Simon Cowell has revealed low blood pressure led to the horror fall which saw him rushed to hospital and ruled out of the X Factor live shows last week.
The 58-year-old has said he was lucky to survive after fainting and tumbling down stairs and will now change his lifestyle to protect his health.
What is low blood pressure?
The heart pumps a constant supply of blood around the body.
Blood pressure is a measure of the force the blood flows through our veins.
On the whole having low blood pressure – also known as hypotension – is a good thing and shows no symptoms and requires no treatment.
However, in some cases it can cause recurring symptoms such as dizziness or occasional falls.
This can mean there’s not enough blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs.
What are the symptoms of low blood pressure and what should you do if you notice them?
Often there are warning signs of low blood pressure which can be picked up before a fainting episode.
Sufferers tend to feel dizziness or lightheaded and may suffer from unsteadiness or blurred vision.
More serious symptoms include heart palpitations, mental confusion and feeling sick.
If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure you should stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down to avoid the risk of a fall.
Drinking water also helps by hydrating the body and the symptoms should hopefully pass after a few seconds or minutes.
If you are experiencing these symptoms frequently you should see your GP?
What are the causes of hypotension?
Low blood pressure can have a range of causes from a person’s lifestyle, to their age and medication or an underlying health condition.
Commonly, low blood pressure is a sign of good health and is lowered when we are under a low amount of stress and take part in regular exercise.
But it can also be a tell-tale sign of some of the following medical conditions:
- Anemia – Low blood pressure can be caused by low levels of red blood cells in the blood.
- Heart condition – A heart condition can cause low blood pressure as the heart is less able to pump blood around the body.
- Neurological disorder – Disorders such as Parkinson’s disease are conditions which affect your nervous system which can cause blood vessels to remain to wide to maintain a healthy blood pressure
Why is it common in early pregnancy?
Low blood pressure is common in early pregnancy because hormonal changes cause the blood vessels to open wider, meaning blood isn’t pumped through the body with as much power.
This can cause pregnant women to feel many of the symptoms of low blood pressure, including unsteadiness and even fainting.
Blood pressure is generally at its lowest in the middle of the second trimester before picking up again later in the pregnancy.
What can sufferers do to treat low blood pressure?
If it is causing symptoms such as weakness or fainting, your GP will be able to advise you on a course of treatment.
But there are other things sufferers can to do lessen the symptoms.
Standing up slowly and avoiding standing for long periods of time decrease the chances of a fainting episode by maintaining a steady flow of blood to the brain.
Ensuring you are well hydrated by drinking lots of water also helps avoid low blood pressure. Avoiding coffee and alcohol is also a good idea.
Eating small and regular meals rather than large, frequent ones also helps avoid the spikes and drops in blood pressure before and after eating.