Are Certain People More Likely To Have Low Blood Pressure
Some people, especially if you have diabetes, are at a higher risk of your blood pressure temporarily dropping after eating or when getting up from a chair or from lying down in bed, for example. The former is whats called postprandial hypotension and the latter is orthostatic hypotension. Normally, when you’re digesting food, or when you change your body position from sitting to standing, your cardiovascular system adapts by beating harder as well as more rapidly, and constricting the diameter of certain blood vessels, such as those far from your intestine where digestion occurs. These physiological changes all collaborate to maintain your blood pressure. But, if these changes do not occur fast or adequately enough, your blood pressure can drop, sometimes to dangerous levels.
A Reaction To Medication
An adverse reaction to prescribed or over-the-counter medicine can drop blood pressure unexpectedly. Diuretics and other drugs designed to treat hypertension, some anti-depressants, and medication to help with erectile dysfunction can lower blood pressure to unsafe levels. You can also experience a drop in blood pressure if you combine high blood pressure medications with others.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
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. :
- Rapid heart rate
Does High Blood Pressure Increase Heart Rate
Heart rate and blood pressure do not necessarily increase at the same rate. A rising heart rate does not cause your blood pressure to increase at the same rate. Even though your heart is beating more times a minute, healthy blood vessels dilate to allow more blood to flow through more easily. When you exercise, your heart speeds up so more blood can reach your muscles. It may be possible for your heart rate to double safely, while your blood pressure may respond by only increasing a modest amount.
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Low Blood Pressure Range
Hypotension reading is much harder to quantify let us see numbers for low blood pressure, too low blood pressure, and dangerously low blood pressure range.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps. If this reading is, lower than certain BP range is considering as hypotension reading.
When To Call Your Doctor
The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.
You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.
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How Blood Pressure Is Measured And What The Readings Mean
Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers, with one “over” the other. The first, or top, number is the systolic blood pressure. This indicates the amount of pressure your blood exerts against the walls of your arteries when your heart contracts. The second, or bottom, number is the diastolic pressure, which refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart refills between beats.
Your healthcare provider typically measures your blood pressure using a stethoscope and an inflatable cuff that wraps around your upper arm. The cuff is inflated until it is tight enough to stop the blood from flowing, then it is slowly deflated. Through the stethoscope, your doctor or nurse will hear the whooshing sound of the blood returning this is the systolic pressure. The moment the whooshing sound disappears marks the diastolic pressure.
The commonly accepted ideal blood pressure for adults is 120/80 mm Hg or lower. But since blood pressure naturally rises with age, your BP might be higher than that without any cause for concern. For instance, according to a chart from Disabled World, a normal blood pressure reading for an 80-year-old woman could be 134/84 mm Hg.
So, what is considered low blood pressure in elderly people? Typically, the low blood pressure range is anything below 90/60 mm Hg. This is called hypotension. The Disabled World chart shows that a dangerous blood pressure level is 50/33 mm Hg.
What Is Cardiac Syncope
Cardiac or cardiovascular syncope is caused by various heart conditions, such as bradycardia, tachycardia or certain types of hypotension. It can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death.
People suspected of having cardiac syncope but who don’t have serious medical conditions may be managed as outpatients. Further inpatient evaluation is needed if serious medical conditions are present. Conditions that may warrant hospital evaluation and treatment include various cardiac arrhythmic conditions, cardiac ischemia, severe aortic stenosis and pulmonary embolism. If evaluation suggests cardiac vascular abnormalities, an ambulatory external or implantable cardiac monitor may be required.
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How Is It Measured
Blood pressure can be taken by a machine or manually by a trained professional using a cuff and stethoscope. Readings will come with two numbers the top number, systolic, and the bottom number diastolic.
Systolic blood pressure is the highest number and is a measure of the pressure exerted as the heart muscle contracts forcing blood out of the heart.
Diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number and is a measure of pressure between heart beats when the heart muscle expands and blood reenters.
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Keep in mind that blood pressure can be affected by many factors including:
- Body position
- Medications such as Diuretics, Beta Blockers, some Antidepressants
- Time of day
- If taken after physical activity
Blood pressure readings will vary from person to person and what is normal for one may be high or low for another, generally speaking, blood pressure is considered normal if it is 120/80 or lower.
How Is It Managed
If its a temporary event, the best way to treat low blood pressure is to lie down, Hayes said.
If you have chronically low blood pressure and feel lousy with it, her first advice is to exercise regularly because that gets the muscles around the blood vessels to be more responsive. You should also take basic precautions, like standing up slowly when you get out of bed to avoid a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Patients also have to make sure they’re hydrated and even over-hydrated. Consuming lots of salt is actually good for low blood pressure because sodium in the diet helps your body hold on to the fluid that you take in. Hayes simply advises patients to drink tomato juice every morning.
Low blood pressure can also be managed with medications.
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Blood Pressure Vs Heart Rate
Blood pressure and heart rate are both important indications of how well your heart is working, but they measure different things. As noted above, blood pressure is the force of your blood flowing through your arteries. By contrast, heart rate is the number of times your heart beats each minute.
In adults, the heart typically beats 60 to 100 times per minute while at rest. But as with blood pressure, a healthy heart rate will differ between individuals. For instance, a pulse below 60 beats per minute is slower than normal, but it might not cause any issues for you.
However, in some situations, a low pulse means that the heart is not circulating enough blood to satisfy the body’s needs. That can cause you to feel dizzy and weak. A pulse in the 30s is a dangerously low heart rate and should be investigated.
The relationship between blood pressure and heart rate is complex. If you’re concerned about your numbers, see your doctor.
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.
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What Can I Do For Myself
There are other things you can do for yourself to help with your symptoms.
- Wear supportive elastic stockings . They put extra pressure on your legs which helps to improve circulation and raise your blood pressure. For some people this can be enough, but speak to your GP first because they arent suitable for everyone.
- Stand up slowly from sitting or lying down. You can try other simple movements to get the blood flowing before you stand up, such as straightening and bending your legs.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time.
- Drink enough water throughout the day, around 2 litres, so you dont get dehydrated.
- Eat little and often throughout the day. This avoids low blood pressure after eating.
Read more about how blood pressure works.
Low Blood Pressure In Elderly People: The Vital Facts You Should Know
Most people are aware that high blood pressure in seniors can lead to serious medical issues, but low blood pressure in elderly individuals gets far less attention. However, blood pressure that drops too low can have equally serious effects on your health. It’s important to know the facts so that you can take proper care of yourself.
A low blood pressure reading is not necessarily cause for panic. While high blood pressure is harmful even if you don’t know you have it, low blood pressure is generally not a problem unless you start experiencing symptoms like dizziness or blurred vision. If that happens, you need to take action. Symptomatic low blood pressure in the elderly can be very dangerous because it raises the risk of a fall. At its most extreme, it can lead to shock and even death.
This article explains the basic facts about blood pressure, including how it’s measured and what the measurements mean. It also describes common symptoms of low blood pressure and outlines a variety of factors that can cause such a condition. And it provides information about different ways that low blood pressure in older adults can be treated or managed.
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Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways the NHLBI continues to translate current research into improved health for people with abnormally low blood pressure. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIs broader commitment to advancing heart and vascular disease scientific discovery.
- Testing Treatments for Cardiac Arrest and Trauma. The Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium clinical trial network tested treatments to address high morbidity and mortality rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and severe traumatic injury. ROC investigators compared different strategies for supplemental fluids in trauma patients who have low blood pressure. Other ROC studies found a link between low blood pressure readings and the need for emergency procedures.
- Understanding How Low Blood Pressure Affects Diverse Populations. NHLBI-supported researchers are studying low blood pressure in different populations. Investigators in the NHLBIs Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study found that people who have low blood pressure when standing up, known as orthostatic hypotension, are at higher risk for stroke. In a follow-up study of NHLBIs Honolulu Heart Program, researchers found older Japanese men who had orthostatic hypotension were nearly twice as likely to die within the next four years as those who did not have orthostatic hypotension. NHLBIs Cardiovascular Health Study found that orthostatic hypotension was common in older adults, increases with age, and is linked to cardiovascular diseases.
You Hear A Lot About The Dangers Of High Blood Pressure But Guess What: Low Blood Pressure Can Kill You
Do you know the symptoms of low blood pressure and how to safely raise it?
Blood pressure that is too low can be serious or harmless or something in between.
Low blood pressure has many causes including heart conditions, nutritional deficiencies and medications.
The cut-off for normal BP readings and high readings is 140 over 90. So when does blood pressure get too low?
The first question to address is if the blood pressure is really too low, says Teresa Caulin-Glaser, MD, a cardiologist and senior vice president with Service Lines, OhioHealth..
In general, if patients are asymptomatic and the systolic blood pressure is approximately 90mmHg or better, you do not need to treat.
However, if the person is developing symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and/or passing out, there needs to be a full history and medical evaluation.
If you believe your blood pressure is too low, review any medications youve been taking.
Explains Dr. Caulin-Glaser: If the evaluation determines there are no medical problems and/or medications such as diuretics, ace-inhibitors, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers causing low blood pressure and symptoms, then there are non-pharmacologic treatments that can be implemented.
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Dangerously High/low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. Normal resting blood pressure in an adult is approximately 120 millimeters of mercury systolic, and 80 millimeters of mercury diastolic, abbreviated 120/80 mmHg.
Dangerously high blood pressure.
Usually, a blood pressure reading higher than 130 millimeters of mercury for the top number or 80 mm Hg for the bottom number is generally considered high blood pressure.
It should be noticed that uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Dangerously low blood pressure.
Usually, a blood pressure reading lower than 90 millimeters of mercury for the top number or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number is generally considered low blood pressure.
It should be noticed that a blood pressure reading lower than 80 millimeters of mercury for the top number or 60 mm Hg for the bottom number will cause shock.
Besides, the sudden fall of blood pressure is also dangerous. A change of 20 mm Hg- a drop from 100 systolic to 80 mm Hg systolic, for example, will cause dizziness and fainting, breath difficult, chest tightness and shock.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Treatment For Low Blood Pressure
There are no side effects for the lifestyle and dietary changes that can treat hypotension.
The medications used to treat hypotension have several side effects, some of which may be serious. Fludrocortisone can make certain infections worse, so its essential to discuss this medication with your doctor. The most common side effects from fludrocortisone are:
- Increased risk of infection.
The most common side effects from midodrine are:
- Numbness or tingling.
- Goosebumps and chills.
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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
How Do You Raise Low Blood Pressure Thats Creating Symptoms
Dr. Caulin-Glaser says, Some simple options for treatment are drinking fluids to decrease the risk of dehydration, increasing the amount of sodium in the diet, and decreasing alcohol intake.
There are medications such as fludrocortisone that can be considered in the treatment of symptomatic low blood pressure, but this would be under the direction of a physician after a full medical evaluation.
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How Can You Prevent Low Blood Pressure
You may be able to prevent hypotension by making changes to your lifestyle and diet, such as:
- Eating fewer carbohydrates and choosing small, healthy meals.
- Staying hydrated and avoiding alcoholic drinks.
- Rising slowly when youve been sitting or lying down.
- Taking a few deep breaths before you change position.
- Wearing compression stockings.
Negative Effects Of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one out of every three American adults have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Because high blood pressure is so common, it might be tempting to assume that its no big deal. But the truth is, that when left untreated, high blood pressure can put you at risk for potentially life-threatening complications.
Here are eight ways that uncontrolled high blood pressure can negatively affect your health:
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