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.
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.
What Do The Numbers Mean
When a healthcare professional takes your blood pressure, its expressed as a measurement with two numbers, one number on top and one on the bottom , like a fraction. For example, 120/80 mm Hg.
Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury. Thats what the mm/Hg stands for. Heres what the numbers mean:
- Your systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries when your heart contracts or beats.
- Your diastolic pressure is the pressure of the blood in your arteries between beats, when your heart relaxes.
Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart health.
Numbers greater than the ideal range may be a sign that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.
For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show:
- a systolic pressure thats above 90 mm Hg and less than 120 mm Hg, and
- a diastolic pressure thats between 60 mm Hg and less than 80 mm Hg
The American Heart Association considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.
If youre in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, its important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and moderate weight to help prevent high blood pressure from developing.
You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if high blood pressure runs in your family.
Consider Cutting Back On Caffeine
Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary.
In a 2017 study, the systolic blood pressure of 18 participants was elevated for 2 hours after they drank 32 ounces of either a caffeinated drink or an energy drink. Blood pressure then dropped more quickly for the participants who drank a caffeinated drink .
Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If youre caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption, or try .
Research on caffeine, including its health benefits, is in the news a lot. The choice of whether to cut back depends on many individual factors.
One older study indicated that caffeines effect on raising blood pressure is greater if your blood pressure is already high. This same study, however, called for more research on the subject .
If your blood pressure is very high or doesnt decrease after making these lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs.
They work and will improve your long-term outcome, especially if you have other risk factors (
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What Is Normal Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure for an adult over the age of 18 is generally more or less 120 to 140mmHg in systolic blood pressure and 80 to 100mmHg in diastolic blood pressure.
The highlighting of abnormal tension is quite arbitrary as it depends on many factors like age, gender, lifestyle, etc.
Moreover, it evolves a lot according to the times and the activity of the person.
It is dependent on the breathing rate, the emotions felt, the exercise practiced, meals, alcohol consumption, and cigarettes.
When To Contact A Medical Professional
If low blood pressure causes a person to pass out , seek treatment right away. Or call 911 or the local emergency number. If the person is not breathing or has no pulse, begin CPR.
- Black or maroon stools
Hypotension Blood pressure – low Postprandial hypotension Orthostatic hypotension Neurally mediated hypotension NMH
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Low Blood Pressure Definition And Facts
- Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is blood pressure low enough that the flow of blood to the organs of the body is inadequate and symptoms and/or signs of low blood flow develop.
- Low pressure alone, without symptoms or signs, usually is not unhealthy.
- The symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. These symptoms are most prominent when individuals go from the lying or sitting position to the standing position .
- Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body’s organs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. The most severe form is shock.
- Common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood, heart disease, and medications.
- The cause of low blood pressure can be determined with blood tests, radiologic studies, and cardiac testing to look for heart failure and arrhythmias.
- Treatment of low blood pressure is determined by the cause of the low pressure.
What Are The Treatments For Low Blood Pressure
For many people, chronic low blood pressure can be effectively treated with diet and lifestyle changes.
Depending on the cause of your symptoms, your doctor may tell you to increase your blood pressure by making these simple changes:
- Eat a diet higher in salt.
- Drink lots of nonalcoholic fluids.
- Avoid straining while on the toilet.
- Avoid standing still in place for long periods of time.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to hot water, such as hot showers and spas. If you get dizzy, sit down. It may be helpful to keep a chair or stool in the shower in case you need to sit to help prevent injury, use a nonslip chair or stool designed for use in showers and bath tubs.
- To avoid problems with low blood pressure and lessen episodes of dizziness after meals, try eating smaller, more frequent meals. Cut back on carbohydrates. Rest after eating. Avoid taking drugs to lower blood pressure before meals.
- If needed, use elastic support stockings that cover the calf and thigh. These may help restrict blood flow to the legs, thus keeping more blood in the upper body.
Medications for Low Blood Pressure
If these measures don’t lessen the problem, you may need medication.
The following drugs are sometimesÃ used in treating low blood pressure.
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Ayurvedic Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
According to Ayurveda, low blood pressure is caused by vitiation of vayu in the body. It considers a nutritious, balanced diet with proteins and carbohydrates to be helpful for people with this condition. Dry fruits, chicken, rabbit, mutton, soups of black gram and meat, legumes, and fruits like mangoes, apples, bananas, and grapes are especially recommended. People with low blood pressure are also advised to avoid strenuous exercise.17
When To Go To The Er
Low blood pressure can be a serious, even life-threatening condition.
If you or someone you know is experiencing extreme symptoms, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room for treatment right away.
Emergency symptoms may include:
- Loss of consciousness
If you experience symptoms after taking medication or have been diagnosed with low blood pressure and are experiencing an increased frequency in even mild symptoms, call your doctor to discuss your condition and next steps.
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Finding And Treating Underlying Causes And Making Lifestyle Changes Will Help
Many people have high blood pressure in older age, and sometimes its hard to control. That problem is called resistant hypertension blood pressure that stays above a set goal, such as 140/90 millimeters of mercury , despite taking three classes of blood pressure drugs at the highest tolerable doses. The condition is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease, dementia, and more. What can you do to tame it?
When Low Blood Pressure Is An Emergency
A functional circulatory system is essential to your overall health and wellbeing.
More than 100,000 times a day, your heart pumps blood through a closed system of arteries, veins, and other blood vessels to the organs, tissues, and cells that make up your entire body.
Your blood picks up and distributes oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and other elements as it travels.
It also absorbs waste products and helps your body eliminate them.
Blood pressure is a measurement that tells doctors how intensely your blood exerts force on the walls of your veins as your heart pumps blood through your circulatory system.
When you visit a healthcare provider, they record your blood pressure as two measurements: systolic blood pressure, the first number, and diastolic blood pressure, the second number.
Systolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure in the arteries that your heart creates when it pumps and fills the arteries with blood.
Diastolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure in your veins when your heart is at rest.
Once doctors have both numbers, they can determine whether you have normal blood pressure, low blood pressure , or high blood pressure .
Blood pressure can change as you move through your day, but it can put you at risk for other serious health complications if it is chronically or excessively low or high.
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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
Treatment for hypertension depends on how high your blood pressure is, as well as your lifestyle and risk factors.
For elevated blood pressure, the goal is to keep your blood pressure from developing into clinical hypertension. No medications are necessary at this stage. Your doctor may recommend:
- losing weight if you have overweight or obesity
For stage 1 hypertension, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes as mentioned above, as well as:
- reducing your sodium intake
- finding healthy ways to manage your stress
- medication, if your blood pressure doesnt improve after 1 month of lifestyle changes
For stage 2 hypertension, the typical treatment, in addition to a healthier lifestyle, is medication. Your doctor may prescribe one or more of the following medications to help lower your blood pressure:
- ACE inhibitors to block substances that tighten blood vessels
- alpha blockers to help relax the arteries
- beta-blockers to decrease your heart rate and block substances that tighten blood vessels
- calcium channel blockers to relax blood vessels and decrease the work of your heart
- diuretics to decrease the amount of fluid in your body, including your blood vessels
A hypertensive crisis requires immediate treatment. Medications may be given orally or intravenously .
The most for a hypertensive crisis include:
- vasodilators, such as hydralazine, nitroglycerin, and nitroprusside
- beta-blockers, such as labetalol and esmolol
Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Most doctors will only consider chronically low blood pressure as dangerous if it causes noticeable signs and symptoms, such as:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dehydration and unusual thirst
- Dehydration can sometimes cause blood pressure to drop. However, dehydration does not always cause low blood pressure. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration, a potentially serious condition in which your body loses more water than you take in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue.
- Lack of concentration
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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.
What To Eat To Help Raise Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, including medication side effects and conditions like diabetes. What you eat also has a notable impact on your heart health and blood pressure. Here are eight diet tips that might help raise your blood pressure back up to a healthy level.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure In Elderly Individuals
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:
- Confusion or inability to concentrate
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat
Instant Remedies For Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure is also termed as hypotension. Hypotension is treated when it is accompanied by the signs and symptoms of dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, nausea, fast breathing, fatigue and increased heart rate. A very low blood pressure can lead to serious complications and hence it is important to bring it back to normal. There are certain remedies for low blood pressure.
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Eat Some Dark Chocolate
Yes, chocolate lovers: Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation.
The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels .
Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
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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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.
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
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How To Treat Hypotension
If you have low blood pressure that doesnt cause symptoms or only occasionally causes mild lightheadedness, you may not need to treat your condition.
If you have more significant symptoms, your doctor might suggest several lifestyle and medication changes for you to use to regulate your blood pressure better and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with infections: Taking fludrocortisone can make an infection worse. Before you begin taking and while you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, or body aches.
For people with tuberculosis: Taking fludrocortisone may make an active tuberculosis infection worse. It can also cause tuberculosis to come back if youve had it before. Let your doctor know if you currently have or have ever had tuberculosis.
For people with glaucoma: Taking fludrocortisone for a long time may increase the pressure in your eyes, causing damage to your eyes and vision. Your risk for other eye infections will also increase while youre taking this medication. Let your doctor know if you have glaucoma or any other eye diseases.
For people with ocular herpes simplex: Taking fludrocortisone may cause perforation, or small holes, in the outer layer of your eye . Let your doctor know if you have ocular herpes simplex.
For people with heart disease: This includes high blood pressure and heart failure. Taking fludrocortisone might cause your blood pressure to increase or make heart failure worse because it makes you retain salt and water. Let your doctor know if you have any heart problems.
For people with diabetes: Taking fludrocortisone can increase your blood sugar levels. You should monitor your blood sugar level more closely. Your doctor may need to increase the doses of your diabetes medications.
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