Why Is My Blood Pressure Low?

Reviewed on 7/1/2021

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is usually not a problem as long as a person has no troublesome symptoms. Causes of low blood pressure include prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, decreases in blood volume from major trauma, heart problems, certain medications, endocrine problems, severe infection (septic shock), severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), and others.
Low blood pressure (hypotension) is usually not a problem as long as a person has no troublesome symptoms. Causes of low blood pressure include prolonged bed rest, pregnancy, decreases in blood volume from major trauma, heart problems, certain medications, endocrine problems, severe infection (septic shock), severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), and others.

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is a condition in which the force of blood pumping through the arteries is lower than normal.

However, there is no specific measurement at which blood pressure is considered too low, and it is generally not a reason for concern as long as a person has no troublesome symptoms.

For some people, a low blood pressure is normal, and for the most part, the lower the blood pressure reading, the better. 

Blood pressure is expressed in two numbers: 

  • Systolic blood pressure (the first/top number): measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart beats
  • Diastolic blood pressure (the second/bottom number): measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart is at rest between beats

Low, normal, elevated, and high blood pressure is usually defined in the following ranges: 

Reasons a person’s blood pressure might be low include: 

What Are Symptoms of Low Blood Pressure?

Chronically low blood pressure is usually only considered a medical concern if it causes noticeable symptoms such as:

Extremely low blood pressure prevents the body’s vital organs from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need. If this occurs, low blood pressure can lead to shock, which is a medical emergency. Call 911 and get to a hospital’s emergency department (do not drive yourself) if you notice signs of shock including: 

  • Cold and sweaty skin
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Blue skin tone
  • Weak and rapid pulse

What Is the Treatment for Low Blood Pressure?

Low blood pressure may not require treatment if it causes no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, treatment depends on the specific signs and symptoms, and may include:

  • Drinking more fluids
  • Medication to raise blood pressure
  • Adjusting medicines that cause low blood pressure (never change the dose or regimen of a prescribed medication without first talking to your doctor)
  • Lifestyle changes 
  • Changing what and how you eat 
  • Changing how you sit and stand up
  • Compression stockings 

SLIDESHOW

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension): Symptoms, Signs, Causes See Slideshow

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Reviewed on 7/1/2021
References
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/the-facts-about-high-blood-pressure/low-blood-pressure-when-blood-pressure-is-too-low

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/low-blood-pressure