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What Is A Dangerously Low Blood Pressure Reading

What Is Blood Pressure

Is Fluctuating Blood Pressure More Dangerous Than High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing on the artery walls as it is pumped out of the heart. Blood pressure is measured in two kinds of pressures. Systolic pressure is when the heart beats while pumping blood. Diastolic pressure is when the heart is at rest between beats.

Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury . Systolic pressure is listed first , then diastolic pressure .

Normal blood pressure in adults is less than 120/80 mmHg.Low blood pressure is a reading below 90/60 mmHg.

Most forms of hypotension happen because your body can’t bring blood pressure back to normal or can’t do it fast enough.

For some people, low blood pressure is normal. They have it all the time, with no symptoms or negative side effects.

In other people, abnormally low blood pressure is caused by certain medical conditions or factors. When this happens, less blood and oxygen flow to the body’s organs.

Ptsd And High Blood Pressure

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for high blood pressure should be routine not only in active soldiers who are at risk, but also for those who are no longer active and receive care from Veterans Affairs hospitals.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.

Who Is Affected By Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure can affect people of all ages, although it is more common in older people who are frail or bedridden. Pregnant women and older adults are more likely to have orthostatic hypotension. Children and young adults are most likely to experience neurally mediated hypotension, but they often outgrow it.

Hypotension commonly affects people who:

  • Are taking certain medications that cause low blood pressure.
  • Have hormonal imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.
  • Also have heart problems or liver disease.

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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.

Normal Vs Abnormal Blood Pressure

Is a blood pressure reading of 70/33 dangerous?

According to the AHA, a normal blood pressure reading for adults is a top number below 120 combined with a bottom number under 80 noted as 120/80 millimeters of mercury.

However, physicians start to get concerned when the top number heads north. “Blood pressure is considered ‘mildly elevated’ if it’s between 120 and 129 over less than 80,” says Willie E. Lawrence, Jr., MD, chief of cardiology with Midwest Heart & Vascular Specialists, in Kansas City, Missouri. “We define blood pressure greater than 130 over 80 or more as high blood pressure, or hypertension,” he says. “Once it’s above 130, that’s certainly considered high.”

Specifically, the AHA characterizes a blood pressure of 130 to 139 over 80 to 89 as “Stage 1” high blood pressure. Even more risky is “Stage 2,” which is when a reading is between 140 and 180 over 90 to 120.

“Now, where we get particularly concerned is when the top number is found to be greater than 180,” Dr. Lawrence says. “In truth, there are plenty of people who run around living their life with 180 and feel nothing. They may be asymptomatic. They may have no idea that anything is wrong. But unfortunately for them, in many cases, their first indication that something is very wrong ends up being a heart attack, a stroke or congestive heart failure.”

Read more:Reasons for High Systolic Blood Pressure

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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.

What Do The Guidelines Mean For Older Adults

One criticism of the new guidelines is how to best treat older adults with high blood pressure. For example, if an older persons systolic blood pressure is over 170, trying to get it down to 120 can be very challenging. In this scenario, lowering the blood pressure to 150 or even 145 can still have benefits, notes Frishman.

In January 2017, the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Medicine announced a guideline on blood pressure targets for people 60 and older that appeared in an article published in March 2017 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. They recommended that physicians initiate treatment when persistent systolic blood pressure is at or above 150 mmHg, to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 150 mmHg, because high-quality evidence shows that it reduces the risk of mortality, stroke, and cardiac events.

All experts agree that reducing blood pressure to levels of 150/90 in all patients is beneficial. Almost all agree that in some patients reducing further has benefit. If you cant achieve that goal through weight loss, diet, and exercise you will benefit from a conversation with your physician about what medications are best for you, and what target blood pressure best meets your needs, says Dr. Forciea.

But even with the new guidelines, treatment must be individualized.

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Risk Of Injury From Falls

If your blood pressure is low enough, the drop can cause symptoms such as fainting or dizziness.This causes a significant risk of falling since youre not conscious to stop the fall. Additionally, youre not aware of how badly youve injured yourself during a fainting spell. This can lead to serious injuries, such as head trauma from hitting your head.

Causes Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure Readings May Be Dangerous When Treating Hypertension

There are three known causes of isolated diastolic hypotension:

  • Alpha-blocker medications. These blood pressure medications work by causing your blood vessels to open up . Because they lower diastolic pressure more than systolic pressure, they may cause isolated diastolic hypotension. Common brand names include Minipress and Cardura.
  • The aging process. As we age, we lose the elasticity of our arteries. For some older adults, arteries may become too stiff to spring back between heartbeats, causing diastolic blood pressure to be low.
  • Too much salt in your diet. Dietary salt can decrease elasticity of your blood vessels. If you take in too much salt, you may increase your risk for low diastolic blood pressure.

There are several common causes of overall hypotension, which would include a low diastolic number.

  • Overtreatment of high blood pressure. For some people, especially people over age 60, lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 may cause diastolic pressure to fall below 60.

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Prevention And Management Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure

There are some things you can do to help prevent and manage low diastolic pressure.

  • Try to keep your salt intake to between 1.5 and 4 grams per day. An ideal number is probably about 3.5 grams. You can do this by reading food labels and avoiding added salt in your diet.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and include whole grains. For protein, stick to lean meats and fish. Avoid fatty foods.
  • Drink enough fluids and avoid alcohol, which can increase your risk for dehydration.
  • Stay physically active and start an exercise program. Ask your doctor what type and amount of exercise is safe for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If youre overweight, ask your doctor to help you with a safe weight loss plan.
  • Dont smoke.

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Low Diastolic Pressure: No Symptoms

“When your systolic blood pressure gets too low, it can manifest as lightheadedness, fainting, and weakness. But low diastolic pressure by itself doesn’t have any symptoms,” says Dr. Paul Conlin, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of medicine at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

One of the new studies, which analyzed the medical records of more than 11,000 adults over a period of three decades, 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 to a higher risk of heart disease and death from any cause. The findings appeared in the Aug. 30, 2016, Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Another study, published in The Lancet, involved more than 22,000 people with heart disease, whom researchers grouped according to their blood pressure readings. People with well-controlled blood pressure values were considered the reference group.

Not surprisingly, people with high systolic blood pressure were more likely to experience heart attacks or strokes, be hospitalized with heart failure, or to die compared with people in the reference group. But the same was true for heart attacks, heart failure, and death in people with low 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.

New Findings Focus On Diastolic Blood Pressurethe Second Number In Your Blood Pressure Reading

Low blood pressure Reading  Low, Too Low &  Dangerously Low BP

Image: mangostock/Thinkstock

Of the two numbers that make up your blood pressure reading, the first one typically gets more attention. That’s because as people age, their arteries lose their elasticity, and the inner walls are more likely to accumulate cholesterol-laden plaque. These factors tend to raise systolic blood pressure, a measure of the pressure inside the arteries when the heart contracts to pump blood throughout the body.

Current guidelines suggest that most people should aim for a systolic blood pressure reading of 140 millimeters of mercury or lower. But last year, a widely publicized clinical trial suggested that a target of 120 mm Hg could further reduce the dangers associated with high blood pressure .

Yet reaching that lower target required an average of three blood pressure medications, which resulted in more side effects. Now, two recent observational studies highlight some concerns about blood pressure that’s too low, particularly with regard to diastolic blood pressure. Diastolic blood pressure represents the pressure between beats when the heart relaxes.

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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.

Is A Diastolic Blood Pressure Of 64 Mmhg Too Low

  • Is a Diastolic Blood Pressure of 64 mmHg too Low? Center
  • Diastolic pressure lower than 60 mmHg is generally regarded as serious. Thus, a diastolic pressure of 64 mmHg is not too low. There may, however, be individual variations. Hence, if you have any symptoms of low blood pressure such as dizziness, confusion, sweating, blurred vision, or unusual thirst, you must seek medical help.

    Low diastolic pressure in the absence of low systolic pressure is called isolated diastolic hypotension. It is defined as a diastolic blood pressure of less than 60 mmHg along with a systolic blood pressure of more than or equal to 100 mmHg.

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    What Does Blood Pressure Refer To

    Blood pressure refers to the force exerted by circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels and constitutes one of the bodies principal vital signs. The pressure of the circulating blood as blood moves through your arteries, arterioles, capillaries, and veins. The term blood pressure generally refers to your arterial pressure, i.e., the pressure in the larger arteries, arteries being the blood vessels which take blood away from the heart.

    Blood pressure is always given as two numbers

    • Systolic Pressure
    • Diastolic Pressure

    When the measurements are written, both are written as one above, or before, the other with the systolic being the first number, for example 120/75 .

    Blood pressure measurement is NOT the same as your heart rate or maximum heart rate measurement. Check what your heart rate for your age should be. You can calculate your predicted maximum heart rate by using the calculation: 220 = Age Predicted Maximum Heart Rate or see our Target Heart Rate Calculator and Chart.

    How Is High Blood Pressure Diagnosed

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

    Blood pressure checks are part of routine doctor visits. To check your blood pressure, your healthcare provider will place an inflatable cuff around your arm and use a pressure-measuring gauge.

    Before giving a diagnosis of high blood pressure, your physician will likely take two or three readings during separate appointments. This is because blood pressure varies throughout the day, and some people may be anxious before or during a doctor visit, causing elevated blood pressure.

    If your blood pressure is consistently 130/80 millimeters of mercury or higher, you will most likely be diagnosed with high blood pressure.

    In 2017, the American Heart Association updated its definition of high blood pressure from the previous 140/90 mmHg or higher. The guidelines recommend earlier intervention to prevent further increases in blood pressure that could lead to health problems.

    If you have high blood pressure, your physician will take a full medical history and conduct a physical exam. Other routine tests may be given, including a blood test, urine test, cholesterol test, and an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram to check for signs of heart disease.

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    Causes Of Overall Low Blood Pressure

    There are several common causes of overall hypotension, which would include a low diastolic number.

    Medications

    • Overtreatment of high blood pressure. For some people, especially people over age 60, lowering systolic blood pressure below 120 may cause diastolic pressure to fall below 60.
    • Other medications. Many medications besides those for blood pressure can cause hypotension. They include:
    • drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction

    Medical conditions

    • Heart problems. Heart valve problems, heart failure, and a very slow heart rate can lead to hypotension.
    • Dehydration. If you dont take in enough fluids, your blood pressure can fall dangerously low. This may happen if youre taking a diuretic and lose more fluids than you take in.

    Treatment for low diastolic blood pressure largely depends on the type of hypotension. Your doctor will assess this closely to determine the appropriate treatment plan.

    How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and take your blood pressure by placing a blood pressure cuff around your upper arm. The cuff will tighten on your arm, and the monitor will measure your systolic and diastolic pressure. A blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg is considered low blood pressure.

    Low blood pressure may be a sign of an underlying condition, so your doctor will try to determine what caused your blood pressure to drop. Depending on your medical history and symptoms, your doctor may also check your heart using an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, or stress test. Your doctor may also perform blood tests to check for:

    • Hormonal imbalances.

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    Is Low Diastolic Blood Pressure Dangerous

    Low diastolic blood pressure may cause serious consequences. Diastole is the phase when your heart is relaxing. During this phase, the blood flows through the blood vessels supplying the heart to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the heart.

    • Low diastolic pressure may reduce the flow of blood through the coronary arteries thereby increasing the risk of lowered oxygen and nutrient supply to the heart. There is an especially higher risk of reduced oxygen and nutrient delivery to the endocardium or the innermost layers of the heart .
    • Low diastolic blood pressure is also a marker for widened pulse pressure. Pulse pressure is defined as the difference between your systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Widened pulse pressure is considered an indicator of increased arterial stiffness and hardening of the arteries caused by fat deposition .
    • Furthermore, low blood pressure may increase the risk of falls or accidents because it may cause dizziness or fainting. Thus, it is important to consult a doctor if your blood pressure is low or you have any symptoms of low blood pressure such as light-headedness, cold and clammy skin, difficulty in breathing, or fainting.

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