Low Blood Pressure
and Meniere's Disease Symptoms
The information and the questions I am going to pose, and
the thoughts I am going to share, are meant to make you think, not just
about low blood pressure and Meniere's disease, but of other concerns as well. My purpose is
to create an awareness of the actions of drugs that are chemicals going into
This is a plea for common sense. And this plea is directed at
you, the reader, who may have Meniere's disease symptoms that are “inconvenient” and you want
relief, but at what price. It is perfectly understandable to want relief.
When you make the appointment with your doctor you expect that they will
provide you with a prescription for a drug to take away those symptoms. You
know you will get it. You expect it. You feel it is the right answer. My
concern arises from many emails and phone calls that originate from our
Meniere’s disease website.
Some of the main Meniere's disease symptoms we discuss on this website
and tinnitus: symptoms that create a lot of
misery and chaos in people’s lives.
But I want to carry this a bit further than just the Meniere's disease symptoms. I want to
expand on my concerns: my observations on what seems to be a trend of drugs
(any kind) and the lack of support or willingness to look at interactions or
simply side effects. Frankly I am very concerned about the lack of interest
about side effects by the medical community. So many times I see hypotension
and no one is willing to explore this seriously. Hypotension, or low blood
pressure, can create some real problems.
Most doctors are focused on
lowering your blood pressure readings. I fully agree with the idea, but
let’s look at this a little differently. In this article, you will see a
thread of problems associated with low blood pressure, plus the discussion
of possible chemical results. I find it impossible to separate these to make
a point by point paragraph. It would appear that some places I am repeating
myself, but if you look closely, I refer to hypertensive drugs and other
treatments as well. Included are several ways that you can be in control of
your own health decisions.
Let’s get the definitions, signs and symptoms, and the links out of the way,
BUT you need to keep these links handy as you read the rest of the article.
You may need to refresh your memory and these sites will give you
professionally-correct information. Before you do anything, even if you
suspect your own situation might be causing problems, read the article to
its conclusion and completion. Do NOT run to make any changes without
medical support. Arm yourself with questions, possible answers, and research
to back your thoughts.
Definitions, signs, and symptoms of low blood pressure or Hypotension. Mosby
describes “hypotension” as a condition without actual numbers and that
makes so much more sense to me. It states: ”an abnormal condition in which
blood pressure is not adequate for normal perfusion and oxygenation of the
(blood pressure below normal): may be indicated by a systolic pressure lower
than 90, or a pressure 25 mmHg lower than usual“ (paraphrased) Low blood
pressure is an abnormal condition where the pressure of the blood against
the walls of the blood vessels during and after each beat of the heart is
much lower than usual. This can cause low blood pressure symptoms such as
lightheadedness. When the blood pressure is too low, there is inadequate
blood flow to all parts of your body, including the heart, brain, and other
vital organs. A blood pressure level that is borderline low for one person
may be normal for another. The most important factor is how the blood
pressure changes from the normal condition. Most normal blood pressures fall
in the range of 90/60 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg, but a significant change, even
as little as 20 mm Hg, can cause problems for some people.
http://www.noah-health.org/en/blood/types/hypotension.html “Within limits,
the lower your blood pressure reading is, the better. In most people blood
pressure isn't too low until it causes symptoms such as lightheadedness or
fainting. In certain conditions or disease states, blood pressure can become
too low, as in these examples: certain nervous system disorders (orthostatic
hypotension, autonomic failure), endocrine disorders (parathyroid disease),
heart attack and heart failure, prolonged bed rest, fainting (syncope) (SIN'ko-pe),
decreases in blood volume due to severe bleeding (hemorrhage), or
dehydration, effects of certain drugs, severe infections (sepsis), shock .”
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/low-blood-pressure/DS00590 “Some people
with low blood pressure are in peak physical condition with strong
cardiovascular systems and a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. For
these people, low blood pressure, rather than being a cause for concern, is
a cause for celebration. But low blood pressure can also signal an
underlying problem, especially when it drops suddenly or is accompanied by
signs and symptoms such as: dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting
(syncope), lack of concentration, blurred vision, nausea, cold, clammy, pale
skin, rapid, thirst, shallow breathing, fatigue, depression, etc. “
http://www.lowbloodpressure.wisepages.com/hypotension.html “Low blood
pressure, otherwise known as hypotension, is a condition characterized by
abnormally low pressure in blood vessels. When blood pressure is too low,
the supply of oxygen that is carried in the blood cannot be effectively
distributed throughout the body.”
Just as you need to know the definitions of “hypotension”, you also need to
know the definition of “hypertension”. Then you can understand the
difference. The medical term or prefix, “hyper”, means “over”. And the
prefix “hypo” means “under”. The “over” and “under” values or numbers have
already been decided by the medical community. It is not my purpose to
question them. Here we simply want to see if the “under” reading might need
to be looked at a bit more closely as having such a low reading might not be
in your best interest.
exists if the systolic pressure (top number) is 140 or higher or the
diastolic pressure (bottom number) is 90 or higher. Optimal blood pressure
is less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic.” You have already read
that the readings vary, so you know there is a lot of discussion underway by
the medical community.
Here is some information that should be of great interest
to you if you suffer from high blood pressure.
In my work with many people with Meniere’s disease and I always ask what sorts of drugs they are
talking. Then I have to pry out of them if they are taking any prescription
drugs. It seems that these don’t seem to count. Yet they are often the
underlying cause for their symptoms. Not so much as the direct cause, but
that the effect of low blood pressure could be the cause of so many other
problems. I point out that any chemicals coming into the body is seen by the
body as a foreigner: unwanted. Thus they could be subjected to the
protective mechanism you have at all times, your immune system.
The medical world is always looking for signs (visible to others) and
symptoms (your description of your Meniere's disease symptoms), but if you are dizzy, no one else would know.
You don’t show any signs. The same thing happens with low blood pressure.
You feel awful: completely drained, weak, and have no energy, but you look
very normal. Some people are pale and feel cool. Little else “shows”. The
only “sign” you can show is a blood pressure reading. And my present very
real concern involves hypotension: low blood pressure.
Many people question their medications but are assured that there couldn’t
possibly be a problem. This sense of security lasts for a short while: until
the Meniere's disease symptoms show up again. But common sense is imbedded somewhere deep in
all of us. When something is not right (we all understand our bodies better
than anyone else.), we know it.
Now you go to a different source as the first one has already told you there
could be no problem. Most people know when they feel differently, know it
hasn’t always been like that and know they don’t want to continue in the
same way. The Internet has changed many things. Amongst them how people get
medical information. It is why I include so many links to reliable sites.
Most medical facilities have their own sites, and most provide information
that the lay person can understand. It is in any doctor’s best interest,
(use of their time and expertise), to appreciate the clarity you have about
your needs. It helps immensely if you have a good understanding of what you
need and what possibilities are available. And the same applies to knowing
about low blood pressure.
Obviously the medical community wants you to understand conditions. It even
creates web sites around these terms.
Just go to the main Medline site and you will be amazed at what resources
are available. I assure you that you will understand and appreciate most of
As many doctors prescribe drugs or combinations of drugs, I want encourage
you to read another perspective by Dr. Mercola. I like his work as he delves
into background causes that few other people do.
Here is the study he refers to. It describes the different drug combinations
available to treat hypertension. It is called the “Landmark Hypertension
Treatment Study Launches Extensive Physician and Patient Education Program
to Improve Public Health Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to
Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT)”
As you can see from the date imbedded in the web address, it was published
in February 2006. If you are on blood pressure medications, keep an eye out
for what you are prescribed. And keep yourself updated by visiting these
sites regularly. You can easily print off their information by using the
Unfortunately, from what I hear a lot, not all medical practitioners welcome
this enlightened state of their patients. I could tell you story after story
of doctors who dismiss their Meniere's disease patients. So as always, I urge you to be most
diplomatic when you present any Internet information to your doctor. But
please don’t let it stop you from researching worthy help for your body.
Before I go any further, I want to be clear about the terms “health” and
“wellness”. In our North American culture, we tend to see our health needing
to be repaired. And we see wellness as something holistic, suspicious, and
to be avoided at all costs. So traditional drugs win out, time and time
again. Health should be health and illness should be illness.
Please recognize that drugs are always chemicals. Your purpose for going to
seek medical help is to change the state of your being. And that is what
doctors are trained to do. They offer or prescribe drugs and offer and
perform surgery. And that is all about repair and chemicals to create a
change: the one you are seeking. But please understand that what you might
be seeking in help for your headache can also have a overall body affect.
When you take something like a headache pill, you will be changing the
entire make up of your body. Those are called ”side effects”. And we see
them as maybe not happening at all, or having negligible effects. But that
is often not the case.
I sit in a very interesting and privileged position as people contact us. I
hear about all the drugs they are on. I can see the overall results and ask
about these side effects. (And now that I am bringing this to your
attention, I hope you will do the same.) What is most interesting is the use
of drugs. Having been a nurse for many years, I can see how doctors use the
recognized side effects of one drug as the primary reason for using it in
Blood pressure medications are a good example. I’ll
use “our” Meniere’s disease friends. The main course of treatment includes a
diuretic, something to quell the dizziness and vertigo, and often an
antihistamine. A low salt diet is also prescribed. The purpose of the
diuretic is to draw off fluid. But it is also used in the treatment of high
blood pressure. If you follow this, you will soon see that taking this
“antihypertensive drug” and NOT having high blood pressure, could now lead
to possible problems, like a (unwanted) reduced blood pressure? But let’s
look at the blood pressure. In the “ALLHAT” study:
) they mention multiple drug groups. These are all vying for space and
actions in your body. Could these drugs be not as effective as hoped, all
the while be causing their own problems?
By law, negative side effects must be listed and available to the consumer.
So when you have a prescription filled, you must read any listed side
effects (aka an adverse reactions). But if you don’t like those, or if you
feel you already have some of those from maybe something else, it is too
late to return the product. So do your research for side effects before you
buy it. What is not so easily figured out is the interrelation of the drugs
you are on. They would be called interactions.
What is a drug interaction? Here is one excellent site.
“If you use 2 or more drugs at the same time, the way your body processes
each drug can change. When this happens, the risk of side effects from each
drug increases and each drug may not work the way it should. This is called
a "drug-drug interaction." Vitamins and herbal supplements can affect the
way your body processes drugs too. Certain foods or drinks can also prevent
your medicine from working the way it should or make side effects worse.
This is called a "drug-food interaction." For example, if you're taking a
traditional NSAID, drinking alcohol can increase your risk of liver disease
or stomach bleeding. Drug-drug interactions and drug-food interactions can
be dangerous. Be certain that your doctor knows all of the over-the-counter
and prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements that you are
taking. Also, talk to your doctor before you take any new over-the-counter
or prescription medicine or use a vitamin or herbal supplement.”
If your body is relatively healthy, and you are taking one or two drugs,
this may not present a problem. But as we are speaking of low blood
pressure, and most healthy people do have good (adequate), relatively low
blood pressure, a listed side effect of low blood pressure should make you
stop and think. That is what I am trying to help you do here.
Although my discussions are around Meniere’s disease treatment, you should be very
concerned if you are taking more than one drug: over the counter “OTC”, or
prescription, or recreational. And please do not forget all the nasal
sprays, drops and ointments! As I have mentioned several times, now, these
are simply chemicals of some sort: where they come from is not that
important. What is important is how these chemicals act in your body.
For our discussion in this article, I want to draw your attention the fact
your blood pressure could be a little too low for you to function
effectively for your lifestyle. I admire the athletic community. They are
very aware of how a low blood pressure and low pulse are affecting their
overall capabilities. I learned this early on in my operating room career.
We didn’t get many sick athletes, but we did get many broken limbs. Their
heart beats (pulse) and blood pressure were usually low enough to make us
become very aware of possible problems. Hypotensive problems didn’t happen
because their bodies are used to this. And I believe they don’t put many
chemicals into their bodies. At least they didn’t then.
Another situation that concerns me a lot is the “isolated” use of these
drugs. By that I mean that one doctor prescribes a drug, for one condition,
and pays no attention to other drugs prescribed by any other doctors. I
would imagine that a pharmacist would check for and question interactions
and usage, but that is no longer the case. I wish it were! I believe that
would save a lot for heartache and problems.
Let me share what I see happening. I’ll use the Meniere’s disease condition as an
example. The traditional treatment for Meniere's disease includes a low salt
diet, diuretics, SERC (betahistine), often an anti-depressant and a drug to
stabilize the dizziness. Sometimes, nasal sprays. Then along comes another
practioner. You are now encouraged to do some “preventative medication” for
cholesterol, hypertension, (high blood pressure), and diabetes. Those are
the common ones right now. Can you already see what happening here is? I see
this time and time again, but no one seems to see anything wrong with this!
That is why I am getting very concerned. If you looked closely at some of
the links I gave you, did you see who sponsored the sites? Am I cynical?
Just a touch!
I have to assume you are reading this article because you have an interest
in health, not illness. Yours and maybe others close to you. It also means
you have access to the Internet to research your own condition, whether it
is Meniere's disease, or some other health question you may have. This is a resource that is part of
globalization. You now have access to knowledge, definitions, and
explanations that in the past, you got from your doctor. They could control
what you learned.
Not any longer. Now you can look up hypotension or Meniere's disease for yourself. You can
explore thousands of pages or sites on diabetes. You can study all about
cholesterol. When you go back to your doctor for the actual prescription to
“prevent” a condition, I ask you to become aware of possible drug
interactions: of chemicals interaction with other chemicals prescribed.
These could be causing possible side effects such as hypotension.
Many, many people I speak with are on preventative medications. And we
discuss drugs they are could be on, they never mention these. It is almost
as though they appear to be harmless and not to be considered. But they are
used to create a certain chemical change in your body. And as drugs, they
will also interact with other chemicals to create another result.
Let me give you a common scenario. You are on these “preventative drugs” but
because of your Meniere’s disease symptoms you now get added the “traditional”
diuretic (which acts as a blood pressure lowering drug). Seldom do I hear of
any pharmacist doing any cross checking of drugs. Can you see the potential
problem here? I am going to be a bit facetious here. What good is a drug
that takes a relatively long term to make a difference (on your cholesterol
rating) when your blood pressure is so low that you can’t function today?
Someone needs to exercise some common sense! What I can’t understand is why
no one takes the time to look at the whole person in front of them who is
“complaining” of dizziness, fatigue, vertigo, and tinnitus, and are known to
be on multiple drugs. Would it not make sense to look for possible drug side
effects or interactions?
And in many, many cases, these are three of the most common side effects of
drugs! You, as the patient in front of the doctor, are mentioning that you
have this problem. Ironically or maybe naturally, you are now prescribed a
drug to help you deal with that effect! I have a huge list of drugs that
list tinnitus or noise in the ear, as a side effect: not a possible one, but
the actual known side effect. And what do Meniere’s disease symptoms include?
loss or fluctuation, and inner ear pressure!
And then the traditional treatment for Meniere's disease (which it really isn’t)
they prescribe more drugs such as diuretics and antihistamines that have
these listed as side effects! Round and round we go!
Now let me throw this at you. Supposing you already have a reading of 140/80
(seen as hypertension) and your body adjusted to it. Now you are given
medication in the hopes of lowering that reading and most often for good
reason. But the side effects are dizziness and a few other things. So you go
back to your doctor. Tests are done to rule out the possibility of any
abnormality in the balance part of your ear (inner ear). To stop the
vertigo, a diuretic is given (traditional treatment). And you already know
that a diuretic will drop your blood pressure. And no one checks to see what
you other drugs you are on. Now you are on TWO drugs (and maybe even more)
that lower your blood pressure! Can you see any possible problems? It
happens all the time! Whose responsibility is it to check? I think it is
yours. No one checked before prescribing the drug(s) and no one took the
time as the prescription was filled. You are the person walking around with
these effects. Does anyone other than you care much? I doubt it. So make it
your responsibility. Question all your drugs if you suspect this could be
the case with you.
Here are things you can do right now to give yourself some control over your
fears. First I would discuss it with your pharmacist. They are trained in
drugs and chemical interactions. Read the inserts in all the drugs you get.
Believe them. By law, any negative effects have to be listed. These happen
all the time. When you choose to take these chemicals, there will be
affects: good and bad. Bring in all your drug slips and any OTC products.
Herbal products are the basis of many drugs. So bring that information if
you are on any.
Normal vitamin and mineral supplements are mentioned often
as being a problem, but I believe true supplements are food and you wouldn’t
mention foods normally. But don’t confuse herbals and vitamins. They are not
the same. One very important action you need to do is to take your blood
pressure for a few days or even two weeks. Follow the directions on the
machine you choose. Stick with that one machine: you can be confident with
the results. Read the directions for clothing. If you push up your shirt,
you could well change the reading, but it should tell you not to do that on
the instructions. Next you want to get accurate and consistent readings. Do
NOT compare a morning reading with an afternoon one. They will not be the
same! And if you go to your doctor’s office, ask them to tell you the
reading. Don’t accept the “it’s a bit on the high side” or it’s OK”. Get the
numbers so you can compare them yourself. Normal readings are listed on the
machine. Believe them.
When you spot a potential problem, take them to your primary care physician.
They should have your best interest at heart. They should be seeing your
entire body: not just one segments of it. If you are still reluctant to ask
your doctor, and that happens often, ask yourself why you went in the first
place. Were the symptoms bad enough for you to seek help? Has anything
changed so you can now cope? If not, have some courage and seek other help.
But in the meantime, you might also find other possible ways of coping with
your original symptoms.
There is a lot of research and many books that can
help with non-drug or chemical treatments. It might mean a change in diet, a
bit more exercise, an avoidance of sugars, diet products, plus other things.
You don’t need to join a gym if you can walk a round your house, walk the
stairs a bit more, or simply park further from the shopping center
entrances. If you have low blood pressure, mild exercise is great to help
you bring extra oxygen to your body! Wash your car (and mine) a bit oftener.
Walk two floors. It might take a bit extra time, but it feels good.
Just by reading to this point, you can’t help but have learned a lot about
drug interactions and possible low blood pressure and dizziness. A few lifestyle changes,
including finding courage to make some enquiries, could make an amazing
change in your health!
I am reluctant to add something of serious importance to an already
overloaded health article, but you might also start looking at your
environment. Often it gives a hint of things you are exposed to “generally”.
Many respiratory problems start here. Then you get drugs, and it adds to
your body’ workload of trying to get them out. Your body is always trying to
protect you from anything that is not “natural” to it. You might want to
read this article on the
Inflammatory Process. But that so-called allergy can also cause
your blood pressure to increase and now you are given a drug for that. Get
the picture? Incidentally, for many of the conditions where drugs are
prescribed, often a very effective “non-chemical” treatment is available.
Water is the very best natural diuretic. Your body craves it and it doesn’t
cause hypotension or hypertension.
My personal thought always is” “if I mixed all these chemicals in a
laboratory, what could happen?” Might your body be a living laboratory? I am
going to conclude by restating the signs of low blood pressure and the
effects they could have on you. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, means
that the pressure of blood circulating around the body is lower than normal,
or lower than expected. You may have low blood pressure compared to others
of similar physical characteristics, but be perfectly healthy.
pressure is only a problem if you experience negative symptoms. For example,
vital organs (particularly the brain) may be starved of oxygen and nutrients
if your blood pressure is too low. Your symptoms could include
lightheadedness, when standing from a sitting or lying position,
unsteadiness, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, fatigue, and fainting.
Usually, low blood pressure develops over time.
Realize that you are in
control, of your health, your decisions, your symptoms, and any actions you
are prepared to take to deal with them. Does this sound like any experiences
you might have had? Please learn from this, but do NOT make ANY changes
without a medical practioner supervising your actions. Doctors assume that
you will follow their instructions. They base their future advice and
decisions on this knowledge.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.
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website, that allowed numerous people to get their lives back,
use this link to go to the Meniere's Disease System Information page.
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