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What Happens If Your Blood Pressure Is Low

Stroke And Brain Problems

Video: This is when low blood pressure is cause for concern

High blood pressure can cause the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain to burst or be blocked, causing a stroke. Brain cells die during a stroke because they do not get enough oxygen. Stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement, and other basic activities. A stroke can also kill you.

Having high blood pressure, especially in midlife, is linked to having poorer cognitive function and dementia later in life. Learn more about the link between high blood pressure and dementia from the National Institutes of Healths Mind Your Risks®external icon campaign.

Postural Or Orthostatic Hypotension

Postural or orthostatic hypotension occurs when your blood pressure falls after a sudden movement. For example, you may feel dizzy or faint after changing posture, such as sitting up from a lying position, or standing up from a sitting position. This may cause you to lose your balance and fall over. You may also feel light-headed, have blurred vision, or lose consciousness.

The symptoms of postural or orthostatic hypotension should only last a few minutes as your blood pressure adjusts to your new position. This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older when it can lead to more frequent falls. Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Try Lifestyle Changes First

There are a number of measuresincluding losing weight, exercising more, cutting back on sodium, and drinking less alcoholthat can sometimes reduce or even eliminate your need for drugs. If your systolic level is moderately elevated , consider drugs only if after six months of serious attempts at diet and lifestyle changes your blood pressure hasnt dropped enough.

If youre 60 or older or you have diabetes or kidney disease and already take blood pressure medications that arent causing side effects, theres no need to change your prescription. But if the effects are bothersome and your levels are under control, ask your doctor about switching your prescription, lowering your dose, or cutting back to one drug.

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

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.

How To Avoid Missing Pills

Diastolic blood pressure: How low is too low?

More than half of patients with hypertension miss at least one dose a year. What is your reason for skipping a dose? Is it the cost, the side effects, or the number of pills? Whatever it is, talk to your doctor. There are many medicines available for hypertension in the market, and it is often possible to switch to another medication that suits you instead.

References:

  • Reidenberg MM. Drug discontinuation effects are part of the pharmacology of a drug. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 2011 339:324-8.
  • Corrao G, Rea F, Ghirardi A, Soranna D, Merlino L, Mancia G. Adherence with antihypertensive drug therapy and the risk of heart failure in clinical practice. Hypertension. 2015 66:742-9.
  • Karachalios GN, Charalabopoulos A, Papalimneou V, Kiortsis D, Dimicco P, Kostoula OK, et al. Withdrawal syndrome following cessation of antihypertensive drug therapy. International journal of clinical practice. 2005 59:562-70.
  • De Leeuw PW, Fagard R, Kroon AA. The effects of missed doses of amlodipine and losartan on blood pressure in older hypertensive patients. Hypertension Research. 2017 40:568.
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    Blood Pressure Before Death

    When a patient is approaching death, the body will begin to shut down as the end nears. Because the heart is unable to pump normally, blood pressure lowers and blood is unable to circulate properly throughout the body. While it is never easy to watch a loved one slip away, this is all part of the natural dying process.

    How Can You Manage Your High Blood Pressure

    Treatment of high blood pressure often starts with lifestyle changes, including decreasing salt in your diet, losing weight if necessary, stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol use, and regular exercise.

    In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often used to lower blood pressure. There are several types of medications that treat high blood pressure with each type of medication having benefits and risks that should be carefully weighed by you and your health care provider. Most people take more than one medication in order to bring their blood pressure down to their treatment goal.

    Your blood pressure medication should begin to work within days. However, because high blood pressure is a long-lasting medical condition that often has little or no symptoms, remembering to take your medications can be a challenge. Combination medicines, long-acting or once-a-day medications, may be used to decrease the burden of taking numerous medications and help ensure medications regularly. Once started, the medication should be used until your doctor tells you to stop.

    Controlling your blood pressure should be part of a healthy living plan and lifelong task. The damage that high blood pressure causes your internal organs does not cause any symptoms until serious damage has been done.

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    Which Blood Pressure Number Is Important

    Q.When I am monitoring my blood pressure, which number is most important top, bottom, or both?

    A. While both numbers in a blood pressure reading are essential for diagnosing and treating high blood pressure, doctors primarily focus on the top number, also known as systolic pressure.

    Systolic pressure reflects the force produced by the heart when it pumps blood out to the body, while diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in your blood vessels when the heart is at rest.

    Over the years, research has found that both numbers are equally important in monitoring heart health. However, most studies show a greater risk of stroke and heart disease related to higher systolic pressures compared with elevated diastolic pressures. Thats especially true in people ages 50 and older, which is why doctors tend to monitor the top number more closely. The reason for the difference in risk may be related to the force put on the arteries when blood rushes out of the heart.

    The American Heart Association now defines high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg or higher. The new guidelines recommend you check your blood pressure often, ideally with a home monitor, to help your doctor determine if you need to make lifestyle changes, begin medication, or alter your current therapy.

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    Diagnosing High Or Low Blood Pressure

    High Systolic Low Diastolic Blood Pressure – What happens? Solution!

    Only one of your numbers needs to be higher than it should be to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, and only one needs to be lower than it should be to be diagnosed with low blood pressure.

    So if your top number is over 140 or the bottom number is over 90, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure, regardless of the other number. If your top number is under 90 or your bottom number is under 60, you may be diagnosed with low blood pressure. Use the chart to see where your numbers sit.

    If your top number is consistently higher than 140mmHg, but the bottom number is healthy this is known as Isolated Systolic Hypertension. If the bottom number is consistently higher than 90mmHg but the top number is healthy this is known as Isolated Diastolic Hypertension.

    Making sure your readings arent a one-off

    A single high reading doesnt necessarily mean you have high blood pressure, as many things can affect your blood pressure throughout the day, such as the temperature, when you last ate, and if youre feeling stressed.

    Your doctor or nurse will probably want to measure your blood pressure a number of times over a few weeks to make sure the reading wasnt just a one off and that your blood pressure stays high over time.

    Read about how high blood pressure is diagnosed, getting a blood pressure check, the further tests you might have if you have a high blood pressure reading, and what it means if youre diagnosed with high blood pressure.

    Read more

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    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.

    Heart Attack And Heart Disease

    High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:

    • Chest pain, also called angina.
    • Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
    • Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.

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    What If Lifestyle Changes Dont Help Lower My Blood Pressure

    If diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes dont work to lower your blood pressure, your healthcare provider prescribe hypertension medications. Your provider will take into account these drugs effect on other conditions you may have, such as heart or kidney disease, and other drugs youre taking.

    You might need to take hypertension medicine from now on. Be sure to follow your providers dosing directions exactly.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/20/2020.

    References

    Most Important Things To Know About Tsh Levels

    What Do Blood Pressure Readings Mean?

    Most commonly, providers use TSH levels to guide therapy to ensure that a person is producing the right levels of thyroid hormone. Its important to not only look at TSH, but also free T4 and total T3, which could provide more accurate numbers and present a more comprehensive picture of whats going on and for your doctor to figure out the right treatment plan.

    In addition to blood tests, its important that your doctor knows the full picture of your presenting symptoms and when they occur, plus any medications or supplements you may be taking. To get to the bottom of what your issue may be, its possible that your doctor may order further tests, including a thyroid ultrasound.

    Since TSH is responsible for the creation of hormones T3 and T4, which help regulate so much of your body, and because there are so many factors at play in creation or suppression of these hormones, using TSH data serves as the beginning of any thorough diagnosis and treatment plan. It can be confusing, especially considering whats really a normal range for one person is not for another, and that levels will shift for many reasons.

    For example, Dr. Winchell references a situation in which suppressed TSH is shown via testing. The physicians initial reaction would be to reduce therapy. However, after checking free T4 or total T3, the full picture shows levels in the normal range.

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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.

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    If youre interested in anti-aging products, you should know more about how they work. Various anti-aging treatments are based on scientific research and are generally safe and effective. In some cases, they are a matter of personal choice. You can also consult a physician who specializes in this area. For example, there are several companies that sell their products without making an effort to conduct research. They have doctors who are specialists in anti-aging medicine What Happens to Blood Pressure and Blood Flow if Blood Volume Is Low

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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 .

    Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure In Elderly Individuals

    Best Ways To Lower Your High Blood Pressure

    As long as you feel OK, a low blood pressure reading is generally nothing to worry about. Doctors are not usually concerned about a low BP in otherwise healthy individuals.

    So, when is blood pressure too low? You should see your healthcare provider if you experience hypotension symptoms such as:

    • Dizziness
    • Confusion or inability to concentrate
    • Nausea
    • An irregular or rapid heartbeat
    • Weakness

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    Diet And Nutrition For Low Blood Pressure

    A balanced meal with complex carbohydrates, fish, lean meat, fruits and cooked vegetables goes a long way in preventing hypotension. Changing meal patterns to make them more frequent and less heavy prevent as well as address postprandial fatigue and hypotension.

    On diagnosis of a dip in BP, a low blood pressure diet that supplies adequate sodium, and potassium while maintaining blood sugar levels is generally recommended for patients.Increased consumption of non-alcoholic beverages helps maintain adequate hydration and is recommended. Increasing salt quantities or addition of soy sauce in everyday cooking is a simple change that combats effects of low blood pressure and may be suggested by your doctor.

    Treatment Of Low Blood Pressure

    Unless accompanied by other conditions, low blood pressure is usually easy to treat and does not require much medication. Often, a low blood pressure diet may be prescribed, or a change in lifestyle may become necessary. Common recommendations include:

    Increased intake of water: Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance resulting in signs of low blood pressure, and care towards adequate hydration would be important, especially in high temperature situations, during fevers or dysentery.

    Increased sodium in diet: Salted nuts, cheeses and cured fish and meats are high in sodium content, and would help stabilize blood pressure in case it is very low. Care must be taken to not overdo it, however, and for a balance to be maintained.

    Limiting alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption can cause fluctuation in heart rate and limiting its consumption for some time will help alleviate symptoms of low blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.

    Exercise: Light exercises not involving much strain to the body help improve circulation of blood throughout, and keep the heart healthy. In cases of low blood pressure, it is important to be aware of its symptoms such as palpitations and cold skin so that exercising does not aggravate the condition.

    Ceasing any aggravating medication:If intake of certain medication is seen to cause dips in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a substitute for the drug, or even stopping its consumption till pressure is stabilized.

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    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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