low blood pressure
A blood pressure reading of 110/60 mmHg is usually not considered a low blood pressure.

A blood pressure reading of 110/60 mmHg is usually not considered a low blood pressure. Many people may have this reading without developing any signs and symptoms.

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.

A blood pressure level that falls below 90/60 mmHg is typically referred to as low blood pressure (hypotension).

  • 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

A low blood pressure reading may be experienced commonly by pregnant women, most commonly in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. It usually returns to its normal levels after childbirth.

Other causes of low blood pressure include:

  1. Dehydration due to
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Overuse of water pills (diuretics)
    • Heavy exercising without drinking enough water
  2. 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
  3. Heart valve problems
  4. Heart attack
  5. Heart failure (when the heart muscle does not pump blood as efficiently as required for the proper functioning of organs)
  6. Problems of the endocrine glands
  7. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  8. Septicemia (widespread infection in the body that causes multiorgan damage)
  9. Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) that may be triggered by
    • Foods, such as peanuts, cashews, and soy
    • Certain medications
    • insect stings or bites
    • Exposure to certain poisonous plants, such as poison ivy
    • Latex (commonly used in male condoms)
  10. Anemia (decreased levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin caused by a lack of the vitamin B12, folate, and iron)

SLIDESHOW

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension): Symptoms, Signs, Causes See Slideshow

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 been experiencing weakness, dizziness, or unusual fatigue after starting certain medications, inform your doctor on your next visit.

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.

Anyone can get orthostatic hypotension though the condition is commonly found in older people. It is seen in those with autonomic failure, diabetes mellites, and those on certain drugs.

  • 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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Medically Reviewed on 2/28/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

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