A blood pressure reading lower than 90 mmHg over 60 mmHg is considered to be low blood pressure.
Blood pressure can be measured using millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
Low blood pressure or hypotension is most regularly defined as any reading lower than 90 mmHg over 60 mmHg.
However, most doctors will only describe low blood pressure as a problem if a person has the symptoms of low blood pressure.
Low blood is not a concern if there are no symptoms present. However, when low blood pressure causes symptoms it can be a sign that not enough blood is getting to the organs.
If this happens for too long, it can cause serious consequences, including:
Most people with low blood pressure do not need medications or other medical interventions to raise blood pressure. There are plenty of natural ways and lifestyle changes to raise low blood pressure, including the following lifestyle changes.
1. Eat more salt
Contrary to popular advice, low-sodium diets are not good for everyone with blood pressure problems.
People with low blood pressure should consider increasing their sodium intake moderately to help raise blood pressure.
2. Avoid alcoholic beverages
Alcohol can lower blood pressure further, so people with low blood pressure should avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
3. Discuss medications with a doctor
Low blood pressure can be a side effect of a variety of medications.
If symptoms of low blood pressure begin after starting a medication, a person should discuss the symptoms with their doctor.
4. Cross legs while sitting
Crossing the legs while sitting has been shown to increase blood pressure. For people with high blood pressure, this can be a problem.
For people with low blood pressure symptoms, crossed legs may help increase blood pressure with minimal effort.
5. Drink water
Drinking more water can help increase blood volume, which can aleviate one of the potential causes of low blood pressure. It can also help avoid dehydration.
6. Eat small meals frequently
Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day may help with low blood pressure.
This is because the smaller meals help prevent a drop in a blood pressure associated with eating larger, heavier meals.
7. Wear compression stockings
Compression stockings help reduce the amount of blood that gets caught in the lower legs and feet, so shifting it elsewhere.
Compression stockings are also used to help relieve pressure and pain associated with varicose veins.
8. Avoid sudden position changes
Sitting up or standing up rapidly can cause a feeling of lightheadedness, dizziness, or potential fainting in people with low blood pressure.
In these cases, the heart has not pumped enough blood through the body quickly enough to account for the sudden change in position or elevation.
9. Be aware of symptoms
Low blood pressure is only considered a problem if symptoms exist. If there are no symptoms present, low blood pressure should be taken as a sign of good health.
It is important for a person to know the symptoms and what to look out for if their low blood pressure starts to cause problems.
There are a number of potential causes of low blood pressure. In some cases, the underlying condition will need to be treated to correct low blood pressure.
Some of the most common causes include:
- nutritional deficiencies
- prolonged bed rest
- severe infections
- allergic reactions
- fall in blood volume
- heart issues
However, low blood pressure can also be an indicator of good health if a person is not experiencing any symptoms.
Some people with low blood pressure have no symptoms. In these people, low blood pressure is generally not dangerous or concerning.
However, even showing one or two symptoms may signal a problem. Low blood pressure can cause the following:
- inability to concentrate
- blurred or distorted vision
Some people may have symptoms of low blood pressure only when standing. This is known as orthostatic hypotension. Usually, this is not dangerous unless positional changes cause a person’s blood pressure to drop rapidly, which may lead to fainting.
In more extreme cases, low blood pressure may lead to shock. Shock is a serious medical emergency caused by reduced blood flow throughout the body. It can damage the organs at a cellular level.
The symptoms of shock include the following:
- rapid or shallow breathing
- clammy skin
- confusion or disorientation
- rapid heartbeat
- weak pulse
A person experiencing symptoms of shock needs urgent medical attention.
Doctors typically agree that low blood pressure is only an issue if symptoms exist.
A person with low blood pressure should be aware of possible symptoms and what medications may cause a further drop in their blood pressure when they start taking them.
Experiencing any of the symptoms of low blood pressure may also indicate an underlying condition that may need to be addressed.
Anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of shock needs to seek immediate medical attention, as shock is a life-threatening medical emergency.
People who do not respond well to natural solutions may want to ask their doctor about medications that help raise blood pressure levels.
A person may also want to consider:
- not lifting heavy objects
- not standing in one place for a long time
- raising the head of their bed
- avoiding prolonged exposure to hot water
- drinking more fluids when exercising or on hot days
Unlike high blood pressure, which is associated with many potential health problems, low blood pressure is often considered a marker of good health.
A person should be aware of signs and symptoms of low blood pressure and talk to a doctor if low blood pressure is causing problems for them.