Low blood pressure is given the medical term “Hypotension” (as opposed to hypertension which is high blood pressure). Low blood pressure occurs when the pressure in the blood vessels falls below normal limits. Although different sources have different criteria for low blood pressure, we can assume that anything below 90/60 is low.
It is very difficult to define exactly what constitutes low blood pressure, since everyone is different. One person may suffer symptoms at 90/60 while another is totally fine at blood pressures which theoretically should have them on their back.
If you have no symptoms there is no reason for concern. Only when blood pressure drops below the level required by your body and cells, is there a real problem. When this happens, you get symptoms.
Symptoms of low blood pressure
Under severe low pressure, symptoms can include chest pains. Also, without the necessary pressure in the blood, the kidneys cannot filter out the toxins in your blood, and there will be an increase in blood levels of urea and creatine.
Causes of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can have a variety of causes including:
- Medication, including high blood pressure medicine, and medication for coronary heart disease.
- Anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant drugs.
- Dehydration – common when someone has diarrhea and-or vomiting. It is important to drink plenty of fluids (plain water works best) if you are ill with these.
- Slow heart beat
- Inflammation of organs in the body, e.g. acute pancreatitis
- Heart disease – when the walls of the heart become weakened and can no longer pump with the required force.
Should you consult a doctor?
- You lose consciousness when you stand up
- You constantly feel weak, light headed or tired.
Facts on low blood pressure
In younger people, low blood pressure can be a sign of chronic fatigue syndrome.
In older people, low blood pressure can indicate heart disease.
Young women (below 40) may find their blood pressure drops below 90/60 during:
- hot weather
Treatment for Low Blood Pressure
Since any treatment will depend on the cause of your low blood pressure, you must consult your doctor. It may be that some component of your lifestyle has caused the low blood pressure, and simple changes to that can restore your blood pressure to normal.
If you want to buy a blood pressure monitor, I recommend you buy an upper arm cuff monitor like this Omron: