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What Happens If Your Blood Pressure Is Too Low

The Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On Your Body

What is Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)? | Ausmed Explains…

Every cell in your body needs energy to function. The main source of energy might come as a surprise: Its sugar, also known as glucose. Blood sugar is essential to proper brain, heart, and digestive function. It even helps keep your skin and vision healthy.

When your blood sugar levels fall below the normal range, its called hypoglycemia. There are many identifiable symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to know if you have low blood sugar is by taking a blood glucose test.

Learn more about the symptoms of low blood sugar, as well as the long-term effects on the body.

most common reasons for low blood sugar are some medications used to treat diabetes, such as insulin.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesnt make enough insulin, or your body cant use it properly. Too much insulin or oral diabetic medication can lower the blood sugar level, leading to hypoglycemia.

However, contrary to popular belief, low blood sugar isnt exclusive to diabetes, though it is rare. It can also happen if your body makes more insulin than it should.

Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially over long periods of time. This can interfere with the livers ability to create a buildup of glucose and then release it into your bloodstream when you need it.

Other causes include:

Can You Be Healthy And Have Low Blood Pressure

According to Luke Laffin MD, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, There are many normal reasons for lower blood pressure, including younger age and small stature. Some people just have a genetic predisposition to low blood pressure.

Generally, if there are no symptoms, low blood pressure is not considered a problem. Though some people do naturally have blood pressure that tends to be on the low side and have no symptoms.

Diagnosing The Cause Of Low Blood Pressure

The first key to know how to raise low blood pressure is to detect what causes the problem in the first place. This is something which should only be done by a doctor as they will not only be able to determine major illnesses or underlying conditions, but advise on the most effective course of treatment. The best medical professional to see will be an arterial hypotension specialist as they should have the most comprehensive knowledge on the subject.

However, raising low blood pressure is also about stopping certain actions which might lower blood pressure. This is why we have some general recommendations to help keep a healthy blood pressure level until a specialist can make confirmation of a diagnosis. Until then, keeping an eye on the symptoms and making sure you are not in need of emergency care is important. If you are, then you will need to see a doctor right away.

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Can Taking Blood Pressure Too Much Hurt You

As long as you use your blood pressure monitor as designed, taking your blood pressure too often should not hurt you. A home monitor releases the pressure in the cuff slower than a standard measurement at your doctors office. This can feel uncomfortable and possibly leave a mark on your skin. This is more likely to happen if you take your pressure too often or if your cuff size is too small.

Its possible, in people who are at increased risk for capillary fragility, to experience a condition called tourniquet-induced petechiae. After prolonged compression of a blood pressure cuff, a red rash or red dots, can appear on the skin . Although rare, this condition has occurred to patients in a hospital after repeated blood pressure readings during monitoring or surgery.

The following are ways to prevent petechiae:

  • Dont take your blood pressure unnecessarily.
  • Use the right size cuff.
  • Position the cuff properly on your arm.
  • Follow the instructions in your monitor manual.

In addition, taking your pressure too often can set back your blood pressure goals. This can hurt your progress, which leads me to the topic further down, When Not To Take Blood Pressure.

Causes Of Secondary Hypertension

What Happens If My Blood Pressure Gets Too Low ...

When high blood pressure arises suddenly due to an identifiable condition, its called secondary hypertension.

Some conditions and drugs can lead to secondary hypertension, including the following:

  • Kidney problems

Examples include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine .

HormonesBirth control pills can also affect blood pressure. Women who take birth control pills usually experience a small rise in systolic and diastolic blood pressure .

Hormone therapy used to relieve symptoms of menopause can also cause a small rise in systolic blood pressure.

If you know you have high blood pressure, but are considering hormone therapy, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of undergoing hormone therapy, as well as the best ways to control your blood pressure.

Additionally, some recreational and illegal drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy , and amphetamines, are also known to increase blood pressure.

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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.

What Causes Low Blood Pressure

The cause of low blood pressure isn’t always clear. It may be associated with the following:

  • Pregnancy

Who Gets Postural Hypotension?

Postural hypotension, which is low blood pressure when standing up suddenly, can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons, such as dehydration, lack of food, or being overly fatigued. It can also be influenced by genetic make-up, aging, medication, dietary and psychological factors, and acute triggers, such as infection and allergy.

Postural hypotension occurs most frequently in people who are taking drugs to control high blood pressure . It can also be related to pregnancy, strong emotions, hardening of the arteries , or diabetes. The elderly are particularly affected, especially those who have high blood pressure or autonomic nervous system dysfunction.

Hypotension after meals is a common cause of dizziness and falls after eating. This is most common after large meals containing a lot of carbohydrates. It√Ęs believed to be caused by blood pooling into the vessels of the stomach and intestines.

Several drugs are commonly associated with postural hypotension. These medications can be divided into two major categories:

Common causes of naturally occurring postural hypotension include:

Certain diseases can also cause postural hypotension. These include:

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Blood Pressure Guidelines: The Numbers That Really Matter

Under the latest guidelines, nearly half of all Americans will have high blood pressure. Learn what this means for you.

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Roughly a week before Thanksgiving in 2017, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association released new guidelines for what constitutes high blood pressure, or hypertension, effectively putting 46 percent of Americans above the threshold for what is considered safe.

Under the old guidelines, only 1 in 3 American adults, or 33 percent of the population, were considered to have high blood pressure, which was defined as a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg . The new guidelines define high blood pressure as 130/80 mmHg.

These new guidelines, which appeared in an article published in November 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, were developed with nine other health professional organizations to hopefully more accurately identify those at risk for serious health issues.

One good thing about the new guidelines is that they remind people that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for premature heart disease, stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, and even dementia, says William Frishman, MD, chair of medicine at New York Medical College and director of medicine at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York. By following the new guidelines, well see fewer negative health outcomes from high blood pressure.

Postural Or Orthostatic Hypotension

The Truth About Low Blood Pressure

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.

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What Happens If You Have A Sudden High Blood Pressure

Unlike traditional high blood pressure, where there are no visual symptoms until major damage has occurred, sudden high blood pressure alerts you immediately. In extreme cases of sudden high blood pressure, there may be bleeding from damaged blood vessels, blindness from ruptured retina nerves or vessels, and possibly seizures.

Severe Hypotension Related To Shock

While some of the causes of severe hypotension in shock may also cause orthostatic hypotension, the blood pressure drop is much more severe with the formerand it doesn’t return to normal.

The causes of hypotensive shock include:

  • Major blood loss
  • Severe fluid loss from diarrhea, burns, or overuse of diuretics
  • Cardiogenic shock due heart attack, arrhythmia, or pulmonary embolism
  • Vasodilatory shock seen in head injury, liver failure, poisoning, or anaphylaxis.

Shock is a medical emergency and you must call 9-1-1 to get medical help.

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What Is High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the force of your blood as it flows through the arteries in your body. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. When your heart beats, it pushes blood through your arteries. As the blood flows, it puts pressure on your artery walls. This is called blood pressure.

High blood pressure happens when your blood moves through your arteries at a higher pressure than normal. Many different things can cause high blood pressure. If your blood pressure gets too high or stays high for a long time, it can cause health problems. Uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at a higher risk for stroke, heart disease, heart attack, and kidney failure.

There are 2 types of high blood pressure.

Primary hypertension. This is also called essential hypertension. It is called this when there is no known cause for your high blood pressure. This is the most common type of hypertension. This type of blood pressure usually takes many years to develop. It probably is a result of your lifestyle, environment, and how your body changes as you age.

Secondary hypertension. This is when a health problem or medicine is causing your high blood pressure. Things that can cause secondary hypertension include:

  • Kidney problems.
  • Thyroid or adrenal gland problems.
  • Some medicines.

Living With Low Blood Pressure

Blood pressure: Most healthy adults may not have any signs ...

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.

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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

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.

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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.

Ptsd And High Blood Pressure

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

A growing body of research has linked post-traumatic stress disorder to high blood pressure.

Researchers arent sure about the mechanism underlying the relationship between PTSD and high blood pressure, but it may have something to do with higher levels of inflammation in patients with PTSD, which may increase blood pressure.

Since PTSD has a much higher incidence in veterans, experts say screening for high blood pressure should be routine not only in active soldiers who are at risk, but also for those who are no longer active and receive care from Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The AHA is the nations oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting heart disease, as well as its major risk factors, including high blood pressure. The AHA funds lifesaving research and advocates for people affected by all heart-related issues. You can also find diet and lifestyle tips for getting your blood pressure under control.

Million Hearts is a national initiative led by the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Its goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within five years. It focuses on small steps people can take to reduce risk factors for these heart events, including blood pressure control.

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What Are Treatments For Low Blood Pressure

According to Dr. Laffin, If you’re underweight, working to healthfully increase your weight and muscle mass will help to increase your blood pressure.

Dr. Laffin also recommends the following:

  • Hydrate often to prevent dehydration. When youre dehydrated, your blood volume drops and, as a result, so does your blood pressure. Drinking adequate fluids increases the volume of your blood. Remember to drink before youre thirsty, which is often a sign that you’re already dehydrated.
  • Eat multiple small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. This prevents too much blood flowing to your gut to aid in digestion.
  • Get up from a seated or lying position gradually rather than bolting upright.
  • Take blood pressure lowering medications at night. Most BP medications last 24-hours, but the peak effect occurs two to three hours after we take them. If taken at night, this will be while youre sleeping and help you to avoid your blood pressure getting too low while you’re awake.
  • Avoid very hot showers or visiting saunas, hot tubs, or steam rooms. They dilate blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.

What The Studies Found And What They Mean

In one of the observational studies, published Oct. 16, 2016, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 11,000 adults collected over a period of three decades as part of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. They found that people who had low diastolic blood pressure were twice as likely to have subtle evidence of heart damage compared with people whose diastolic blood pressure was 80 to 89 mm Hg. Low diastolic values were also linked with a higher risk of heart disease and death from any cause over 21 years.

For the second, published Oct. 29, 2016, in The Lancet, researchers analyzed data from CLARIFY, a registry of more than 22,600 people with heart disease from 45 countries. They determined that, compared with people who had systolic blood pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg and diastolic pressure of 70 to 79, people with a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher were more likely to experience heart attacks or strokes, to be hospitalized with heart failure, or to die within a five-year period. But the same was true for heart attacks, heart failure, and death in people with low blood pressure .

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Duration Of High Blood Pressure

The amount of time it takes to lower blood pressure varies depending on how high your blood pressure is and the aggressiveness of your treatment program. Medication can help lower blood pressure quickly, usually within a couple of days.

But because of potential side effects, a long-term aggressive medication regimen may not be sustainable.

Your doctor will prescribe lifestyle changes to lower your blood pressure, too. Studies show a healthy diet and regular exercise begin to make a significant impact on blood pressure levels within three weeks.

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