We have all heard the warnings about high blood pressure, but what about the other end of the spectrum and low blood pressure or hypotension? It may seem like low blood pressure is a good thing, but are there potential health hazards that come with this seemingly “good” blood pressure reading? It turns out that there are some potentially hazardous health issues that low blood pressure can present. Understanding the low blood pressure range can help you head off any potential problems from fainting to shock.
The peril of high blood pressure is well documented, but not many people talk about the potential hazards of having low blood pressure. What exactly constitutes low blood pressure? When you have your blood pressure taken, there are two numbers of importance: systolic and diastolic pressure. All these fancy words mean are blood pressure of your heart at rest (diastolic) and pressure of your heart when beating (systolic). The low blood pressure range is 90 mmHg for systolic pressure and 60 mmHg for diastolic pressure.
A reading less than 90/60mmHg is considered a low bp range. Low blood pressure or hypotension do not cause symptoms necessarily but may require adequate and timely treatment if symptoms surface.
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Symptoms of hypotension can include:
The symptoms can be caused by a number of issues, including medication, dehydration, and other potentially serious medical issues. While high blood pressure can present its own health issues, the effects of hypotension should not be ignored. Extreme hypotension or low blood pressure can lead to shock, which can be life-threatening. One German study determined that in elderly people with high blood pressure, there was no tangible risk of fatal issues but a higher rate of issues in those with lower blood pressure, especially during pregnancy (including low birth weight and perinatal mortality). Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
If you suspect you suffer from hypotension, your doctor may decide on a series of tests to determine if you truly suffer from this disorder or if it is a temporary condition. Some tests that he may order include, but are not limited to:
The results of these tests can help determine the course of action taken to treat low blood pressure or hypotension. If your hypotension is caused by medication, simply a change or adjustment in your medication may be all that is required. Other steps could be taken include lifestyle changes such as increased salt in your diet, drinking more water, compression stockings, or prescription medication.
A low blood pressure reading may seem like a godsend, but underlying causes could be detrimental to your health. Before starting any treatment, always consult your physician to ensure that you are taking the correct steps.
According to the AHA (American Heart Association), most doctors consider chronically low blood pressure numbers such as 50/30 a dangerously low bp range if accompanied by additional symptoms. Some of the severe symptoms that may come unexpectedly should be taken seriously.
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