The upper number (numerator) in the reading indicates the systolic pressure, whereas the lower number (denominator) represents the diastolic pressure. Though a blood pressure level of 120/80 mmHg is considered optimal, having a systolic pressure between 91 and 119 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure between 61 and 79 mmHg is considered normal.
- If it is not associated with any symptoms, such as weakness, dizziness, or fatigue, it would not be considered hypotension and will usually be left untreated.
- The doctor may monitor you only if you have other medical conditions, such as heart problems, or are taking medications that cause low blood pressure.
10 Probable causes of low blood pressure
Other causes of low blood pressure include:
- Dehydration due to
- Blood loss that may be caused by
- A major injury from road accidents or falls from height
- Internal bleeding, such as due to stomach ulcers
- Heart valve problems
- Heart attack
- Heart failure (when the heart muscle does not pump blood as efficiently as required for the proper functioning of organs)
- Problems with the endocrine glands
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Septicemia (widespread infection in the body that causes multiorgan damage)
- Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) that may be triggered by
- Anemia (decreased levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin caused by a lack of the vitamin B12, folate, and iron)
What factors increase your risk of low blood pressure?
Aging can decrease your artery’s elasticity and increase your risk of developing low blood pressure.
Other risk factors of low blood pressure include:
- Prolonged bed rest
- Sedentary life (or physical inactivity)
- Certain medicines used to treat medical conditions, including
If you have a low blood pressure reading, your doctor may either decrease the dose of the medications or switch you to a different medication.
What is postural hypotension?
Postural hypotension, also called orthostatic hypotension, is a sudden drop in blood pressure that results from postural change, specifically when you stand up from a sitting or lying down position. The condition can bring on dizziness, and you may even faint.
- To diagnose postural hypotension, the doctor will first measure your blood pressure in your sitting or lying down position.
- They will ask you to get up and then measure your blood pressure again within three minutes of standing up.
- If you have postural hypotension, your systolic blood pressure reading will drop by more than 20 mmHg pressure and diastolic blood pressure will be decreased by more than 10 mmHg.
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Windsor M. Diastolic Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low? University of Alabama at Birmingham News. https://www.uab.edu/news/research/item/10393-diastolic-blood-pressure-how-low-is-too-low#
Stewart JM. Orthostatic Intolerance. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/902155-overview
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