What Should You Do If Your Blood Pressure Is Too Low
Blood pressure will go through the motions on most days, starting low and rising into the evening.
Scientists and health professionals have arrived at an ideal “normal” blood pressure range by measuring the heart when it beats and rests.
They arrive at numerical values of mercury , with an ideal range of 120/80mmHg.
Hypertensive Crisis: When You Should Call 911 For High Blood Pressure
A hypertensive crisis is when blood pressure rises quickly and severely with readings of 180/120 or greater.
The consequences of uncontrolled blood pressure in this range can be severe and include:
- Pulmonary edema
An elevated reading may or may not be accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Severe headache
- Severe anxiety
What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Is Too High
If your blood pressure is unusually high AND you have headache or nosebleed and are feeling unwell, wait five minutes and retest. If your reading remains at 180/120 mm Hg or higher, call 9-1-1. If you are experiencing severe headaches or nosebleeds and are otherwise unwell, contact your doctor as they could be symptoms of other health conditions.
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Low Blood Pressure Consequences
Low blood pressure means that your organs are not getting enough blood and oxygen. When your low blood pressure is an emergency, the following severe complications can occur :
Heart Attack: When your heart loses a supply of blood.
Stroke: Persistent low blood pressure can cause the brain to fail rapidly.
Kidney failure: When insufficient blood is delivered to the kidneys, they dont eliminate wastes from the body. The amount of waste in the blood increases.
Shock: Shock is a life-threatening condition as a result of low blood flow throughout the body . The main symptom of shock is low blood pressure. The following are the different kinds of shock:
- Hypovolemic shock: Caused by severe fluid and blood loss. The heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body, or theres not enough blood to deliver oxygen through the body.
- Cardiogenic shock: This occurs when a damaged heart is unable to supply enough blood to the body.
- : When bacteria enters the blood producing toxins that lead to a decline of blood pressure.
- Anaphylactic shock: Sometimes fatal, an allergic reaction that can result in a dramatic fall in blood pressure.
What To Do When Your Blood Pressure Drops Too Low & How To Raise It
Maintaining ideal blood pressure can be a difficult task for some. As very high as well as low blood pressure levels can be dangerous, it is necessary to maintain the normal range. So, while a healthy routine and medications are important for high blood pressure, it is also essential to know about the symptoms of very low blood pressure. Let us understand what to do when your blood pressure drops too low and how to raise it.
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Low Blood Pressure In Elderly People: The Vital Facts You Should Know
Most people are aware that high blood pressure in seniors can lead to serious medical issues, but low blood pressure in elderly individuals gets far less attention. However, blood pressure that drops too low can have equally serious effects on your health. It’s important to know the facts so that you can take proper care of yourself.
A low blood pressure reading is not necessarily cause for panic. While high blood pressure is harmful even if you don’t know you have it, low blood pressure is generally not a problem unless you start experiencing symptoms like dizziness or blurred vision. If that happens, you need to take action. Symptomatic low blood pressure in the elderly can be very dangerous because it raises the risk of a fall. At its most extreme, it can lead to shock and even death.
This article explains the basic facts about blood pressure, including how it’s measured and what the measurements mean. It also describes common symptoms of low blood pressure and outlines a variety of factors that can cause such a condition. And it provides information about different ways that low blood pressure in older adults can be treated or managed.
Know When To Talk To Your Doctor
Low blood pressure isnt usually something that you need to worry about. A single blood pressure reading below the normal range, without any accompanying symptoms, should not cause panic.
If your blood pressure is consistently less than 90/60 mmHg, talk to your doctor to make sure that he or she is aware of it. Also talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms with low blood pressure. MANA has some of the best doctors in Northwest Arkansas. Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider in the MANA network today.
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When Blood Pressure Dips Too Low
To avoid feeling dizzy or faint when you first get up in the morning, pump your legs a few times to get your blood flowing before standing up.Image: Thinkstock
Do you ever feel dizzy or faint when you stand up? Here’s one common reasonand what to do about it.
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Blood Pressure Vs Heart Rate
Blood pressure and heart rate are both important indications of how well your heart is working, but they measure different things. As noted above, blood pressure is the force of your blood flowing through your arteries. By contrast, heart rate is the number of times your heart beats each minute.
In adults, the heart typically beats 60 to 100 times per minute while at rest. But as with blood pressure, a healthy heart rate will differ between individuals. For instance, a pulse below 60 beats per minute is slower than normal, but it might not cause any issues for you.
However, in some situations, a low pulse means that the heart is not circulating enough blood to satisfy the body’s needs. That can cause you to feel dizzy and weak. A pulse in the 30s is a dangerously low heart rate and should be investigated.
The relationship between blood pressure and heart rate is complex. If you’re concerned about your numbers, see your doctor.
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Is Low Blood Pressure A Problem
For some people, low blood pressure is a sign of good health. These are generally people who are very fit and who have a slow pulse. For other people, low blood pressure is a problem.
Often, people with low blood pressure can be expected to lead longer lives.
However, people who experience continuing symptoms of low blood pressure should see a doctor. Sudden, severe low blood pressure can be associated with serious medical conditions.
When Low Blood Pressure Is An Emergency: Call 911
The majority of talk involving blood pressure typically centers around the topic of high blood pressure. High blood pressure effects more people but low blood pressure can be just as important. Most of the time low blood pressure is not a problem, and its even desirable. But there are times when low blood pressure is an emergency.
When is low blood pressure an emergency? Low blood pressure is an emergency when the BP number is too low and there are the following symptoms:
- Pale skin
- Clammy skin
This blog post will cover in more detail what to do in an emergency and mistakes people make when their blood pressure falls suddenly. Ill also tell you how to avoid low pressure, the symptoms and treatments. Low blood pressure is an important topic and must be taken seriously because the consequences to your body can be severe.
Low BP Tip: Home monitoring is just as important with low blood pressure as high BP! If you dont have a home blood pressure monitor, check out the current price on Amazon for the monitor I recommend, Welch Allyn Home 1700 Series Blood Pressure.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.
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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.
How Does Your Body Regulate Blood Pressure
Your body has complex feedback mechanisms to regulate blood pressure, including dedicated nerves and hormones that are part of the sympathetic nervous system, which is involved in the fight-or-flight reflex. Special nerve receptors in major blood vessels signal a drop in blood pressure and alert your sympathetic nervous system to boost its activity, increasing heart rate and constricting blood vessels. If anything impairs these mechanisms, your blood pressure can drop.
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How Is Low Blood Pressure Diagnosed
Like high blood pressure, low blood pressure can be diagnosed easily with a .
If you feel dizzy or faint when you stand up, you might need to have your blood pressure measured when youre lying down and again while you are standing up.
You might be offered a tilt table test. This is where you lie on a table that starts in a horizontal position, then slowly tilts so that youre in an almost upright position as if you were standing. You will have your blood pressure and pulse monitored, and any symptoms you feel will be recorded. You might also have a blood test to check the levels of certain hormones.
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
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Can Your Blood Pressure Be Too Low
High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases your risk for health problems including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and myocardial infarction . Many people monitor their blood pressure to make sure that its not too high, but is it possible for your blood pressure to be too low?
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure often has no symptoms, but can sometimes mean that not enough blood is flowing to your brain or organs. This can cause symptoms such as:
- feeling dizzy, faint or light-headed
- feeling unsteady
- suddenly noticing your heartbeat
If you have these symptoms, stop what youre doing and sit down or lie down in case you fall, and drink some water.
Speak to your doctor or nurse if you experience these symptoms. As well as being unpleasant, they could mean youre at risk of having a fall. They could also be a sign of another health problem.
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What’s The Difference Between Blood Pressure And Pulse
While your blood pressure is the force of your blood moving through your blood vessels, your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute.
- They are two separate measurements and indicators of health.
- For people with high blood pressure , theres no substitute for measuring blood pressure.
Who Is At Risk Of Having Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure typically isnt a problem for most adults. However, if your blood pressure drops suddenly or you experience symptoms, it may cause serious side effects. The U.S. National Library of Medicine indicates that a drop as little as 20 mmHg can cause problems.
So what causes your blood pressure to drop and when does it put you at risk? Minor and temporary things can affect blood pressure, like getting up too fast after sitting, standing for long periods of time, or dehydration. Similarly, certain health conditions are risk factors for hypotension, including:
- Heart conditions
- Serious trauma
- Shock caused by blood loss
If you experience low blood pressure, youre at a higher risk for fainting and shock, which can require medical treatment if vital organs. Keep track of your blood pressure regularly so you get to know whats normal for you and what may be too low. A single measurement lower than normal isnt cause for alarm but if you experience other symptoms, talk to your doctor.
For more information about low blood pressure or to find a doctor, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.
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Causes Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure
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.
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.
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Serious Injuries And Shock
Low blood pressure can also be caused by serious injuries or burns, particularly if you have lost a lot of blood. This can mean that there is less blood being pumped around your body. Low blood pressure can also occur if you go into shock after having a serious injury.
Other kinds of shock are described below.
Anaphylactic shock, or anaphylaxis, is caused by an allergic reaction to something – for example, a wasp sting or a peanut. During an allergic reaction, your body produces a large amount of a chemical called histamine, which causes your blood vessels to widen and leads to a sudden, severe drop in blood pressure.
Cardiogenic shock occurs when your heart cannot supply enough blood to your body, so your blood pressure drops. This can happen during a heart attack.
When Does High Blood Pressure Turn Into Prehypertension
Elevated blood pressure means that your blood pressure is slightly above what is considered normal. Some doctors refer to slightly elevated blood pressure as prehypertension. Elevated blood pressure will likely turn into high blood pressure unless you make lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise and eating healthier foods.
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.
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Salt Water As A Instant Remedy For Low Blood Pressure:
Salt water helps to treat low blood pressure because the sodium content in the salt water enhances the blood pressure level. Drink a glass of salt water and blood pressure level will increase quickly. However, taking excess salt should be avoided because it may turn out to be unhealthy. Enhance the salt consumption in your daily diet and this is a wonderful home remedy for treating 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.