What Causes Low Blood Pressure
Many systems of the body, including organs, hormones, and nerves, regulate blood pressure. For example, the autonomic nervous system sends the fight-or-flight signal that, depending on the situation, tells the heart and other systems in the body to increase or decrease blood pressure. Problems with the autonomic nervous system, such as in Parkinsons disease, can cause low blood pressure.
Other causes of low blood pressure include:
- Blood loss from an injury that causes a sudden drop in blood pressure
Normal Bp Range For Men
The average BP range for men varies by age group. The age group with the lowest normal blood pressure reading in men is 31-35 years . The age group with the highest normal blood pressure level reading in men is 61-65 years .
Here are a few healthy tips for keeping your blood pressure in the normal range:-
- Exercise, exercise, and exercise
Reduce the intake of sodium in your diet. Drink less alcohol. If youre a sweet tooth, this remedy will be your favourite eat dark chocolate and cocoa. Eat calcium-rich food like dairy, leafy greens and beans. Cut back on caffeine intake. Taking natural supplements like aged garlic extract, fish oil, whey protein, berberine, and hibiscus can instantly lower your high blood pressure. Eat magnesium-rich foods like legumes and whole grains. Meditation and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps slow your heart rate and ultimately lowers your blood pressure level. Eating berries lowers your blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases.
What are normal and abnormal values of blood pressure?
Normal blood pressure is systolic of less than 120 and diastolic of less than 80 . However, elevated blood pressure values are systolic of 120 129 and diastolic less than 80.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
When you have your , you will be given two numbers, a top number and a bottom number.
- Systolic blood pressure. This is the first, or top, number. This is the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats, forcing blood around your body.
- Diastolic blood pressure. The second number, or bottom number, is the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury . If the first number is 120 and the second number is 80, this would be written as 120/80mmHg, and youd call it 120 over 80.
This video explains more about systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
What Is A Hypertensive Crisis
A hypertensive crisis occurs when blood pressure suddenly rises above 180 systolic and/or 120 diastolic. This prompt either a hypertensive urgency or hypertensive emergency.
A hypertensive urgency accounts for about 75% of hypertensive crises. In these cases, a person has high blood pressure, but without any serious accompanying symptoms. A hypertensive emergency requires immediate medical care, as high BP is accompanied by one or more serious symptoms, including:
- Acute pulmonary edema
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What Is A Healthy Blood Pressure
When the heart is squeezing blood into the arteries, the pressure is high. When the heart is relaxed, the pressure is lower.
Your blood pressure is a measurement taken of the highest reading and the lowest reading . It is given as 2 figures highest over lowest or systolic over diastolic. Blood pressure is measured in mmHg, which refers to millimetres of mercury.
Your blood pressure varies from day to day, even moment to moment. Most doctors would say that a healthy blood pressure is higher than 90/60 mmHg but lower than about 140/90.
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.
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Blood Pressure Monitor Vs Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure monitor and blood pressure cuff are two phrases often used to describe the same blood pressure measurement tool. The blood pressure cuff is the element that wraps around either the upper arm, wrist or finger to measure blood pressure. The blood pressure monitor is the element in charge of inflating and deflating the cuff, as well as providing your blood pressure reading on an easy-to-read display.
Most experts recommend using a blood pressure monitor with an upper arm blood pressure cuff for at-home readings because they tend to be more accurate than wrist cuffs and finger cuffs.
High Blood Pressure Chart
|and/or||> 120 mm Hg|
In these new guidelines, the AHA also advises that doctors should only prescribe medication in cases of a previous heart attack or stroke, or in the presence of risk factors for these conditions, such as age, a diabetes diagnosis, or chronic kidney disease.
Treatment at the earlier stages of high blood pressure should instead come mainly through lifestyle changes.
Circulation is similar to a highly sophisticated form of plumbing blood has flow, and arteries are pipes. A basic law of physics gives rise to blood flow, and this law also applies in a garden hose pipe.
Blood flows through the body because of a difference in pressure.
Blood pressure is highest at the start of its journey from the heart when it enters the aorta and it is lowest at the end of its journey along progressively smaller branches of arteries. That pressure difference is what causes blood to flow.
Arteries affect blood pressure in a similar way to the physical properties of a garden hose pipe affecting water pressure. Constricting the pipe increases pressure at the point of constriction.
Without the elastic nature of the artery walls, for example, the pressure of the blood would fall away more quickly as it is pumped from the heart.
While the heart creates the maximum pressure, the properties of the arteries are just as important to maintaining it and allowing blood to flow throughout the body.
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What Are Normal Blood Pressure Ranges By Age For Men And Women
Your blood pressure reading is a measurement of the pressure your blood applies across your artery walls. Your blood pressure changes a little throughout the day when you relax, your blood pressure lowers, and when you move around or feel stress, your blood pressure increases.
But high blood pressure over a long term is associated with serious health risks, including heart, brain, and eye damage. Likewise, chronic low blood pressure sometimes comes with health risks. Fortunately, there are helpful ways to manage both high and low blood pressure.
What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean?
Your blood pressure reading comes with two numbers. The first number refers to your systolic blood pressure. The second number refers to your diastolic blood pressure.
“Systolic” refers to “contraction” in Latin. Your systolic blood pressure is the highest blood pressure exerted when your heart beats , and puts pressure on blood vessels. “Diastolic” is related to the Latin word for “dilate.”
Your diastolic blood pressure is the lowest blood pressure put on your blood vessels, with your heart at rest between beats, when it dilates . Systolic and diastolic blood pressures are usually easy to record with measurements done with a blood pressure cuff. Blood pressure measurements are recorded as systolic pressure/diastolic pressure in mm Hg for example, 120/80 mm Hg.
Chart: What Are Normal Blood Pressure Ranges by Age for Men?
High Blood Pressure Categories
What Is Diastolic Blood Pressure
The second number in a blood pressure measurement is your diastolic blood pressure, which indicates the pressure in your arteries between heartbeats.
A normal diastolic blood pressure usually comes in at around 80 or less, while a reading between 80 and 89 is considered normal, but higher than ideal. Repeated blood pressure readings of 90 or higher are where cause for concern may start, as they can be indicative of high blood pressure.
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Side Effects Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure may not be discussed as often as high blood pressure, but it should be addressed, as prolonged low blood pressure can negatively affect your organs.
A certain amount of blood pressure is needed to maintain blood flow to the organs, says Dr. Wong. The blood supplies oxygen and nutrients to these organs. If the blood pressure is too low, an adequate blood supply cannot get to these organs.
If left untreated, low blood pressure can increase your risk of fainting, heart attack and organ damage, adds Dr. Desai.
How Often Should You Get Your Blood Pressure Checked
If your blood pressure is higher than it should be, follow your doctors advice with regard to how often you should check your blood pressure at home. Also find out from your doctor what you should do if your blood pressure readings are higher than usual.
If you dont have high blood pressure, its still important to get it checked regularly, as blood pressure can change over time. Medical experts suggest the following timeline for low risk individuals:
- For people between 18 and 40. Get your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years.
- For anyone over 40. Get your blood pressure checked at least once a year.
You may need to have your blood pressure checked more regularly if you:
- have a family history of hypertension
- have heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease
- are overweight or have obesity
- have sleep apnea or insomnia
You dont necessarily have to get your blood pressure checked at your doctors office. Some health care clinics do free blood pressure screenings. You may also schedule an appointment at your local pharmacy.
Untreated and uncontrolled high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and other organs, including your heart, kidneys, eyes, and brain.
Complications of hypertension can include:
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Risks Of High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- are of black African or black Caribbean descent
- live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if its already high.
High Blood Pressure Treatments
Treating high blood pressure often involves a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. Here are the most common hypertension treatments:
|Popular high blood pressure medications|
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Note: The CDC includes hypertensive patients in the high-risk groups for contracting COVID-19 or developing coronavirus complications.
Lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure levels and benefit the overall health of the patient. Some effective changes include:
- Exercising moderately 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Limiting excessive salt intake. No more than 2000 mg of sodium per day.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight .
- Managing stress. Consider incorporating meditation or yoga.
- Limiting alcohol use. No more than 14 alcoholic drinks/week for men or 7 alcoholic drinks/week for women.
- Quitting smoking.
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What Is Considered Normal Blood Pressure
Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association . Blood pressure numbers are divided into the following categories, per the AHA:
- Normal: Systolic less than 120 and diastolic less than 80
- Elevated: Systolic 120 to 129 and diastolic less than 80
- High : Systolic 130 to 139 and diastolic 80 to 89
- High : Systolic 140 or higher and diastolic 90 or higher
- Hypertensive crisis: Systolic higher than 180 and/or diastolic higher than 120
The researchers found that 120 mm Hg was the threshold for hypertension in men. Systolic blood pressure readings above that were linked with a higher risk of developing any type of heart disease, including heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.
But the number was lower for women. The researchers discovered that women who had a systolic reading of 110 mm Hg or higher were at risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Our results suggest that cardiovascular risk from blood pressure occurs at a lower blood pressure in women than men, study co-author C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, tells Verywell. For blood pressure levels, including levels currently considered normal, women face a higher cardiovascular risk of death and morbidity.
Merz says that she decided to study the topic because sex differences are abundant in health and disease.
What Is High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Your blood pressure changes throughout the day based on your activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of high blood pressure .
The higher your blood pressure levels, the more risk you have for other health problems, such as heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Your health care team can diagnose high blood pressure and make treatment decisions by reviewing your systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels and comparing them to levels found in certain guidelines.
The guidelines used to diagnose high blood pressure may differ from health care professional to health care professional:
- Some health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 140/90 mm Hg or higher.2 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2003, as seen in the table below.
- Other health care professionals diagnose patients with high blood pressure if their blood pressure is consistently 130/80 mm Hg or higher.1 This limit is based on a guideline released in 2017, as seen in the table below.
|systolic: 130 mm Hg or higherdiastolic: 80 mm Hg or higher|
If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, talk with your health care team about your blood pressure levels and how these levels affect your treatment plan.
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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.
Normal Bp Range For Women
Do you know high blood pressure is sometimes referred to as a silent condition in women? Women dealing with high blood pressure may not experience any high BP symptoms whatsoever, which is why the name silent condition. Often times symptoms dont appear until the condition has become severe or when the elevated blood pressure has damaged the blood vessels to break. These symptoms include red spots in front of the eyes, dizziness, and skin flushing. Women aged 21-25 have the lowest normal diastolic reading , while women aged 31-35 have the lowest normal systolic reading . The age group with the highest normal blood pressure reading in women is between ages 56 and 60 .
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How Can I Control My Blood Pressure
You can often lower your blood pressure by changing your day-to-day habits and by taking medication if needed. Treatment, especially if you have other medical conditions such as diabetes, requires ongoing evaluation and discussions with your doctor.
Lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent and lower high blood pressure:
In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure to a safe level. Isolated systolic hypertension, the most common form of high blood pressure in older adults, is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but may require more than one type of blood pressure medication. You may try several kinds or combinations of medications before finding a plan that works best for you. Medication can control your blood pressure, but it can’t cure it. If your doctor starts you on medication for high blood pressure, you may need to take it long-term.