Traumatic Injuries Or Internal Bleeding
A traumatic brain injury or bleeding around your brain can also cause a combination of high blood pressure and a low pulse. Both injuries and bleeding increase pressure on your brain, leading to something called the Cushing reflex.
The symptoms of Cushing reflex include:
- slow heart rate
- high blood pressure
- irregular or very slow breathing
If youve recently had any sort of head injury and notice these symptoms, contact a doctor right away.
What Are The Signs Of Low Blood Pressure
We hear a lot about high blood pressure and what can happen if it isn’t controlled, but having abnormally low blood pressure can be just as harmful if it not properly treated.
Unlike high blood pressure symptoms, which are poorly defined and often totally absent, low blood pressure symptoms tend to be more upfront and easily recognizable. The development of symptoms is often a warning sign of a potentially serious underlying disorder. Generally speaking, your blood pressure would need to fall pretty dramatically before symptoms develop.
Whats The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse
Blood pressure and pulse are two measurements that a doctor may use to monitor your heart and overall health. While theyre similar, they can each say very different things about whats happening in your body.
Pulse, also called heart rate, refers to the number of times your heart beats in one minute. Typical pulse measurements range from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
Blood pressure is an estimate of the force your blood is exerting on your blood vessels. A typical value for blood pressure is 120/80. Doctors consider blood pressure to be elevated when its between 130 and 139 systolic over 80 to 89 diastolic .
If you have high blood pressure with a low pulse, it means your blood is putting increased pressure on your blood vessels, but your hearts beating fewer than 60 times per minute. Read on to learn more about what this combination means for your health.
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When Low Blood Pressure Is An Emergency
If you frequently experience symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness or fainting spells, you should consult a doctor. While low blood pressure, itself, usually isn’t fatal, there are serious medical situations where it is considered an emergency, and you should go to the hospital.;
“The likelihood of dying from low blood pressure is low unless it is related to another disease process,” Weinberg says.
For example, a blood infection, or , can result in low blood pressure. Sepsis occurs when the chemicals released by the body to fight an infection trigger widespread inflammation, resulting in blood clotting that reduces blood flow to vital organs, such as your heart, kidneys, and brain. This can progress to septic shock and very low blood pressure, which may be fatal, and should be treated immediately.;
Low blood pressure can also be affiliated with Addison’s disease a disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol, a hormone that helps your body respond to stress. Lack of cortisol production can cause addisonian crisis, which is characterized by low blood pressure and can be fatal without proper treatment.;;
The treatment for low blood pressure varies depending on the cause. In severe cases, someone might need intravenous therapy to deliver fluids into the veins and raise blood pressure. In critical situations, such as septic shock, doctors may use drug therapies either orally or through an IV to quickly raise blood pressure.;
How Do I Know If I Have High Blood Pressure
Theres only one way to know if you have high blood pressure: Have a doctor or other health professional measure it. Measuring your blood pressure;is quick and painless.
Talk with your health care team about regularly measuring your blood pressure at home, also called self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
High blood pressure is called the silent killer because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people do not know they have it.
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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.
Low Blood Pressure And Cancer
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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.
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.;;
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
The symptoms of low blood pressure may include:
These symptoms can occur when doing nothing. They are more likely to occur when changing position, such as standing up or when straining on the toilet.
However, often there are no symptoms and low blood pressure is often only identified as a result of a routine medical examination or during the course of an investigation for some other condition or underling illness.
Low blood pressure may be more serious in elderly people who may have an underlying illness or who may be at risk of a fall.
Check your symptoms with healthdirects Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
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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Pregnancy And Low Blood Pressure
Its normal for your blood pressure to become lower during pregnancy. This is mainly because your hormones relax the walls of your blood vessels. Your blood pressure may fall very early in your pregnancy and reach its lowest point during your second trimester . It then starts to rise again, returning to normal after you have your baby.
If you have low blood pressure during pregnancy, you may feel faint and dizzy suddenly when you get up from lying or sitting down. This is called postural hypotension. You can help relieve your symptoms by making sure you get up slowly from lying or sitting. And if you feel youre going to faint, sit or lie down right away.
Occasionally, symptoms of low blood pressure may be caused by other underlying health conditions affecting your pregnancy. Always tell your midwife about your symptoms. Seek medical help if you have dizziness or fainting or any other symptom that youre worried about.
What Is Blood Pressure
As blood pumps through the circulatory system, it pushes against the walls of the arteries and veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood as it presses against the blood vessel walls. It is measured in systolic pressure and diastolic pressure .
Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day. Normal blood pressure is considered to be below 120/80 mm Hg. In a blood pressure reading, the top number refers to systolic pressure, and the bottom number refers to the diastolic pressure.
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What Is Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure .
A blood pressure reading appears as two numbers. The first and higher of the two is a measure of systolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and fills them with blood. The second number measures diastolic pressure, or the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats.
Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 . In healthy people, low blood pressure without any symptoms is not usually a concern and does not need to be treated. But low blood pressure can be a sign of an underlying problem — especially in the elderly — where it may cause inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.
Chronic low blood pressure with no symptoms is almost never serious. But health problems can occur when blood pressure drops suddenly and the brain is deprived of an adequate blood supply. This can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness. Sudden drops in blood pressure most commonly occur in someone who’s rising from a lying down or sitting position to standing. This kind of low blood pressure is known as postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Another type of low blood pressure can occur when someone stands for a long period of time. This is called neurally mediated hypotension.
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.
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Living With Low Blood Pressure
Medicines and lifestyle changes can help you live safely with chronic low blood pressure. Your doctor can recommend steps you can take to manage your low blood pressure. These actions can help control the condition:
Drink more water. This can help avoid dehydration.
Medicines and lifestyle changes can help you live safely with chronic low blood pressure.
Avoid alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are dehydrating, and alcohol changes how medicines work in your body.
Slow down. Take your time when standing up. If lying down, sit up first. Then wiggle your feet and move your legs. This will increase circulation and get your heart rate up so that you dont feel lightheaded when you stand up.
If your medicine and lifestyle changes do not reduce your low blood pressure symptoms, talk with your doctor about other changes you can make.
What Low Blood Pressure Means
Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure, which is typically defined by a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or lower. For reference, a normal blood pressure range is around 100/60 mm Hg to 120/80 mm Hg.;
Low blood pressure with no symptoms is rarely a cause for concern, says Nicole Weinberg, MD, a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. In fact, some people have chronic low blood pressure, but feel fine, and do not need to be treated.;
However, if low blood pressure is combined with symptoms of dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness, it could be a sign that you need medical attention.
The exact cause of low blood pressure is not always clear, Weinberg says, but some common causes include:;
- Side effects from over-the-counter or prescription medications, including drugs used to treat high blood pressure, like diuretics, as well as tricyclic antidepressants and erectile dysfunction drugs
- Pregnancy , due to hormonal changes and expansion of the circulatory system;
- Other hormone changes, including issues with the hormone-producing glands in the endocrine system;
- Dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke;
In addition, postural or orthostatic hypotension can occur when you quickly rise from a sitting or lying down position, causing a sudden drop in blood pressure and feelings of lightheadedness. This can last for just a few minutes or it can be more severe and cause fainting.;
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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.
When Should You See A Doctor For Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is not always a reason for concern. It can be normal for certain people. If you do not have symptoms, it may only require monitoring during your annual checkup.
If you get dizzy or lightheaded once in a while, keep track of the circumstances. People with low blood pressure may find they get dizzy after a hot bath, being in the sun a long time, or other situations. Mention this to your doctor and take precautions to avoid falls and other problems. Try drinking more water or have a sports drink or electrolyte replacement drink. Including salt in your diet can help as well. Your doctor can help you find the right balance for you.
or go to your nearest emergency room for potentially serious hypotension symptoms including:
- , fainting, or loss of consciousness
- Falls that result in potential injuries
- Heart attack or stroke symptoms
- Pale, cold or
- Problems breathing, , or breathing that is rapid or shallow
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
- Uncontrollable bleeding
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How Is Low Blood Pressure Treated
If there is an underlying cause for your low blood pressure, and it is giving you problems, you may need treatment for that underlying cause. But if it isnt causing you problems, treatment wont be needed.
Your doctor may advise you to take precautions to prevent episodes of low blood pressure, such as avoiding dehydration, hot showers or standing up too quickly.
Understanding Systolic And Diastolic Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is one of the vital signs of life. It is normally expressed as two numbers, the first or the upper number indicating the systolic blood pressure, and the lower number indicating diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure represents the pressure exerted by the blood on the arteries when the muscle of the heart contracts and pumps blood through the blood vessels to the rest of the body. This is the maximum pressure exerted by the blood on the arteries.
Diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted by the blood when the heart is at rest in between contractions. 120/80 mm Hg or a little lower, is considered as an ideal blood pressure for a healthy adult, where 120 mm Hg stands for systolic pressure and 80 mm Hg for diastolic pressure.
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Treatments To Raise Your Low Blood Pressure
Sometimes, there is no clearly identifiable cause of low blood pressure. Or there may not be an effective treatment for the underlying cause. In these cases, the goal is to help prevent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend the following strategies:
- Drink more water:Water keeps your blood volume high and prevents dehydration. Sports drinks and rehydration drinks also add electrolytes.
- Eat some salt:Salt can help raise your blood pressure. Many people need to limit salt because it makes their blood pressure too high. For people with low blood pressure, salt can actually be helpful. However, too much salt can be bad for your heart and kidneys. Check with your doctor to find the right amount of salt intake for you.
- Wear compression stockings: These stockings stop blood from pooling in your lower legs and promote better circulation.
If you have orthostatic hypotension, your doctor may prescribe a medication, such as midodrine .