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What Is Too Low Blood Pressure

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure

TriHealth Doctor on Call: When is a Blood Pressure Reading Too Low?

Low blood pressure doesnt always cause problems. If your numbers are usually low but youre otherwise feeling well, your doctor will probably just keep an eye on things.

But sometimes low blood pressure causes alarming symptoms, including:

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Confusion or inability to concentrate

Any of these signs warrants a call to your doctor, who will likely take a look at the medicines youre taking. Sometimes a simple adjustment to the dosing is enough to raise your numbers back to the healthy range. Be sure to let your doctor know about any over-the-counter drugs or supplements you take, since many can interfere with prescription meds.

Your doctor will also want to make sure youre eating right and getting enough B vitamins. Depending on your symptoms and personal health history, your doctor may also order blood tests and heart screenings to get to the root of the problem.

When Should You Call Your Doctor About Low Blood Pressure

If you have recurring dizziness or fainting, or other symptoms of low blood pressure, you should visit your doctor. Sudden drops in blood pressure can be dangerous. It is important for your doctor to determine why your blood pressure is dropping and treat the cause.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/08/2019.

References

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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What Can Cause Low Blood Pressure

Factors that can cause low blood pressure include:

  • Medical conditions like heart problems, hormonal problems, septic shock, neurological disorders, anemia etc.
  • Dehydration
  • Certain medications for instance, some antidepressants or beta blockers prescribed for heart conditions
  • Blood pressure tends to drop during the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.34

What Are Low Blood Pressure Signs And Symptoms

What is considered a dangerously low blood pressure?

Many people live with low blood pressure but they don’t experience any symptoms. If that’s the case, the low blood pressure is of no consequence. However, others who have low blood pressure experience dizziness and lightheadedness. This is an indication that insufficient blood flow is reaching the brain. This, in turn, can lead to weakness, nausea, confusion, and blurry vision. Low blood pressure can affect other organs leading to shortness of breath, fainting, blacking out, chest pain, and cool, clammy skin.

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How Does Blood Pressure Work

During relaxation of the heart , the left ventricle of the heart fills with blood returning from the lungs. The left ventricle then contracts and pumps blood into the arteries . The blood pressure in the arteries during contraction of the ventricle is higher because blood is being actively ejected into the arteries. It is lower during relaxation of the ventricle when no blood is being ejected into the arteries. The pulse we feel when we place our fingers over an artery is caused by the contraction of the left ventricle and the ejection of blood.

Blood pressure is determined by two factors:

  • The amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart into the arteries, and
  • The resistance to the flow of blood caused by the walls of the arterioles .
  • Generally, blood pressure tends to be higher if more blood is pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are narrow and/or stiff. Narrow and/or stiff arterioles, by resisting the flow of blood, increase blood pressure. Arterioles may become narrower when the muscles surrounding them contract. Arterioles may become stiff and narrow when older patients develop atherosclerosis.

    Blood pressure tends to be lower if less blood is being pumped into the arteries or if the arterioles are larger and more flexible and, therefore, have less resistance to the flow of blood.

    The heart rate increases and the forcefulness of the heart’s contractions increase, pumping more blood through the heart.

    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.

    Heart failure, atrial fibrillation and other serious cardiac conditions can cause recurrent syncope in older adults, with a sharp increase after age 70.

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    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.

    Shutterstock

    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.

    Prevention And Management Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure

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

    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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    Look For Warnings Related To High Blood Pressure Or Hbp Medication

    Always read the labels on all over-the-counter medications, especially if you have high blood pressure . Look for warnings to those with high blood pressure and to those who take blood pressure medications. If you have high blood pressure and certainly if you are on prescription medication, consult your healthcare professional before taking any OTC medications or supplements.

    Baroreceptor Signals Sent To The Veins

    If blood pressure becomes too high, baroreceptors send signals to the veins instructing them to expand and store more blood and return less blood to the heart. The result is blood flow decreases and blood pressure becomes lower. Conversely, veins can become narrower and return more blood to the heart, which increases blood pressure.

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    Diastolic Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low

    • May 17, 2015

    Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Systolic pressure, the force exerted on blood vessels when the heart beats, is the upper number. Diastolic pressure, the force exerted when the heart is at rest, is on the bottom in more ways than one. Systolic pressure attracts the lions share of attention from physicians and patients, says UAB cardiologist Jason Guichard, M.D., Ph.D.

    Physicians are busy people, and like it or not they often focus on a single number, Guichard said. Systolic blood pressure is the focus, and diastolic pressure is almost completely ignored. That is a mistake, he argues. The majority of your arteries feed your organs during systole. But your coronary arteries are different they are surrounding the aortic valve, so they get blood only when the aortic valve closes and that happens in diastole.

    Diastolic pressure has been getting more attention lately, however, thanks in part to an influential paper in Hypertension, written in 2011 by Guichard and Ali Ahmed, M.D., then a professor of medicine in UABs Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and now the associate chief of staff for Health and Aging at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

    Most people are trying to lower their blood pressure. What would you define as too low, and why is that a problem?

    Things You Can Do To Manage Low Blood Pressure

    25+ bästa Low blood pressure symptoms idéerna på Pinterest

    If low blood pressure isnt causing any symptoms or interfering with your daily routineand depending on the underlying causeyour doctor may decide to just keep an eye on your readings and ask you to be on alert for any warning signs, Dr. Mehta says.

    There are also a few things you can do on your own to prevent problems.

    1. Switch to mocktailsor good old H20. Remember, alcohol is dehydrating and can lead to a drop in blood pressure. Water is the preferred thirst quencher, since it helps increase blood volume.

    2. Order the spinach salad. Certain foods play a key role in keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range. Vitamins B12 and folate, for example, help your body produce enough red blood cells to prevent anemia.

    Leafy greens, avocados, beans, and oranges can help you meet your folate quota, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Chicken, eggs, fish, milk, yogurt, and meat are good sources of vitamin B12.

    3. Dont skip meals. In fact, consider divvying up your meals into four or five small ones spread throughout the day. This can help prevent your blood pressure from dropping sharply after you push away from the table.

    4. Uncross your legs. This can be a tough habit to break, but sitting with your legs crossed can hamper your blood flow. Its also good to start taking your sweet time when changing positionssitting to standing, lying to sitting, and so on.

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    About Heart And Vascular Institute

    The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.

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    The Future Of Syncope

    Standardized national registries and large databases are needed to gather more data to better understand the incidence and prevalence of syncope, patient risks and outcomes, set lifestyle policies and improve healthcare delivery.

    Some studies have shown that with recurrent episodes of fainting, the quality of life is reduced in both adults and in pediatric patients, however more well designed studies that incorporates quality of life, work loss and functional capacity are needed. In addition, more studies incorporate quality of life, work loss and functional capacity as possible results and better understand the relationship of syncope symptoms, causes and underlying diseases to various outcomes.

    Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.

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    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.

    Causes Of Low Blood Pressure

    What Causes Low Blood Pressure? Dr.Berg

    Your blood pressure can vary depending on the time of day. It gradually increases throughout the day.

    What you’re doing and how you’re feeling can also affect it.

    There are many possible causes of low blood pressure. It may be low because you’re fit and healthy, or you may have inherited it from your parents.

    Some people develop low blood pressure as they get older.

    It can also be caused by:

    • being pregnant

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    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.

    A Low Reading Could Simply Mean Your Heart Is Healthy Or It Could Mean That Youre At Risk Of Falling Heres How To Tell The Difference

    A low blood pressure reading is good news, right? After all, the oppositehigh blood pressurecan lead to heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and other health problems.

    Unfortunately, the answer isnt so straightforward.

    Sure, you might want to post a reading thats below 120/80 mmHg on your fridge as a boast that your ticker is in good shape. But there is such a thing as a reading thats too low, says Laxmi Mehta, M.D., director of preventative cardiology and womens cardiovascular health at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

    Abnormally low blood pressure, or hypotension, can be troublesome for some peopleespecially if its causing outward symptoms. If youre feeling dizzy, fatigued, short of breath, or youre passing out, or you have chest pain, that would be concerning, she says.

    Heres what you need to know about the possible downsides of low blood pressureand six things you can do if your latest readings have been low.

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    Is Low Blood Pressure Bad For Your Health

    Lower blood pressure is associated with a lower risk of conditions like heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Those who exercise regularly, athletes, non-smokers, and those who maintain an optimal body weight experience lower blood pressures. Lower blood pressure is a good thing as long as it doesn’t cause symptoms that could damage organs and tissues of the body.

    Low Blood Pressure Symptoms

    Diastolic Pressure Definition

    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.

    During pregnancy, blood pressure tends to decrease. Normal blood pressure during pregnancy may be lower than 100/60. Your OB/GYN or Midwife should monitor your bood pressure if you are pregnant.

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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

    Recent Findings Raise Concerns About Lowering Diastolic Blood Pressure The Second Number In Your Blood Pressure Reading Too Far

    More of us than ever before are taking medications to lower our blood pressure. Longstanding guidelines suggest that most people should aim for a systolic blood pressure no higher than 140 millimeters of mercury . But in 2015, the results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial suggested that reaching a target of 120 mm Hg could further reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure, including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and death.

    Yet reaching that lower target often requires three blood pressure medications, which can increase the likelihood of side effects. Two observational studies and one clinical trial have raised concerns about lowering blood pressure particularly diastolic pressure too far. Diastolic blood pressure represents the pressure between beats when the heart relaxes. “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.

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