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How to know when low blood pressure is too low

by , 02 July 2015

Some people naturally have low blood pressure, known as hypotension. However, when your high blood pressure suddenly becomes low blood pressure, it could be cause for concern.

While mildly low blood pressure is a sign of good health and decreased risk of heart disease, a drop can indicate the opposite.

If you've been experiencing continually low blood pressure or a severe drop in your blood pressure, it could be a major warning from your heart!

Symptoms of hypotension

In most cases, doctors don’t consider hypotension a problem, unless it leads to worrisome signs and symptoms, including:
 
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration problems
  • Nausea
  • Clammy or pale skin
  • Blurry vision
  • Shortness of breath
 

When hypotension can strike

Like I mentioned, some people have naturally low blood pressure. These people don’t usually experience the symptoms I just listed.
 
But for those who are used to having high blood pressure, episodes of low blood pressure can signal a problem, and lead to some of the above signs.
 
An onset of hypertension is more likely to occur when:
 
  • You’re on bed rest for a long period of time and then resume to an upright posture
  • You’re in your first 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • You’ve lost a lot of blood
  • You’re taking medications like statin drugs, Parkinson’s disease meds, tricyclic antidepressants or erectile dysfunctions meds
  • You have a heart problem, such as a slow heartbeat or heart valve problems
  • You have an infection in your body that entered through your bloodstream
  • You’re experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction
  • You have a neural disorder
  • You have a nutrient deficiency, such as low vitamin B12 and folic acid levels

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When to seek medical help for hypotension

If your blood pressure is always on the low side and you’re not experiencing any worrisome symptoms, you’re safe. There’s usually no cause for concern.
 
Similarly, if you have a single at-home blood pressure reading that’s abnormally low without any symptoms, it’s probably unnecessary for you to see your doctor. It’s normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall over time. Your body can usually get it back up to normal with ease.
 
However, if your blood pressure drops suddenly and you’re experiencing symptoms or problems (like dizziness), you should call your doctor. Let him or her assess the situation and rule out underlying problems like unrecognised internal bleeding, serious infection and so on. 
 
Treatment for hypotension will depend on the cause of the low blood pressure. Immediate steps might include:
 
  • Lying with your feet above your head
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Avoiding hypotension triggers, such as prolonged standing
 

The bottom line: Keep track of your blood pressure!

It’s important you keep track of your blood pressure readings, even if you consider yourself healthy, so you know what your personal “normal” reading is.

Editor’s note: Our researchers at the Natural Health Dossier recently uncovered  one of three great heart disease scams South Africans are falling for every day. Discover what it is, plus what you can do about them, in this urgent health report.

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