Hey Doc, my wife took my blood pressure the other night and said it was too low. I felt fine. I’m not on any medications. Should I be concerned?
-Harry, La Quinta
Harry, normal blood pressure is generally considered to be around 120/80, but can vary for each individual, so usually the range is between 90/60 and 130/80. I have seen many patients who are generally healthy and have what is considered to be low blood pressure, but they say they have had low blood pressure all their lives and it’s never adversely effected them. Lower blood pressure may just be your normal range.
Certain medications can cause low blood pressure (hypotension). Obviously if someone is taking high blood pressure medication, the result may be low blood pressure. Other medications used for anxiety, depression, pain and the heart can cause low blood pressure. Alcohol can also cause low blood pressure. Diabetes, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure can lead to hypotension. One of the most common causes I see for low blood pressure is not drinking enough fluids or dehydration. Symptoms of hypotension can include confusion, blurry vision, dizziness, fainting, nausea or weakness.
If you are concerned that your blood pressure may be too low and you have symptoms then you should be evaluated by your doctor.
Dr. Kadile, I will be traveling for the upcoming holiday season and staying in several hotels. My friend says I should check online to make sure the hotels I’m staying at don’t have bed bugs. I thought bed bugs were eradicated in this country, should I worry about this?
-Rick, La Quinta
Rick, bedbugs still exist and have made a comeback. They are commonly found in hotels because the insects will crawl into a traveler’s clothing and suitcase and make their way to the traveler’s next destination. They are most common in beds (mattress, box springs, bed frames)
Bedbugs are small, non flying insects that feed on human blood. They are most active at night and their bite is painless. Bitten individuals usually will notice the bites the next day and they may start to itch. The bites may appear as small red bumps with localized swelling. Generally, just like mosquito bites, the bedbug wounds will resolve on their own. If itching is bad, than applying over the counter anti-itch cream -and/or taking allergy medication can help.
Dr. Kadile, what do you think about vitamin B12 injections?
-Jeanie, Palm Springs
Jeanie, vitamin B12 is found in every cell of the human body and is very important for energy production. It contributes to skin health, immune and nervous system functions and muscle function. Unfortunately, individuals may not be getting enough vitamin B12 in their diet or may have a problem absorbing it. Meat is a good source of vitamin B12, thus vegetarians may be lacking in vitamin B12. Taking over the counter and prescription antacids regularly, can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption. If you are low in vitamin B12, your body is not getting enough fuel for energy.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin, so if your body doesn’t need it, it will flush away the excess. Since lack of vitamin B12 may be due to a gut absorption problem, injections or under the tongue would be the preferred routes for supplementation.
Vitamin B12 benefits
– important for energy production, can decrease fatigue
– healthy regulation of the nervous system, reduces depression, helps with stress
– essential for healthy skin, hair and nails.
I do offer vitamin B12 injections in my office and a significant number of my patients feel the better energy and decreased fatigue effects.