When Blood Pressure is Too Low
- Posted on: Oct 30 2017
Usually, we celebrate when our blood pressure is a nice, low measurement. The reason that blood pressure is a common test performed on adults of all ages is because numbers that are higher than normal indicate an increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. While the desire for lower blood pressure is not expected to change, there is such a thing as too-low blood pressure. How can we tell when blood pressure is too low? This is a great question!
The Role of Blood Pressure
We get blood pressure from the natural pumping of blood through the heart. This pressure needs to have a certain strength to enable the heart to work properly; meaning, to get oxygenated blood to the organs, brain, and limbs. The systolic number in a blood pressure reading will ideally rest at around 120 mmHg. This number indicates arterial pressure when these vessels are filled with blood due to the heart beating. The diastolic number, or the second or bottom number, should then be around 80 mmHg. This number indicates arterial pressure after a beat when the heart is at rest.
There’s a caveat to these “normal” values: everyone is different. Some people feel fine when their blood pressure reads 90/60, while others, usually older patients, experience symptoms if their blood pressure sits around 115/70. The matter of importance is not necessarily the number itself, but the number in the context of the patients current and past medical health.
When blood pressure is too low for the heart to supply blood to the body, symptoms may arise. These include:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Pale skin that feels cold and clammy
- Lack of concentration
Managing Low Blood Pressure
First and foremost, symptoms related to low blood pressure should be evaluated in the medical office. Schedule a consultation with your doctor for a healthy-heart checkup if you experience any of the listed symptoms. Your doctor may advise you to create a few habits to better manage low blood pressure, including drinking more water throughout the day. Dehydration is a common factor in low readings. Salt intake may also need to increase. If lifestyle habits do not successfully increase blood pressure, medication may then be prescribed to ensure the heart is working sufficiently.
Schedule a Consultation
Do you have questions about your blood pressure or heart health? Premier Cardiology Consultants offers friendly care in three New York cities. Call 516-437-5600 for more information.