What is Low Blood Pressure and is it harmful?

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, means a person’s blood pressure is lower than normal.  Most healthy adults may not have any signs or symptoms of low blood pressure unless it falls too low.  Symptoms may show if a person’s blood pressure falls below 90/60 or if the drop in blood pressure is sudden and unexpected.

Most often, low blood pressure is caused by:

  • Nutritional deficiency – lack of certain vitamins like B-12 and folate can cause anemia (not enough red blood cells)
  • Severe infection – when an infection enters the blood stream and can cause a severe drop of blood pressure called septic shock
  • Certain medications.  Heart medications or high blood pressure medications like diuretics and beta blockers or certain types of antidepressants may cause blood pressure to lower
  • Pregnancy causes a woman’s circulatory system to change rapidly.  This is normal, and blood pressure usually returns after the woman has given birth.
  • Other causes such as dehydration, trauma like major bleeding or severe burns, or allergic reactions

Low blood pressure may be normal for most people, particularly athletes or those with a strong heart and well-developed circulatory system.  If no symptoms are present, low blood pressure is not normally a problem. However, if certain symptoms persist, your blood pressure may be too low.  These symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness/loss of consciousness
  • Loss of concentration
  • Nausea

If you experience any dizziness or lightheartedness and loss of concentration that don’t go away, consult your healthcare professional.

 

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