A normal blood pressure reading is about 120/80 mm Hg. A blood pressure reading comprises two parts:
Systolic Pressure: This is the amount of pressure generated by the heart within the arteries while pumping blood to the rest of the body. It is indicated by the first number in a blood pressure reading.
Diastolic Pressure: This is the amount of pressure within the arteries when the heart is at rest between beats. It is indicated by the second number in a blood pressure reading.
When one gets a blood pressure reading lower than 90 systolic or 60 diastolic, it is considered to be a low blood pressure. Even if any one of the number is below the normal value, the blood pressure is considered lower than normal. The blood pressure tends to vary from person to person. A low pressure for one person can be normal for another. For example, athletes, non smokers, or people who follow a healthy diet tend to have a lower blood pressure than the others.
When these people show none of the hypotension symptoms, their blood pressure is considered normal. A chronically low blood pressure is considered too low, only if it causes noticeable symptoms that are indicative of many serious health concerns. The conditions that lead to below-normal BP include endocrine disorders, neurological disorders, serious heart diseases, etc. If the condition is not treated in time, it leads to many life-threatening situations as the body goes into shock.
When is Your Blood Pressure Too Low
Following are the conditions that might lead to a sudden drop in the blood pressure.
- A person lying down on bed for a long time and then taking an upright posture leading to postural hypotension
- A woman with low blood pressure in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy
- An injury or accident that leads to loss of excess blood
- A person who is on medication that helps lower high blood pressure or medications for treatment of heart diseases, Parkinson's disease, antidepressants, or erectile dysfunction
- A patient affected by endocrine problems like Addison's disease, low blood sugar, diabetes, parathyroid disease, hypothyroidism, etc.
- Severe septicemia
- Vitamin B12 deficiency as well as folic acid deficiency
- Low blood pressure after eating; known as post-parandial hypotension
People who experience a low BP regularly should watch out for the following symptoms that call for immediate medical attention:
- Excessive thirst
- Sudden depression
- Shallow breath
- Cold clammy skin that looks pale
- Blurred vision
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
The effects of extremely low blood pressure include shock, coma, and even death. Therefore, you should monitor your blood pressure regularly. In case there is a sudden dip in blood pressure, lie down immediately and keep your legs at an elevated surface so that your feet are above your heart's level. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid standing for a longer period of time. Thus, make sure you alter your diet and follow all the instructions by your doctor.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.