Low Blood Pressure Also Known As Hypotension Is When You Have A Blood Pressure Level That Is Below The Normal Range
If your blood pressure is naturally low, this probably wont cause you any problems and wont need treating. In fact, the lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Low blood pressure can sometimes be caused by medications or can be a sign of another health problem. This can sometimes cause problems such as falls, fainting and feeling dizzy, so it might need looking into and treating. Speak to your doctor or nurse if youre worried about low blood pressure.
Plus, take a look at the animation below on how to manage low blood pressure when you stand up.
Ask The Doctor: Dizziness From Blood Pressure Medications
Q.I take several medicines to get my blood pressure under control, and they seem to do the job. However, I get dizzy at times. Is there anything I can do, other than stopping my medications?
A. Many people occasionally feel dizzy if they stand up too quickly, and the older you get, the more likely this will happen. When you’re lying down or sitting, less blood pressure is needed to send sufficient blood to the brain. But as you stand, the pressure must rise to deliver adequate amounts. If that doesn’t happen fast enough, your brain can’t function as well as it should, and you feel dizzy. Moving from a lying or seated position to a standing position more slowly usually helps if this is the underlying reason.
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Causes Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
There are three known causes of isolated diastolic hypotension:
- Alpha-blocker medications. These blood pressure medications work by causing your blood vessels to open up . Because they lower diastolic pressure more than systolic pressure, they may cause isolated diastolic hypotension. Common brand names include Minipress and Cardura.
- The aging process. As we age, we lose the elasticity of our arteries. For some older adults, arteries may become too stiff to spring back between heartbeats, causing diastolic blood pressure to be low.
- Too much salt in your diet. Dietary salt can decrease elasticity of your blood vessels. If you take in too much salt, you may increase your risk for low diastolic blood pressure.
There are several common causes of overall hypotension, which would include a low diastolic number.
- Overtreatment of high blood pressure. For some people, especially people over age 60, lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 may cause diastolic pressure to fall below 60.
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Is Low Blood Pressure A Problem
For some people, low blood pressure is a sign of good health. These are generally people who are very fit and who have a slow pulse. For other people, low blood pressure is a problem.
Often, people with low blood pressure can be expected to lead longer lives.
However, people who experience continuing symptoms of low blood pressure should see a doctor. Sudden, severe low blood pressure can be associated with serious medical conditions.
What Is Low Blood Pressure
Your blood pushes against your arteries with every heartbeat. The force of blood pushing against your artery walls is called blood pressure.
Blood pressure goes up and down in response to your regular activities, such as sleeping and moving around. The medical term for low blood pressure is hypotension.
Blood pressure is made up of two measurements: when your heart beats, and in the periods of rest between heartbeats.
- Systolic pressure is the measurement of your blood pumping through your arteries when the ventricles of the heart squeeze. Systole supplies your body with blood.
- Diastolic pressure is the measurement for the periods of rest. Diastole supplies your heart with blood by filling the coronary arteries.
Your blood pressure reading is made up of two numbers: first the systolic measure, then the diastolic measure. Having a lower blood pressure is good in most cases .
But low blood pressure can sometimes make you feel tired or dizzy. In those cases, hypotension can be a sign of an underlying condition that should be treated. Hypotension in adults is defined as a blood pressure reading of lower than
There are several types of hypotension. Low blood pressure is categorized according to when it happens and whats causing it.
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If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure
A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm, unless you are experiencing any other symptoms or problems. If you experience any dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms, its a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. To help with your diagnosis, keep a record of your symptoms and activities at the time they occurred.
Is low blood pressure related to low heart rate? Find out.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 31, 2016
Feeling Lightheaded Learn About Hypotension
Your couch isnt exactly a roller coaster and your living room isnt an amusement park. But when you stood up too fast the other day, you almost fell over from the dizziness. Are you watching too much TV? Not getting enough sleep? Is Mercurys retrograde throwing off your cosmic balance? Dont worry, most of the world has had this sensation at least a few times.
If youre older than 25, then youve heard of hypertension or high blood pressure. Maybe youve cut back on salty foods and red meat to avoid high blood pressure. But the dizziness you felt when standing up is described as orthostatic hypotension, a type of situational low blood pressure. So, do you need to be concerned about hypotension? Before you throw a few more burgers on the grill to compensate, listen to this advice from Jason Hatch, MD, a cardiologist at Banner Health in Colorado.
Dr. Hatch started by explaining that there is a range for healthy blood pressure. If your blood pressure is on the low end, that isnt necessarily a cause for concern. Low blood pressure is very common in smaller people, said Dr. Hatch. Younger people also tend to have lower blood pressure. In almost every case, if youre otherwise healthy, low blood pressure is not something you need to be worried about. But it is important for us to make sure there arent any underlying issues causing the hypotension.
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Heart Attack And Stroke
At its most serious, lightheadedness may be a sign of a heart attack or stroke. Other symptoms of a heart attack often accompanying lightheadedness are chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, arm pain, back pain, or jaw pain. Symptoms suggesting a stroke are the sudden onset of headache, numbness, weakness, visual changes, trouble walking, or slurred speech. “But in older adults, lightheadedness may be the only symptom of a heart attack or a stroke, especially if it doesn’t go away,” says Dr. Grossman. In that case, every second counts, so get to an emergency room for treatment.
Dizzy Spells When You Stand Up: When Should You Worry
It’s a common phenomenon with an uncommon name: orthostatic hypotension. It just means that when you shift from lying down or sitting to standing, your blood pressure drops and you momentarily feel a little woozy. That’s because blood pools in your legs temporarily when you stand up, and it takes the body a moment to compensate by squeezing blood out of the large veins in your legs and revving up the heart a bit. The dizziness may strike after you eat a meal, because digestion diverts blood flow and may lower your blood pressure.
Up to 20% of people over 65 experience some degree of orthostatic hypotension. “If it’s occasional or mild, this doesn’t need to be aggressively treated,” says Dr. Christian Ruff, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “But if you feel you could fall or that it’s impairing your quality of life, then you should be evaluated.”
Dizziness In Hypertensive Patients
Because dizziness is such a general term, patients often use it to describe various disorienting symptoms, including vertigo episodes and loss of balance. A study notes that patients who experience dizziness because of high blood pressure also experience additional symptoms like:
- Anxiety, panic, or depression
Sometimes, the dizziness brought by hypertension can impact daily activities. This is especially true when the vertigo attacks worsen with movement. When not appropriately managed, such dizzying symptoms can pose risks for injuries due to tripping or slipping. If you think you have hypertension or if your dizziness or vertigo attacks stem from high blood pressure, dont hesitate to call your primary health care doctor.
Causes Of Lightheadedness May Be Dehydration Medication Side Effects Sudden Blood Pressure Drops Low Blood Sugar And Heart Disease Or Stroke
Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults. Although it’s not usually caused by anything life-threatening, it could be, so you need to be careful.
“Don’t ignore it. Even if the lightheadedness does not have a serious cause, it could lead to serious injuries from a fall. And at the worst, the cause may itself be life-threatening,” says Dr. Shamai Grossman, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School.
If you feel lightheaded and/or woozy, Dr. Grossman recommends having a drink of water or orange juice and lying down. If symptoms last more than 15 minutes, he says it’s time to seek medical help in an urgent or emergency care setting. Even if symptoms are brief, and even if you think you know the cause, report the lightheadedness to your doctor.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out , seek treatment right away. Or call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.
- Black or maroon stools
Hypotension Blood pressure – low Postprandial hypotension Orthostatic hypotension Neurally mediated hypotension NMH
What Does Low Blood Pressure Feel Like
The heart is a very strong pump which pumps the blood to all around the body through blood vessels. The blood exerts a force on the vessel wall, and blood pressure is a measure of this force. The normal range of blood pressure is between 90/60 mmHg to 140/90 mmHg. When the blood pressure falls below 90/60 mmHg, it is regarded as low blood pressure.
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Hypertension And Dizziness And What You Can Do
As someone with hypertension, you might be familiar with the debilitating symptoms like dizzying spells. You likely experience it whenever your blood pressure levels fluctuate. While its generally harmless, it can increase your risk for accidents or injuries. Learning how to stop dizziness naturallymight come in extra handy in preventing hazards and ensuring your safety while moving around.
How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and take your blood pressure by placing a blood pressure cuff around your upper arm. The cuff will tighten on your arm, and the monitor will measure your systolic and diastolic pressure. A blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg is considered low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure may be a sign of an underlying condition, so your doctor will try to determine what caused your blood pressure to drop. Depending on your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may also check your heart using an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, or stress test. Your doctor may also perform blood tests to check for:
- Hormonal imbalances.
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What Are The Treatments For Low Blood Pressure
The treatments for low blood pressure depend on what caused the condition. Your doctor will work with you to address the cause of the hypotension. In severe cases of hypotension, your doctor may give you IV fluids to raise your blood pressure.
Depending on a variety of factors, such as your age and the type of hypotension, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following: dietary changes, lifestyle changes and/or medications.
To make dietary changes, your doctor might tell you to:
- Stay hydrated by drinking more water throughout the day.
- Drink less alcohol.
- Increase your salt intake slightly because sodium raises blood pressure.
- Eat smaller, healthy meals and limit carbohydrates.
You can take several steps to avoid a sudden drop in blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend that you make the following lifestyle changes:
- Wear compression stockings.
- Get up slowly after youve been sitting or lying down.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Sit up and breathe deeply for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
Your doctor might prescribe medications like:
Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health the Nations biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders, including problems associated with low blood pressure. Learn about current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
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Diagnosis Of Orthostatic Hypotension
- Medical history, including medical conditions and drugs taken on a regular basis
- Physical examination
- Measuring blood pressure when lying down versus standing up
- Blood tests to check, for example, blood sugars or adrenal hormones
- Echocardiography, an imaging scan of the heart, to check for certain heart conditions
- Other tests, depending on individual factors.
How To Stop Dizziness Naturally With Upper Cervical Care
Besides practicing the tips we shared above, you might also find effective relief from dizziness with upper cervical chiropractic. Its among the leading remedies used by patients who frequently deal with vertigo attacks and dizziness. The approach focuses on your spinal health, specifically your neck alignment.
As studies explain, a neck misalignment can increase ones risk for many health problems, including vertigo attacks or dizzying spells. The faulty alignment of the bones tends to impact the central nervous systems efficiency in sending and processing signals. Consequently, this causes your brain to receive mixed-up information on your position or motion.
If you have been struggling with vertigo or dizziness because of hypertension or other health conditions, you can consult with an upper cervical doctor.
Learn more how to stop dizziness naturally through upper cervical care by scheduling your appointment with a nearby upper cervical chiropractic doctor today!
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Trying The Epley Maneuver
Sometimes, vertigo attacks and dizziness stem from BPPV, an inner ear problem. If you have BPPV and high blood pressure, you might experience aggravated vertigo episodes. To reduce your symptoms and cope better, we recommend trying the Epley Maneuver. Its a series of guided movements designed to address the root cause of BPPV.
How Do You Use A Well Pressure Point
Use the thumb of one hand to apply firm, circular pressure to this point for 1 minute. Then switch and repeat on the opposite side. Applying firm touch to the shoulder well pressure point can help relieve stiffness in your neck and shoulders, relieving neck pain and preventing headaches caused by this kind of sensation. More research is needed
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What To Do When Youre Dizzy Due To High Blood Pressure
When you start feeling like the world is spinning around, your best course of action is to sit down and minimize movement. If youre walking in the streets, find a cool and calm place to relax and breathe through your dizzying episode. You might also find it helpful to keep yourself hydrated, especially during a scorching day.
Besides these quick remedies, you can also try other self-care techniques. If youre looking for strategies on how to stop dizziness naturally, you can try the following:
Hypertension A Disaster Waiting To Strike
Hypertension has earned the moniker silent killer for a reason. If developing cardiovascular diseases runs in your blood, its a good idea to check your blood pressure regularly. This way, you can monitor your condition and make necessary lifestyle changes.
It would also help to try spotting other common signs of hypertension, such as:
- Vision problems such as seeing blind spots
- Profuse sweating
The earlier you detect your blood pressure problem, the better. This will help you manage its debilitating symptoms and prevent the onset of worse heart conditions like stroke, weakened blood vessels, aneurysms, and heart failure.
More Serious Or Lasting Causes
Some potentially more severe health issues can also cause low blood pressure, including:
- Nutrient deficiencies: These might involve vitamin B12 or folic acid.
- Neurally mediated hypotension: This disorder causes a drop in blood pressure after the person has been standing up for a prolonged period.
- Endocrine problems: These affect the regulation of the bodys hormones. One example is hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid.
- Heart problems: These can limit how effectively the heart pushes blood around the body.
- : This is a potentially life threatening response to a severe bacterial infection.
- Anaphylactic shock: This is a potentially life threatening complication of anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction.
In addition, loss of blood due to an injury can lead to low blood pressure.