My hubby and several members of his family have this. He was advised to drink plenty of water as this can help. When he is hot or dehydrated he feels worse. If he is poorly with a fever or sickness it affects him badly. Hope your dd feels better soon.

PoshPenny Tue 26-Jan-16 17:07:48

I know it rather goes against the grain, but do you think it would help if you went with her next time to back her up? She's less likely to get fobbed off and get taken seriously with you there I would guess? Clearly somethings not right and I think you should make another appointment ASAP.

Jux Tue 26-Jan-16 23:34:02

Thank you all. She had another appt today, goodness knows how she managed to get it so quickly as she only rang them y'day. Anyway, she's been given some tablets as a prophylactic against the vertigo she gets, and will have blood tests done.

Thank you very much for the tips re snacks and fluids. I hadn't thought of salt, goodness knows why.

Liquorice raises blood pressure, Micah, but I think you probably have to eat quite a lot of it quite regularly. When I was a child it was given for constipation as it's also supposed to 'get you moving' grin. Anyway, dd hates it so won't eat it, not even the really nice natural stuff with no added sugar.

sadie9 Wed 27-Jan-16 00:00:52

I have been a fainter all my life. I find those glucose tablets great (Dextrose) you can get them in the chemist. Just a quick sugar boost and they don't have many calories in them. I only get it if I get a fright, if I have a tummy bug, or any kind of shaky bowels, or now sometimes the day after drinking more than like 2 alcoholic drinks.
Has she been drinking enough? Dehydration is a big factor, also if I had done some exercise the day before, I might get low bp the day after. I was worse as a teenager as I think it was hormones settling in, it got much better as I got older. Maybe the hormone regulated themselves a bit more or something.

cosytoaster Wed 27-Jan-16 00:08:08

Agree with sadie, I have always had low blood pressure and have fainted many times - usually when hungry, thirsty or too hot. Making sure she stays hydrated and has an emergency snack/glucose tablets will help. I have also got less fainty with age!

TheCunkOfPhilomena Wed 27-Jan-16 11:07:01

I also agree with the keeping hydrated bit, the nurse practitioner has also advised me to up my salt intake. My bp is normally low but can drop really low occasionally and I used to faint a lot.

Secretus Wed 27-Jan-16 11:15:21

It's a family trait here. Both DS's are prone to keeling over when the get up from a sitting position. I have done it all my life as did my mother and I too have got less fainty with age.

I agree about going with her next time to GP. We all want to encourage independence but having a second person in a medical consultation is always useful.

greedygorb Wed 27-Jan-16 11:21:36

Has she had her iron checked. My bp gets v low when my iron is low a. Some people are sensitive to the amount of iron in their blood so it can be in the normal range but I would still need an iron supplement like Spatone. Low bp would be the first and probably only symptom of this for me.

booksrock Wed 27-Jan-16 11:27:37

Another one here - I did a tilt test and got a fancy diagnoses, but basically I can just collapse, normally when I am telling the DC off.

I was told high salt diet (lots of crisps and chips), be careful with high levels of exercise and I drink diet coke or full fat pop when I'm feeling shakey. It does feel pants - I was undiagnosed as a teenage (just put down to iron) and okay in my twenties but much worse in my thirties.

sadie9 Wed 27-Jan-16 11:43:07

I have to congratulate you on a 16yr old who will ring the GP's surgery and make her own appointment and then go on her own!
I'd never have done that at 16. Is is possible not to be able to find a blood pressure with those blood pressure bands? Like the dial does show something, anyway you could go with her the next time it is getting checked to see for yourself.
Have they ruled out low blood sugar spells...because it sounds more like that actually from what you say. And they have kind of the same effect...weak, shakey, can't concentrate or think straight and like you might faint but don't. With low blood pressure you usually go to a full faint fairly often.

I have this too. Sometimes it's completely debilitating and at other times I can get over it by eating salt and drinking something with caffeine. It's horrible - I wouldn't wish it on anybody.

Roseformeplease Wed 27-Jan-16 18:37:44

Ooh. Not to hijack, but me too. Had it as a teen, got better, back again now (late 40s). Didn't know about salt. Thanks.

Jux Wed 27-Jan-16 19:05:12

That's interesting, sadie. DD doesn't actually faint, and your description is a pretty good fit.

I shall tell her about low blood sugar. She's having her bloods done on Monday morning,mso she can ask the nurse who does it. Or should she ring the surgery and suggest it beforehand? I imagine the gp is aware that it's a possibility and these tests will confirm or eradicate.

So would giving her a small teaspoon of sugar help, if it were that?

The doctor told me to try those glucose tablets and that if they made a difference, it was perhaps blood sugar. They didn't and then they realised my blood pressure drops pretty low quite often. I rarely go into a full-on faint though.

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 27-Jan-16 19:27:37

Has anyone mentioned Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

POTS is often overlooked as its so engrained that low blood pressure = healthy.

Good news is that there are lots of strategies to deal with this and make life more live able. From support stockings (oooh sexy but helpful!), and more salt in diet, to increased fluids especially before standing up (250ml before getting out of bed helps boost blood volume from about 15 mins after drinking), to doing heel and calf pumps etc. Drugs like midocrines can help too.

I'd check it out and see if it sounds familiar, then go back armed with print outs and a gentle prod towards a referral...

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 27-Jan-16 19:28:54

Oops sorry I see lots of posters all over pots smile

sadie9 Wed 27-Jan-16 20:13:25

If it is a low blood sugar, then having something sweet or with carbs should help. She should feel better after 20mins or so I guess. If she feels the same then it's not low blood sugar. Usually the in the sweet thing as the sugar is more accessible and works faster. Like a sugary drink or a biscuit or some chocolate or suchlike, rather than a slice of bread and butter.
As you say, I am sure the GP is working on all the possibilities.

Jux Thu 28-Jan-16 22:22:16

Yep, they're actually doing her bloods on Monday, I thought they were doing them y'day but I was wrong.

She does seem to perk up if she has small spoon of sugar. I'd give her glucose sweets but our local (tiny) chemist is out of them, but expecting them in tomorrow.

Thanks for all your help! She will mention POTS when she sees a hcp next.

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