What Is Considered Low Blood Pressure?

When thinking about blood pressure problems, most people think of high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, eye damage, stroke, and kidney disease. But what is considered low blood pressure and what problems can it cause?

Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is often diagnosed when a person has signs of low blood pressure and not necessary if their blood pressure measurement is low. One person may have low blood pressure problems if the blood pressure is 100/50. Someone else may have a lower blood pressure, yet not have any signs or symptoms of low blood pressure.

Low blood pressure can be a sign of a medical problem such as a bleeding ulcer or other internal bleeding. The loss of blood can reduces the amount of blood being pumped in the circulatory system and therefore reduces blood pressure.

Blood loss does not always show as low blood pressure. Often, the body compensates for internal bleeding by constricting blood vessels and increasing the heart rate. Medications and dehydration can also cause low blood pressure. The physician may order diagnostic tests such as blood tests and an electrocardiogram (EKG) to determine the cause of the low blood pressure.

If the low blood pressure is not causing physical problems, it is often seen as beneficial. People with low blood pressure have a lower risk of the conditions associated with high blood pressure such as stroke and cardiovascular disease. Low blood pressure can become problematic.

If the person’s blood pressure is too low, the organs of the body may not receive the blood and oxygen that they need to function properly. Low blood pressure causes dizziness and fainting especially when the person stands from being seated.

If the low blood pressure is inhibiting the blood supply to the heart, the person may develop chest pain or heart attack. The kidneys may not receive sufficient blood flow to eliminate waste effectively. If the person continues to have low blood pressure that inhibits blood flow to the organs, the person may develop shock. Major organs of the body like the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs decline in functioning and may rapidly stop functioning when someone goes into shock.

The cause of the low blood pressure needs to be identified in order for the doctor to know how to treat the condition. If the low blood pressure is not causing any health problems, the doctor may opt not to treat it.


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