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How Low Is Too Low Blood Pressure

If You Notice A Sudden Decline In Blood Pressure

TriHealth Doctor on Call: When is a Blood Pressure Reading Too Low?

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

When Is Low Blood Pressure Too Low Hypotension And More

Some people naturally have low blood pressure, known as hypotension. However, when high blood pressure suddenly becomes low blood pressure, it could be cause for concern.

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Low blood pressure, or hypotension, may be a sign of good health and of a decreased risk of heart disease. But not always. At times, continually low blood pressure or a sudden drop in blood pressure can lead to worrisome symptoms and even serious health problems.

What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low

So, what to do when your blood pressure drops too low? If you are experiencing symptoms of very low blood pressure, for example, dizziness or fainting, it is always advisable to seek medical opinion. As there are various factors that can be the reason why your blood pressure drops too low, the condition should be properly evaluated. It is important to assess the situation and rule out any related serious cause like sudden dehydration, internal bleeding, serious infection or an allergic reaction.

Here are some immediate steps that guide on how to raise the blood pressure if it is too low. These include

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Lie with the feet above heart
  • Avoid standing for long as it acts as a trigger for hypotension
  • Consume salt or salty food

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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.

What Are The Risk Factors

The Dangers Of Low Blood Pressure

Syncope is common, but adults over age 80 are at greater risk of hospitalization and death.

Younger people without cardiac disease but who’ve experienced syncope while standing or have specific stress or situational triggers aren’t as likely to experience cardiac syncope.

Cardiac syncope is a higher risk in: people older than age 60 men presence of known heart disease brief palpitations or sudden loss of consciousness fainting during exertion fainting while supine an abnormal cardiac exam or family history of inheritable conditions. Other existing conditions and medications used are particularly important in older patients.

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The Future Of Syncope

Standardized national registries and large databases are needed to gather more data to better understand the incidence and prevalence of syncope, patient risks and outcomes, set lifestyle policies and improve healthcare delivery.

Some studies have shown that with recurrent episodes of fainting, the quality of life is reduced in both adults and in pediatric patients, however more well designed studies that incorporates quality of life, work loss and functional capacity are needed. In addition, more studies incorporate quality of life, work loss and functional capacity as possible results and better understand the relationship of syncope symptoms, causes and underlying diseases to various outcomes.

Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed

To diagnose low blood pressure, a doctor may measure the patient’s blood pressure both while lying down and standing up. People with low blood pressure may experience lightheadedness and dizziness upon standing up. Heart rate often increases to compensate for the low blood pressure. After the diagnosis of low blood pressure is confirmed, the doctor will identify the cause of the problem. Sometimes the cause of low blood pressure may be easily identifiable, such as a wound that is bleeding, but most of the time the doctor may need to order other tests to uncover the cause of the low blood pressure.

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Low Blood Pressure When You Stand Up

Sometimes, changes in your posture can cause your blood pressure to drop, for example, going from sitting or lying down to standing up. You might feel the symptoms listed above when you stand up, such as feeling dizzy or faint. They will pass quickly as your body adjusts, but can put you at risk of falls.

This is called postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Its caused by changes to your arteries which happen as you get older and if youre taking medications to lower your blood pressure.

The animation below provides information on the causes, symptoms and potential interventions related to orthostatic hypotension.

This film was produced by Newcastle University for work completed by Dr James Frith, supported by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.

What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Low Blood Pressure

ASA NSC 2017 Tim Paterson – Blood Pressure: How Low is Too Low

In some people, particularly relatively healthy ones, symptoms of weakness, dizziness, and fainting raise the suspicion of low blood pressure. In others, an event often associated with low blood pressure, for example, a heart attack, has occurred to cause the symptoms.

Measuring blood pressure in both the lying and standing positions usually is the first step in diagnosing low blood pressure. In patients with symptomatic low blood pressure, there often is a marked drop in blood pressure upon standing, and patients may even develop orthostatic symptoms. The heart rate often increases. The goal is to identify the cause of the low blood pressure. Sometimes the causes are readily apparent . At other times, the cause may be identified by testing:

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Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

Low blood pressure is pressure so low it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. When the flow of blood is too low to deliver enough oxygen and nutrients to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidney, the organs do not function normally and may be temporarily or permanently damaged.

Unlike high blood pressure, low blood pressure is defined primarily by signs and symptoms of low blood flow and not by a specific blood pressure number. Some individuals routinely may have blood pressure numbers of 90/50 with no symptoms and therefore do not have low blood pressure. However, others who normally have higher blood pressures may develop symptoms of low blood pressure if their blood pressure drops to 100/60.

During pregnancy, blood pressure tends to decrease. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy may be lower than 100/60. Your OB/GYN or Midwife should monitor your bood pressure if you are pregnant.

Who Is At Risk Of Having Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure typically isnt a problem for most adults. However, if your blood pressure drops suddenly or you experience symptoms, it may cause serious side effects. The U.S. National Library of Medicine indicates that a drop as little as 20 mmHg can cause problems.

So what causes your blood pressure to drop and when does it put you at risk? Minor and temporary things can affect blood pressure, like getting up too fast after sitting, standing for long periods of time, or dehydration. Similarly, certain health conditions are risk factors for hypotension, including:

  • Heart conditions
  • Serious trauma
  • Shock caused by blood loss

If you experience low blood pressure, youre at a higher risk for fainting and shock, which can require medical treatment if vital organs. Keep track of your blood pressure regularly so you get to know whats normal for you and what may be too low. A single measurement lower than normal isnt cause for alarm but if you experience other symptoms, talk to your doctor.

For more information about low blood pressure or to find a doctor, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

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Drink Plenty Of Water

Dehydration can sometimes lead to low blood pressure. Some people may have hypotension even with mild dehydration.

You can also get dehydrated by losing water too quickly. This can happen through vomiting, severe diarrhea, fever, strenuous exercise, and excess sweating. Medications such as diuretics may also cause dehydration.

What Other Conditions Cause Low Blood Pressure

Is 10462 Blood Pressure Too Low

Sometimes, a bacterial or fungal infection from another part of the body enters the blood. This type of infection is called septicemia. It’s potentially life-threatening and may cause severe low blood pressure called septic shock that may damage organs. Septicemia may result from diverticulitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, or other infections.

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Symptoms Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure

Symptoms of isolated diastolic hypotension include tiredness, dizziness, and falls.

Because low diastolic pressure decreases blood flow to your heart, you may also have chest pain or symptoms of heart failure. Heart failure symptoms may include shortness of breath, swelling of your feet or ankles, confusion, and heart palpitations.

Seek immediate medical attention if you have chest pain or difficulty breathing.

Symptoms of low diastolic blood pressure along with low systolic blood pressure include:

  • dizziness

What The Studies Found And What They Mean

In one of the observational studies, published Oct. 16, 2016, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 11,000 adults collected over a period of three decades as part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. They found that people who had low diastolic blood pressure were twice as likely to have subtle evidence of heart damage compared with people whose diastolic blood pressure was 80 to 89 mm Hg. Low diastolic values were also linked with a higher risk of heart disease and death from any cause over 21 years.

For the second, published Oct. 29, 2016, in The Lancet, researchers analyzed data from CLARIFY, a registry of more than 22,600 people with heart disease from 45 countries. They determined that, compared with people who had systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure of 70 to 79, people with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher were more likely to experience heart attacks or strokes, to be hospitalized with heart failure, or to die within a five-year period. But the same was true for heart attacks, heart failure, and death in people with low blood pressure .

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What Is Healthy Blood Pressure

The heart circulates blood throughout the body with every beat. The pressure exerted on the arteries during the heartbeat is called the systolic pressure. It is the first or top number in blood pressure measurement. The pressure exerted on the arteries between heartbeats is called the diastolic pressure. A blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury is considered normal.

What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low And How To Raise It

“When is LOW blood pressure a PROBLEM?”

Falling down of blood pressure below the normal range is referred to as low blood pressure or hypotension. The normal blood pressure reading is 120/80mm Hg, and a person with low blood pressure shows a reading of 90/60mm Hg or low. Having a low blood pressure without any symptoms might not be much of a problem, but if the symptoms start showing up it means that the blood supply to the body is being affected. If this happens the doctor might diagnose the condition to get the cause.

It is important to know what to do if your blood pressure drops too low and how to raise it. But before that let us understand the causes of low blood pressure and understand why your blood pressure drops too low. Some of the conditions causing low blood pressure involve

  • Chest pain or heart attack in a patient suffering from heart disease.
  • Sitting and standing may lead to vertigo or dizziness in the patient with postural hypotension.
  • Increase in urea and creatinine levels in the patient with kidney disease. This happens due to decreased blood supply to the kidney.
  • Kidney failure, heart failure, lung failure, and brain failure.

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How To Raise Your Blood Pressure

Some of the healthy tips that can prevent or help you to raise your blood pressure include the following.

  • Fluid Intake. Increase the water intake, dont wait for the time you feel thirsty. Avoid alcoholic beverage, as they often cause more dehydration. Tomato juices or sports drink might also help.
  • Salt Intake. Sodium, which is present in salt, is necessary to help maintain blood pressure and must be consumed as per the daily requirement. For those who are consistently having low blood pressure and not suffering from high blood pressure, increasing salt intake can help.
  • Get a Leg Up. While rising from the bed, make a little bit up and down leg movement to get the blood flowing. This prevents pooling of blood in one area, warms up the muscles to improve blood circulation. This prevents sudden dropping of blood pressure on raising up.
  • Leg and Lower Belly Support. Pooling of blood , which is a common cause of low blood pressure on standing from a lying down position can also be relieved by using stockings. Compression stockings which are thigh high or waist-high are best to squeeze the legs, and prove to be really helpful in maintaining blood pressure, particularly for people with postural hypotension.
  • Eat Small Frequent Meals. Blood pressure also drops on eating large and heavy meals. Eating small frequent meals throughout the day help in maintaining blood pressure. So, in to raise your blood pressure if it is too low, have often, but make sure it is healthy food.
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    Low Blood Pressure Definition And Facts

    • Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is blood pressure low enough that the flow of blood to the organs of the body is inadequate and symptoms and/or signs of low blood flow develop.
    • Low pressure alone, without symptoms or signs, usually is not unhealthy.
    • The symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. These symptoms are most prominent when individuals go from the lying or sitting position to the standing position .
    • Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body’s organs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. The most severe form is shock.
    • Common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood, heart disease, and medications.
    • The cause of low blood pressure can be determined with blood tests, radiologic studies, and cardiac testing to look for heart failure and arrhythmias.
    • Treatment of low blood pressure is determined by the cause of the low pressure.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If you feel confused or notice fast, shallow breathing, a weak, rapid pulse, and cold, clammy skin, you may be in shock . Get to an emergency room right away. But lower blood pressure numbers, especially without other symptoms, aren’t usually a sign of a big problem. Talk to your doctor if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded as well.

    Diastolic Blood Pressure Control: How Low Is Too Low

    25+ bästa Low blood pressure symptoms idéerna på Pinterest

    It is well established that controlling your blood pressure with blood-pressure lowering medications reduces risks of heart related events and death. It has been further demonstrated that lowering systolic blood pressure as well diastolic blood pressure means that you’ll benefit .In the late 1970s, data revealed that while there is no level of SBP lowering that does not incrementally improve outcomes, such may not be the case for DBP . Subsequently, numerous analyses have been performed demonstrating that when lowered from high numbers above 90, diastolic blood pressure improvements decreased risks. But if DBP keeps getting lower, there is a higher risk of mortality and coronary events in those whose DBPs were lowered below 65-85 mm Hg . Many of these analyses were, however, based on small numbers of cases.Three explanations might explain this phenomenon.

  • Diastolic hypotension is frequently noted in conditions such as cardiomyopathy or malignancy and some patients may simply have a more serious risk level overall.
  • Another explanation is that low DBP is really a marker for widened pulse pressure, which is an indicator of increased arterial stiffness and atherosclerosis.
  • Finally, some have suggested that diastolic hypotension reduces coronary filling pressures, thereby inducing endocardial ischemia.
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    Baroreceptor Signals Sent To The Arteries

    Baroreceptors communicate directly with arteries when blood pressure is too high or too low to bring it into a more appropriate level. Baroreceptors tell arteries to constrict when blood pressure is too low to help raise blood pressure. Baroreceptors tell arteries to relax when blood pressure is too high to help lower blood pressure.

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