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Why Do People Get Low Blood Pressure

Low Blood Pressure When You Stand Up

Lowering Blood Pressure in 5 Minutes

Sometimes, changes in your posture can cause your blood pressure to drop, for example, going from sitting or lying down to standing up. You might feel the symptoms listed above when you stand up, such as feeling dizzy or faint. They will pass quickly as your body adjusts, but can put you at risk of falls.

This is called postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. Its caused by changes to your arteries which happen as you get older and if youre taking medications to lower your blood pressure.

The animation below provides information on the causes, symptoms and potential interventions related to orthostatic hypotension.

This film was produced by Newcastle University for work completed by Dr James Frith, supported by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.

Hypertension: What You Need To Know As You Age

You cant see high blood pressure, also called hypertension. And most ofthe time, you cant feel it. But if youre among the 78 million Americanswith hypertension or are one of the 70 million with prehypertension, its important to understandits effects on your healthand to take action today to bring your numbersdown to healthier levels.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the inner walls of yourarteries. It has normal fluctuations throughout the dayfalling when yourerelaxed or asleep, rising naturally in the morning, and increasingtemporarily when youre under stress, excited or exercising. But when yourresting blood pressure level rises too high, it can scar, stiffen and/orweaken blood vessels. This effect can double your risk for aheart attack quadruple your odds for astroke raise your risk forheart failure, vision loss, kidney problems,dementiaand circulation problems such asperipheral artery disease weaken your bones and contribute toerectile dysfunctionin men.

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.

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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.

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How To Prevent Low Blood Pressure In Teenagers

If the child has mild symptoms of low blood pressure, then minor changes in the lifestyle might be enough to prevent any problems. Here are a few measures you may consider.

  • Avoid dehydration encourage them to take a lot of fluids.
  • Use adequate salt in the diet.
  • Make them eat a balanced diet to provide all the essential nutrients to the body.
  • Tell them to avoid standing up suddenly from a sitting position.
  • Let them eat smaller meals at regular intervals and cut down on the intake of carbohydrates.
  • Ask them to wear compression stockings.
  • If they have light-headedness or dizziness., let them lie down for a few minutes. with both feet at higher level than the body.
  • Sitting down and putting the head between the knees will help get the blood pressure back to normal.

A proper diet, along with the above tips, can help manage low blood pressure better.

What To Do If You Experience A Sudden Drop In Blood Pressure

Why Does My Blood Pressure Go Up and Down So Much?

A single low blood pressure reading is no cause to be concerned unless you experience other symptoms.

A sudden drop in blood pressure as little as a drop from 120 to 100 in your systolic number can be dangerous if it triggers dizziness and fainting. Such symptoms can be a sign of an underlying problem that may need medical attention.

You should keep a record of your activities and when symptoms happen to discuss them with your doctor. If you experience any low blood pressure symptoms related to shock, you should seek immediate medical attention.

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How Can You Prevent Low Blood Pressure

You may be able to prevent hypotension by making changes to your lifestyle and diet, such as:

  • Eating fewer carbohydrates and choosing small, healthy meals.
  • Staying hydrated and avoiding alcoholic drinks.
  • Rising slowly when youve been sitting or lying down.
  • Taking a few deep breaths before you change position.
  • Wearing compression stockings.

Anorexia Can Lead To Low Blood Pressure Due To A Lack Of Nutrients In The Body Learn More About Anorexia And Hypotension

High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that can cause a heart attack or stroke. Low blood pressure may seem advantageous, but it can also harm a persons health. Eating disorders, like anorexia, can lead to abnormally low blood pressure, also called hypotension.

In many instances, anorexia involves a restricted diet caused by a compulsive desire to achieve a specific body image. Failing to consume enough calories can cause the body to break down its tissue for fuel.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association , the heart can struggle to pump blood when the body doesnt produce enough fuel. As a result, the heart can become malnourished and hypotension can occur.

Some people with low blood pressure do not experience adverse symptoms. However, Mayo Clinic states that individuals with abnormally low blood pressure can deal with dizziness, nausea, fatigue and blurred vision.

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What Is Low Blood Pressure/hypotension

Low blood pressure or hypotension is a condition where the systolic and diastolic pressure falls below 90 and 60 respectively. Blood pressure is usually measured in millimetres of mercury, and normal blood pressure is usually slightly less than 120/80 mm Hg.

To have low blood pressure is not always a concern however, chronic hypotension can cause a lack of blood flow to the brain, causing dizziness, blackouts or loss of consciousness, and may even be life-threatening in severe cases.

More often, low blood pressure is a symptom of a different concern, such as plaque build-up, a heart disorder or aging related medical conditions, making it necessary to pay attention to signs of low blood pressure in its initial stages.

How Blood Pressure Is Measured And What The Readings Mean

What is a LOW and HIGH blood pressure (Hypertension) | Doctor Explains

Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers, with one “over” the other. The first, or top, number is the systolic blood pressure. This indicates the amount of pressure your blood exerts against the walls of your arteries when your heart contracts. The second, or bottom, number is the diastolic pressure, which refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries when your heart refills between beats.

Your healthcare provider typically measures your blood pressure using a stethoscope and an inflatable cuff that wraps around your upper arm. The cuff is inflated until it is tight enough to stop the blood from flowing, then it is slowly deflated. Through the stethoscope, your doctor or nurse will hear the whooshing sound of the blood returning this is the systolic pressure. The moment the whooshing sound disappears marks the diastolic pressure.

The commonly accepted ideal blood pressure for adults is 120/80 mm Hg or lower. But since blood pressure naturally rises with age, your BP might be higher than that without any cause for concern. For instance, according to a chart from Disabled World, a normal blood pressure reading for an 80-year-old woman could be 134/84 mm Hg.

So, what is considered low blood pressure in elderly people? Typically, the low blood pressure range is anything below 90/60 mm Hg. This is called hypotension. The Disabled World chart shows that a dangerous blood pressure level is 50/33 mm Hg.

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Treatment Of Low Blood Pressure

Unless accompanied by other conditions, low blood pressure is usually easy to treat and does not require much medication. Often, a low blood pressure diet may be prescribed, or a change in lifestyle may become necessary. Common recommendations include:

Increased intake of water: Dehydration can cause an electrolyte imbalance resulting in signs of low blood pressure, and care towards adequate hydration would be important, especially in high temperature situations, during fevers or dysentery.

Increased sodium in diet: Salted nuts, cheeses and cured fish and meats are high in sodium content, and would help stabilize blood pressure in case it is very low. Care must be taken to not overdo it, however, and for a balance to be maintained.

Limiting alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption can cause fluctuation in heart rate and limiting its consumption for some time will help alleviate symptoms of low blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.

Exercise: Light exercises not involving much strain to the body help improve circulation of blood throughout, and keep the heart healthy. In cases of low blood pressure, it is important to be aware of its symptoms such as palpitations and cold skin so that exercising does not aggravate the condition.

Ceasing any aggravating medication:If intake of certain medication is seen to cause dips in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a substitute for the drug, or even stopping its consumption till pressure is stabilized.

The Japanese Solution To Perfect Blood Pressure

Do you watch what you eat try to exercise take prescription drugs

And still struggle with your blood pressure?

This can be frustrating. You try to do everything your doctor orders. You give up your favorite foods, exercise, and even take 2-3 meds per day. Yet, your blood pressure is still stubbornly high at your next check-up.

But Im not going to lecture you and raise the dosage like most doctors.

Im going to give you the missing piece of the hypertension puzzle.And it has ZERO to do with too much salt, too little exercise, or trying another prescription drug.

Because while most doctors would rather hand you a script for Prinivil, Diovan or another billion-dollar blood pressure med scientists in Japan already discovered a natural way to get your blood pressure under control, fast.

You see, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi from Tokushima University and Chicago University Medical School discovered a specific type of enzyme supports healthy blood circulation. Dr. Sumi also discovered it can halt blood clots from forming and for dissolving already formed clots.1

A later randomized double-blind placebo control study showed patients who took this same enzyme saw their systolic blood pressure drop by over 13 points!2

How does it work?

It all starts with dissolving a sticky goop that could have invaded your bloodstream. And experts say this glop has turned up the pressure in the blood of millions of Americans.

What am I talking about?

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Change The Number Create A Patient

Although data did show that patients with consistent blood pressure higher than 140/90 were at some risk for heart attack and stroke, there was not much evidence that using more meds to drive the blood pressure further downto that magic 120/80really prevented much of anything. And it certainly increased pill taking, side effects, and symptoms due to blood pressures actually dropping too low.

From Big Pharmas perspective, change the number, create a patient is an important phrase, possibly a central tenet:

  • Bringing total cholesterol down to an ideal number anywhere below 200 with an LDL below 70 hits the financial jackpot. These strict guidelines will increase the number of potential statin users from 12.8 to 48 million.
  • Adjusting ideal blood pressure from 160/100 to 140/90 added 13.5 million new drug users. Trying to medicate people with 140/90 BP to even lower levels will add tens of millions more pill swallowers.

Added to the problem of changing the standards of what constitutes high blood pressure and what does not, doctors are well aware that most people get anxious in the doctors office and this itself drives up blood pressure. Called white-coat hypertension, this phenomenon has resulted in tens of thousands of utterly unnecessary blood pressure prescriptions.

Research For Your Health

How does Hypertension work and what can you do?

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.

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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

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

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What Can I Do For Myself

There are other things you can do for yourself to help with your symptoms.

  • Wear supportive elastic stockings . They put extra pressure on your legs which helps to improve circulation and raise your blood pressure. For some people this can be enough, but speak to your GP first because they arent suitable for everyone.
  • Stand up slowly from sitting or lying down. You can try other simple movements to get the blood flowing before you stand up, such as straightening and bending your legs.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • Drink enough water throughout the day, around 2 litres, so you dont get dehydrated.
  • Eat little and often throughout the day. This avoids low blood pressure after eating.

Read more about how .

Responding To Low Blood Pressure

Concerns with Low Blood Pressure

Everyone’s blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day. At any moment, it may be lower or higher than recommended based on what a person has eaten, how much water they have ingested, whether they are sitting or standing, or even how they cross their legs.

That low or high blood pressure alone is usually not a concern unless a person has a heart problem, as the body is expected to go through these different fluctuations.

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How Is Low Blood Pressure Treated

If there is an underlying cause for your low blood pressure, and it is giving you problems, you may need treatment for that underlying cause. But if it isnt causing you problems, treatment wont be needed.

Your doctor may advise you to take precautions to prevent episodes of low blood pressure, such as avoiding dehydration, hot showers or standing up too quickly.

Causes Of Low Blood Pressure

We always hear that low blood pressure is good for you. In most cases, this is true. You generally want to maintain a blood pressure equal to or lower than 120/80 mmHg, though this can vary slightly. If your blood pressure drops below 90/60, you may be at risk. There is a wide range of reasons why your blood pressure may have dropped. If you ever feel fatigued, dizzy, or other symptoms, one of these causes may be low blood pressure.

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Diagnosing Low Blood Pressure

Diagnosis is crucial whether your low blood pressure is an emergency with symptoms or theres low blood pressure alone. The doctor will try to determine the underlying cause of the low blood pressure.

If an underlying condition is determined, then that condition will be addressed which should correct the low blood pressure. To help with your diagnosis, its always good to keep track of any symptoms, activities at the time and a record of your blood pressure at home .

The doctor may do the following when making a diagnosis:

What Can You Do To Help Relieve Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure

Treating Low Blood Pressue at Home

Depending on the type of low blood pressure you have, you may be able to relieve some of your symptoms by:

  • Eating a healthy diet with fewer carbohydrates and smaller meals.
  • Drinking more water and avoiding alcohol.
  • Getting up slowly after youve been sitting or lying down.
  • Focusing on breathing a few times before you change position.
  • Wearing compression stockings.

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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.

What Are Treatments For Low Blood Pressure

According to Dr. Laffin, If you’re underweight, working to healthfully increase your weight and muscle mass will help to increase your blood pressure.

Dr. Laffin also recommends the following:

  • Hydrate often to prevent dehydration. When youre dehydrated, your blood volume drops and, as a result, so does your blood pressure. Drinking adequate fluids increases the volume of your blood. Remember to drink before youre thirsty, which is often a sign that you’re already dehydrated.
  • Eat multiple small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. This prevents too much blood flowing to your gut to aid in digestion.
  • Get up from a seated or lying position gradually rather than bolting upright.
  • Take blood pressure lowering medications at night. Most BP medications last 24-hours, but the peak effect occurs two to three hours after we take them. If taken at night, this will be while youre sleeping and help you to avoid your blood pressure getting too low while you’re awake.
  • Avoid very hot showers or visiting saunas, hot tubs, or steam rooms. They dilate blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.

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