Some Risk Factors Include:
How Does The Body Maintain Normal Blood Pressure
Baroreceptors are small nerve cells within arteries close to the heart that help regulate blood pressure. Baroreceptors communicate with the kidneys, arteries, veins, and heart to increase, decrease, or maintain blood pressure, as needed. The function of the baroreceptors is to ensure that sufficient blood reaches the organs and tissues of the body.
What Causes High Blood Pressure
The cause of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is often unknown. It develops over time and often happens as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Occasionally, some people have hypertension caused by an underlying condition, such as kidney disease, adrenal gland tumors or thyroid disorders, says Dr. Wong. Other conditions like pregnancy, diabetes and obesity can also increase your risk.
Some people are susceptible to high blood pressure from certain medications, such as birth control pills, some decongestants and even some over-the-counter pain relievers, says Wong. Illicit drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines may also raise blood pressure.
High blood pressure is extremely common. A 2017 to 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics found 45.5% of U.S. adults have hypertensionOstchega Y, et al. Hypertension prevalence among adults aged 18 and over: United States, 2017-2018. National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed 7/16/2021. .
Managing Low Blood Pressure
Having low blood pressure once in a while isnt likely a cause for concern.
Tell your doctor about any related symptoms. Keep a journal of your symptoms and what you were doing when they began.
This can help your doctor diagnose the cause of your low blood pressure, especially if youve tried making changes to your diet and lifestyle and still arent seeing your BP at a healthy level.
How Bad Is Hypotension For The Brain
Ask public health officials about HYPERtension and you will be told by the CDC that Nearly half of adults in the United States have hypertension defined as a systolic blood pressure 130 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure 80 mm Hg You will also learn that hypertension contributes to roughly half a million deaths each year. HYPOtension , on the other hand, seems to get far less attention. But low blood pressure can also be dangerous. What can be done about it?
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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.
Baroreceptor Signals Sent To The Veins
If blood pressure becomes too high, baroreceptors send signals to the veins instructing them to expand and store more blood and return less blood to the heart. The result is blood flow decreases and blood pressure becomes lower. Conversely, veins can become narrower and return more blood to the heart, which increases blood pressure.
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Medications With Blood Pressure Of 80/50
You may get low blood pressure as a side effect of certain medications. Already on blood pressure medication? If so it may be working too well and should be adjusted.
Talk to your doctor about adjusting your blood pressure medication dosage.
If lifestyle changes dont work to raise your blood pressure your doctor might prescribe medicines such as Fludrocortisone, which promotes sodium retention, or Midodrine, which activates receptors in arteries to promote blood pressure.
Check Your Blood Sugar
Diabetes and high blood sugar levels may lead to low blood pressure. Volume depletion can occur from the diuresis that follows high blood sugar levels. This is when your body tries to expel glucose via increased urination.
Consider using a home monitor to check your blood sugar levels throughout the day. See your doctor to find out the best diet, exercise, and medication plan to help balance blood sugar levels.
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How Is Blood Pressure Generated
The left lower chamber of the heart receives oxygenated blood from the lungs and pumps it throughout the body. The heart fills with blood between heartbeats. This phase in the heart cycle is called diastole. When the heart pumps to push blood throughout the arteries, this phase is called systole. You can place your fingers on your neck or the inside of your wrist to detect your heartbeat. The pulse you feel is the contraction of the heart’s left ventricle.
What Other Conditions Cause Low Blood Pressure
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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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.
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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What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Reading Is 100/60
The first thing to do is to check your pulse. If your pulse is over 90 your heart may be compensating for the low blood pressure. Call the doctor for advice if youre pulse is high and your experiencing any unusual symptoms.
As an aside, home blood pressure monitors are amazingly affordable and great way to stay on top of your blood pressure. So invest in your health and check out .
You dont need to do anything if your pulse is normal and youre not experiencing any symptoms.
When Blood Pressure Is Too Low
Whether blood pressure is too low has more to do with how you feel than the measured number. A blood pressure of 90/60 mmHG may be normal for someone young and healthy, but may cause symptoms of lightheadedness or weakness in an older patient or someone with other health conditions, Dr. Courson says.
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Which Number Is Most Important
Both. Having a high number in either systolic or diastolic pressure can lead to a diagnosis of hypertension . However, systolic pressure tends to get more attention because high systolic blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50, and it can indicate major cardiac events.
Also note: Heart rate and blood pressure are not the same, and they can indicate different issues. The American Heart Association reports that blood pressure measures the force that blood moves through blood vessels, and heart rate measures the amount of times your heart beats per minute. Having a healthy heart rate does not necessarily mean your blood pressure is in a healthy range. Both measurements are important, but one does not replace the other.
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
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Here Is Information About One Of The Most Dangerous And Sneakiest Health Conditions: Blood Pressure
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is a measure of how hard your blood pushes against your arteries as it moves through your body. High blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure, the force of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high. High blood pressure is harmful because it makes the heart work harder and less efficiently.
Why blood pressure matters
High blood pressure can cause significant damage to your eyes, kidneys, brain and blood vessels. Left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or vision loss. High blood pressure also can affect your ability to think, remember and learn. There’s even a type of dementia vascular dementia caused by high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous health conditions because of how sneaky it can be. You can have high blood pressure for years without experiencing any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to your heart can still occur. Fortunately, high blood pressure can be easily detected. And once you know you have high blood pressure, you can work with your health care provider to control it.
How is blood pressure measured?
Blood pressure is traditionally measured using an inflatable cuff around your arm. The cuff is inflated, and the cuff gently tightens on your arm. The air in the cuff is slowly released and a small gauge measures your blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:
What is considered normal?
What you can do
Know your numbers
Why You Might Have Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure has many possible causes, from lifestyle choices, to medication or an underlying health condition.
In some cases, it may just be the result of being healthy and active or a tendency you’ve inherited from your parents.
Throughout the day, it’s normal for your blood pressure to vary depending on what you’re doing. Stress at work, the temperature outside and your diet could all affect your blood pressure reading.
This is why it’s important your blood pressure is checked under similar conditions each time to make sure results are consistent.
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How Is Blood Pressure Determined
Several factors influence blood pressure. Blood volume and blood vessel wall behavior are two important determinants of blood pressure. The more blood pumped with each heartbeat, the higher the blood pressure. The presence of stiff or narrow artery walls that resist blood flow also increases blood pressure. Having lower blood volume and open, flexible arteries decreases blood pressure.
Is Low Blood Pressure Bad For Your Health
Lower blood pressure is associated with a lower risk of conditions like heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Those who exercise regularly, athletes, non-smokers, and those who maintain an optimal body weight experience lower blood pressures. Lower blood pressure is a good thing as long as it doesn’t cause symptoms that could damage organs and tissues of the body.
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Exercise For Low Blood Pressure
Everyday exercise such as a 30-minute walk or light running can serve to improve circulation and alleviate any existing symptoms of low blood pressure. It is best to go with a companion if already a patient of hypotension, in case episodes of blurry vision, giddiness, or fainting happen during these times.
It is necessary to avoid undue stress to the body and sudden, jerky movements through heavy lifting and other strenuous exercise so that the flow of movement is smooth. Discipline and consistency regarding exercise aids the underlying causes of low blood pressure, while alleviating its symptoms as well.
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.
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Low Blood Pressure
As long as its not causing any problems, the lower your blood pressure, generally the better. High blood pressure is a risk to your health it can lead to serious conditions such as stroke, coronary heart disease and kidney failure. The lower your blood pressure, the less likely you are to suffer from these problems.
However, if your blood pressure becomes lower than usual for you, it can cause problems. If you have any symptoms like feeling dizzy or faint, you should contact your doctor. See the symptoms sections above for more information.
Facts On Low Blood Pressure
- Low blood pressure in itself may be less important than the symptoms associated with it.
- An individual’s blood pressure is expressed as systolic/diastolic blood pressure, for example, 120/80. See the Blood Pressure Chart
- The healthcare provider will use a careful history and physical examination to find the cause.
- Treatment will be based upon the cause of low blood pressure.
- Sometimes emergency interventions will be needed if the symptoms suggest the risk of organ complications or shock.
- If there are no symptoms, there may be no treatment needed.
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Have Your Blood Pressure Measured Regularly
Have your blood pressure measured regularly and know what your blood pressure is. Remember that both numbers are important. If either the systolic or diastolic number is high , then your doctor will need to further check your blood pressure. A blood pressure measurement of less than 120/80 mmHg is very good unless it causes dizziness.
What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Of 80/50 Mean
Readings at or below 80/50 usually indicate low blood pressure or what is called Hypotension. What this means is the blood pressure in your arteries is lower than what is considered normal.
However, theres usually no need to be concerned about low blood pressure unless youre experiencing dizziness, fainting, nausea or fatigue. Hypotension may not even be diagnosed unless youre experiencing these symptoms.
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Check Your Blood Pressure
The only way of knowing whether you have low blood pressure is to have a blood pressure test.
All adults over 40 are advised to have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. Getting this done is easy and could save your life. If you have problems with your blood pressure, it is likely your GP will advise more regular checks.
You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:
- at your GP surgery
So You Have High Blood Pressure What Else Could Be Wrong
If you have high blood pressure, get checked for diabetes and high cholesterol. Most people who have high blood pressure also have some of the other risks for heart disease and stroke, such as not getting enough physical activity, having unhealthy eating habits, smoking, being overweight or drinking too much alcohol. Ask your doctor to test your kidney function through a blood and urine test, and through the electrolytes in your blood kidney problems can cause high blood pressure.
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider
A hypertensive crisisdefined as blood pressure above 180/120 mm Hgrequires immediate medical attention. Call 911 if you are also experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, back pain, shortness of breath, difficulty speaking, a change in vision, weakness, or numbness.