Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Symptoms of low blood pressure may be mild in some people. They may feel tired, lightheaded, confused, or weak. They may even have bouts of blurry vision, a headache, neck or back pain, or nausea. But sitting down may be all they need to do to feel like themselves again.
The real problem with low blood pressure is that the vital organs may not get all of the oxygen and nutrients they need. And in this case, low pressure can lead to shock. The signs include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Carrying excess weight can be dangerous to your heart health, as it requires your arteries to work harder. Set goals and track progress with a simple at home scale .
If you are overweight, If youre overweight, talk to your doctor about a weight loss regimen. Losing as little as 5 pounds can make a difference!
Being overweight or obese is also a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, two conditions associated with high blood pressure.
For High Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may watch it closely. This is because its a risk factor for heart disease.
Having elevated blood pressure puts you at risk for high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like eating a heart-healthy diet, cutting back on alcohol, and exercising regularly. These may help bring your blood pressure numbers down. You may not need prescription medications.
If you have stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and medication. They may prescribe a drug like:
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Heart Rate Vs Blood Pressure
Blood pressure measures the force that moves blood through your blood vessels while your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. They are both important health indicators, but they are measured independently and dont necessarily increase or decrease synchronously.
A temporary increase in heart rate, such as during exercise, is not considered problematic. In fact, your heart is expected to rise during a bout of activity and return to its resting rate afterward. And the more intense you work, the more you should expect your heart rate to rise during exercise. Your heart rate can safely double during activity so long as it returns to its resting rate relatively soon after you finish your workout.
Significant increases in blood pressure, on the other hand, are not normal and should be monitored and shared with your health care provider.
Choosing A Blood Pressure Monitor
If you’re planning to take your blood pressure at home, it’s important to have a reliable blood pressure monitor. The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor, but there are other options.
When selecting a blood pressure monitor, consider the following:
- Fit: To ensure a proper fit, measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
- Number of people: If more than one person will be using the monitor, make sure to choose one that fits everyone.
- Features: Some blood pressure monitors offer extra tech features, like Bluetooth and app connectivity. If you don’t think you’ll benefit from these extras, go ahead and choose one that is efficient, easy to use, and more affordable.
- Budget: High-quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment and that you will be using it daily for several years.
- Other considerations: The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant person, or child, you should make sure it is validated for these conditions.
If you need help selecting an at-home device, check out these blood pressure monitors, which were vetted by the Verywell team based on the above criteria.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure often has no symptoms, but can sometimes mean that not enough blood is flowing to your brain or organs. This can cause symptoms such as:
- feeling dizzy, faint or light-headed
- feeling unsteady
- suddenly noticing your heartbeat
If you have these symptoms, stop what youre doing and sit down or lie down in case you fall, and drink some water.
Speak to your doctor or nurse if you experience these symptoms. As well as being unpleasant, they could mean youre at risk of having a fall. They could also be a sign of another health problem.
Blood Pressure Levels For Children
Blood pressure levels are different for children than they are for adults. Childrens blood pressure targets are determined by several factors, like their age, sex, and height.
Talk with your childs pediatrician if youre concerned about their blood pressure. The pediatrician can walk you through the charts and help you understand your childs blood pressure.
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
A normal blood pressure reading indicates that the heart and blood vessels are not working too hard pushing blood and that the blood is not exerting too much pressure on the walls of the vessels, says Aseem Desai, M.D., a cardiologist at Providence Mission Hospital in Southern California. Recent data from the American Heart Association suggests the optimal normal reading for adults over 20 is lower than 120/80 mmHgVirani S, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics – 2021 update . American Heart Association Journal. 2021 143:e254-e743. .
Dr. Desai notes blood pressure can vary depending on a persons age, gender, race and ethnicity, but it should still fall within the general normal range. While numbers lower than 120/80 are generally considered normal, Dr. Desai adds, The target blood pressure for treatment varies depending on age and associated co-morbidities .
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure readings are composed of two numbersfor example, 120/80 mm Hg. Both numbers are an important part of your blood pressure reading.
The top number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number measures the pressure in your arteries between each heart beat.
The standard unit of measure, mm Hg, stands for “millimeters of mercury.” Mercury pressure gauges have been replaced with electronic pressure gauges, but the abbreviation is still used.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Of 168/108 Mean
Readings between 160/110 and 168/108 indicate Stage 2 Hypertension. Hypertension is defined as a systolic blood pressure of greater or equal to 140 and/or a diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 90. In other words, the force of the blood pressure in your arteries is higher than normal.
Already diagnosed with hypertension? If so a blood pressure in this range indicates the need to adjust your blood pressure medications.
Blood pressure readings in this range put you at higher risk for life-threatening problems such as heart attack and stroke. Its important to your health to lower your blood pressure through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to chronic damage of arteries and organs. Untreated, this can result in enlargement of the heart, heart failure and kidney damage, which may require dialysis.
Unfortunately, many dont have any symptoms even with very high blood pressure. So it remains important to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
Medications With Blood Pressure Of 168/108
Medications can have a big impact on your blood pressure. There are a variety of different types of blood pressure medications available. Following is a short list of each type of medication and what they do to reduce blood pressure.
- DiureticsHelps rid the body of sodium , which helps control blood pressure.
- Beta-blockersHelps reduce your heart rate, which helps lower blood pressure.
- ACE inhibitorsACE stands for Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme. Helps the body produce less angiotensin, which helps the blood vessels relax and lowers blood pressure.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockersHelps block the chemical that causes blood vessels to narrow, which helps blood vessels stay open and lowers blood pressure.
- Calcium channel blockersHelps lower blood pressure by preventing calcium from entering smooth muscle cells, which can cause stronger heart contraction and narrow blood vessels.
- Alpha blockersHelps relax certain muscles, which keeps blood vessels open and lowers blood pressure.
- Alpha-2 Receptor AgonistsHelps lower blood pressure by inhibiting sympathetic activity.
- Central agonistsUsing a different nerve path than Alpha and Beta blockers, Central agonists help relax blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
- VasodilatorsHelps dilate the blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Talk with your doctor about changing or adjusting the dosage of medications to help bring your blood pressure readings down.
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When Low Blood Pressure Is An Emergency
A functional circulatory system is essential to your overall health and wellbeing.
More than 100,000 times a day, your heart pumps blood through a closed system of arteries, veins, and other blood vessels to the organs, tissues, and cells that make up your entire body.
Your blood picks up and distributes oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and other elements as it travels.
It also absorbs waste products and helps your body eliminate them.
Blood pressure is a measurement that tells doctors how intensely your blood exerts force on the walls of your veins as your heart pumps blood through your circulatory system.
When you visit a healthcare provider, they record your blood pressure as two measurements: systolic blood pressure, the first number, and diastolic blood pressure, the second number.
Systolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure in the arteries that your heart creates when it pumps and fills the arteries with blood.
Diastolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure in your veins when your heart is at rest.
Blood pressure can change as you move through your day, but it can put you at risk for other serious health complications if it is chronically or excessively low or high.
Gender And Blood Pressure
According to the National Institute on Aging, males are more likely to have high blood pressure before age 55, while normal blood pressure for women tends to rise after menopause. Women are less likely than men to experience complications associated with high blood pressure.
However, regardless of differences in the prevalence and complications of high blood pressure between the sexes, treatment and diagnosis are the same for both men and women.
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High Blood Pressure Symptoms
High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms. In fact, most people dont even realize they have hypertension until their blood pressure is monitored.
Symptoms dont develop until the numbers get very high and organs get damaged, often irreversibly, says Dr. Desai.
If you have severe hypertension, you might notice the below symptoms, some of which were reported by patients in a study in the British Journal of General PracticeGoodhart A. Hypertension from the patients perspective. British Journal of General Practice. 2016 66:570. :
Normal Blood Pressure By Age
As you age, your body goes through many changes that can put you at risk for other conditions. If youre over 50, having a higher than usual systolic pressure might increase your risk of developing heart disease. Systolic blood pressure tends to increase steadily over time due to stiff arteries, a build-up of plaque, and a higher rate of cardiac and vascular disease. This means older adults need to be even more vigilant about monitoring their blood pressure and practicing heart-healthy self-care.
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Normal Blood Pressure By Age Race And Gender
Previously, guidance for normal blood pressure for adults varied by gender and specific age, but new data states normal blood pressure for adults as a collective is less than 120/80 mmHgHigh Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 7/16/2021. .
When it comes to race and ethnicity, Dr. Desai says certain groups have a higher rate of hypertension. Non-Hispanic Black people have a significantly higher rate of hypertension compared to non-Hispanic white people, and Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians have lower rates than the first two, he says.
The reason for this variance can range from substandard insurance coverage and poor access to healthcare to gaps in the use of medications to treat multiple conditions with reduced compliance in certain groups, he adds.
As for gender, theres increasing evidence for risk of cardiovascular disease in women with blood pressures lower than what is considered normal, says Jennifer Wong, M.D., medical director of non-invasive cardiology at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
How Is High Blood Pressure Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. If your child’s healthcare provider has found a secondary cause, such as kidney disease, the disease will be treated. If the provider hasn’t found a cause, treatment involves making lifestyle changes. These may include eating a heart-healthy diet that:
Has lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products
Limits fatty and sweet foods
Other lifestyle changes may include:
Learning to manage emotions and stress
Quitting or staying away from smoking
Staying away from alcohol
Many children and teens are able to lower their blood pressure with lifestyle changes. But some children may need medicine.
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Why Low Blood Pressure Matters
For most adults, a healthy blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg while low blood pressure is lower than 90/60 mm Hg. By way of comparison, prior to November 2017, high or elevated blood pressure was defined as 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Then the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association lowered the standard to 130/80 mm Hg or higher.
Some people have low pressure and feel fine. In fact, they may be unaware they even have low blood pressure until they get their pressure tested during a doctor visit. It’s a moment of reckoning like this, or the presence of noticeable symptoms, that make low blood pressure a matter that should be addressed.
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How Can I Maintain Ideal Blood Pressure
One of the best ways to maintain ideal blood pressure is to exercise. Your body is a well-built machine and it needs proper care and maintenance.A simple exercise like regular walking or jogging can have an immensely positive impact on keeping your blood pressure consistent.Other factors like your diet and weight play a significant role in keeping your healthy. The more weight you carry, the more likely you are to have higher blood pressure.Whenever your hearts function is at risk of being compromised due to excess fat, your blood pressure will also suffer.
Height And Blood Pressure
Height isn’t a risk factor but taller people tend to have higher blood pressure because this offsets gravity and other factors to ensure the brain – the highest organ – gets enough blood flow and oxygen. However, the effect of height is minor, so its not taken into account in blood pressure range guidelines.
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Average Blood Pressure By Age
As you get older, your blood vessels tend to become stiffer and plaque can build up in them, which can raise your blood pressure. If your blood pressure becomes too high, you’re at a greater risk for heart disease, strokes, and more.
In 2015, the average blood pressure worldwide was 127/79 mm Hg in men, and 122/77 mm Hg in women, according to a study analysis published in Lancet.
When researchers for the National Center for Health Statistics looked at average blood pressure in U.S. adults between 2001 and 2008, the average reading was 122/71 mm Hg. The breakout was 124/72 mm Hg for men, and 121/70 mm Hg in women. It rose by age and was significantly higher in Black people.
The researchers found the following breakdown by age, sex, and race or ethnicity:
|Blood Pressure by Age|
As the population ages and life expectancy increases, high blood pressure is becoming more common.
Normal Blood Pressure For Children
Normal BP ranges vary in children by age. The University of Iowa Stead Family Childrens Hospital provides this blood pressure chart:
|Normal Blood Pressure for Children|
|112128 mm Hg||6680 mm Hg|
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