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When To Worry About Low Blood Pressure

Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure In Elderly Individuals

Worried about your low blood pressure?

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:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or inability to concentrate
  • Nausea
  • An irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • Weakness

When To Worry About Low Blood Pressure

We all know that high blood pressure can be dangerous. But what about low blood pressure

Also called hypotension, low blood pressure is not a problem if youre healthy and show no signs or symptoms of the condition. However, abnormally low blood pressure can cause problems such as dizziness and fainting and can be a sign that other serious conditions, such as heart disease, are present.

What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean

Your blood pressure consists of two numbers: systolic and diastolic. Someone with a systolic pressure of 117 and a diastolic pressure of 78 has a blood pressure of 117/78, or “117 over 78.”

It’s normal for blood pressure to go up and down throughout the day. But if it stays up, you have high blood pressure. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.

High blood pressure increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other problems. You and your doctor will talk about your risks of these problems based on your blood pressure.

Your doctor will give you a goal for your blood pressure. Your goal will be based on your health and your age.

In general, the lower your blood pressure, the better. For example, a blood pressure reading of less than 90/60 is healthy as long as you feel okay.

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Health Risks Of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure means your top number is 130 or higher or your bottom number is 80 or higher. For most people, hypertension is caused by aging or lifestyle factors tied to heart health . For others, it could be the result of another health condition, such as sleep apnea or thyroid issues, or even certain medications.

Whatever the cause, high blood pressure doesn’t usually have any symptoms, which isn’t a good thing. Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because it can lead to heart attack, stroke and coronary artery disease, among other conditions, with little to no warning.

Ask The Doctor: Should I Worry About My Low Diastolic Pressure

When to worry about low blood pressure

Q. I am a 70-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes. I take Glucophage and Glucotrol to control my blood sugar and a statin for cholesterol. I have been able to keep my blood pressure in the normal range with diet and exercise. My systolic pressure runs between 117 and 130. My diastolic pressure used to be between 70 and 80, but now it is getting down into the 50s, and sometimes into the 40s. My doctor says that’s great, but it seems to be a low diastolic blood pressure to me. I haven’t changed anything, so could this indicate a problem?

A. First, you should feel very good about your systolic blood pressure, which is in a fine range. As people get older, the systolic pressure becomes the most important predictor of complications like stroke and heart disease, so the big message about your blood pressure is a reassuring one.

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When To Worry About Your Blood Pressure

130/80 is the new high blood pressure threshold. What should your personal blood pressure goal be and when should you worry?

If youve been following the news, you know that theres some hype about the new blood pressure guidelines that were just released by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association . Under their new, more stringent guidelines, a significantly greater number of people will be diagnosed with hypertension than before. According to the New York Times, the number of men under age 45 who will be diagnosed will now triple and for women double.

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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When Blood Pressure Is Too Low

Whether blood pressure is too low has more to do with how you feel than the measured number. A blood pressure of 90/60 mmHG may be normal for someone young and healthy, but may cause symptoms of lightheadedness or weakness in an older patient or someone with other health conditions, Dr. Courson says.

Stress And Low Blood Pressure

Worried About High Blood Pressure?

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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

Causes Of Low Blood Pressure In Children

Some of the common causes that affect children are mentioned below.

  • Dehydration: When there is an excess loss of water from the body, it causes dehydration. Low blood pressure can be one of the several symptoms of mild to severe dehydration in children .
  • Allergies: An allergy occurs when the immune system mounts an attack on a usually harmless allergen. A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. This condition could lead to low blood pressure .
  • Infections: Hypotension may happen in cases of severe infection.
  • Iron deficiency anemia: A low blood pressure could be one of the several symptoms of iron deficiency anemia among children . Hypotension is likely to be among the symptoms that occur when the anemia becomes severe.
  • Heart problem: A fall in blood pressure could be a symptom of heart failure or other heart-related issues among children. Some other symptoms include trouble breathing, excessive sweating, and poor development .
  • Injury or trauma: An injury can lead to external or internal blood loss, which may cause a drop in blood pressure. Low blood pressure is often among the many symptoms of a severe abdominal injury, which causes internal bleeding .
  • Nutritional deficiencies and metabolic problems: A deficiency in nutrients, like folic acid and vitamin B12, may cause hypotension. Problems in the endocrine system may also be a reason .
  • Sometimes, it is difficult to figure out that the blood pressure of the child is low. But knowing the symptoms may help.

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    Treatment Of Low Diastolic Blood Pressure

    Treating isolated diastolic hypotension is more difficult than treating general hypotension. If youre taking an alpha-blocker, your doctor can change you to a different high blood pressure medication.

    If you have isolated low diastolic pressure and youre not on blood pressure medication, the only option may be to see your doctor more frequently for checkups and to watch for symptoms of heart failure. Currently, there isnt any medication available to treat isolated diastolic hypotension.

    Treatment of general hypotension depends on the cause.

    Overtreatment of high blood pressure can be managed by adjusting or changing medications. The goal is to keep the diastolic blood pressure between 60 and 90 mm Hg. Your doctor may also change other medications that cause hypotension.

    Dehydration can be treated with fluid replacement. In some cases, you may need medications that increase blood pressure.

    When Are Blood Pressure Fluctuates Within Minutes Desirable

    Worried About Your Brain? Check Your Blood Pressure

    Contrary to the popular belief, blood pressure fluctuations have very little to do with the heart health, but rather with biochemical and mechanical processes that guard the blood flow. There are several feedback sensors located in the kidneys, the adrenals, arteries, as well as the brain that work continuously to ensure that blood pressure is matching the body needs. These sensors are responsible for regulating blood flow by either managing the heart rate or by changing blood vessel tone. Either way, there will be changes to BP.

    The effort to regulate BP perfectly minute to minute is of great importance to the body. It takes less than 5 minutes for brain cells to die if they are deprived of oxygen. Thus, if you detect blood pressure fluctuations within minutes, unless your sensors malfunctioned, its likely that your need for oxygen changed.

    Let me give you an example. Have you seen people running, playing tennis or wresting? They were all huffing and puffing. But their gasping for air wasnt due to a suddenly developed breathing disorder. It was due to the body sensors demanding more oxygen.1

    Gym is the place where BP frequently gets out of control. Weight lifters may go into a temporary hypertension while increasing their systolic number by 100 mmHg or more. But such gym-induced blood pressure spike has nothing to do with risk for hypertension. It is how the body delivers oxygen.

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    Why Is Blood Pressure Lower In Other Arm

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    How Long Does It Take To Lower Blood Pressure With Diet And Exercise

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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.

    Diagnosis Of Low Blood Pressure In Children

    What can I do to help my low blood pressure while pregnant?

    A doctor will use the following steps to diagnose low blood pressure .

  • Assessment of symptoms: The doctor will check symptoms related to low blood pressure and may ask parents about any existing medical problems in the child.
  • Auscultatory blood pressure measurement: The doctor uses a manual or digital sphygmomanometer, which is a blood pressure measurement machine, to check the blood pressure of the child.
  • Pulse determination: Fingers are placed on an artery to feel the pulse. It helps in knowing the number of heartbeats per second.
  • ECG: If some anomalies are detected, then the doctor might suggest further checkup of the heart with an ECG machine.
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    What Foods Can I Make To Lower Blood Pressure

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    Questions About Common Renal Problems

  • A 65-year-old man with stage 3 chronic kidney disease is noted to have proteinuria on dipstick testing and a subsequent urine protein to creatinine ratio of 0.7. The patient’s blood pressure has been in the range of 130/80 mm Hg while he has been taking a moderate dose of an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor . You increase his ACEI dose and see him in follow-up a week later. Although his blood pressure has improved and his urine protein to creatinine ratio has decreased to 0.5, you note that his serum creatinine level has increased from 1.4 to 1.7 mg/dL. Which one of the following is the next best step in the treatment of this patient?

  • Stop the ACEI and initiate dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker therapy

  • Lower the ACEI dose back to baseline and initiate dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker therapy

  • Continue the current regimen but recheck the patient’s serum creatinine level in 1 week

  • Add an angiotensin II receptor blocker to his current regimen

  • Stop the ACEI and start an ARB

  • Initiate 12.5 mg/d of spironolactone

  • Obtain an aldosterone-renin ratio refer for ultrasonography to rule out renal artery stenosis

  • Increase the dosage of hydrochlorothiazide to 50 mg/d

  • Initiate 5 mg of minoxidil twice daily

  • Perform magnetic resonance imaging of the abdomen

  • Which one of the following statements is false about the management of a patient with a serum creatinine level of 2.2 mg/dL?

  • Both ACEIs and ARBs can be used in patients with proteinuria

  • All of the above

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