What is a Dangerously Low Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force that blood circulating throughout your body places on the walls of your many blood vessels comprising of your circulatory system. The vast majority of this pressure comes from your heart working tirelessly to pump blood through your entire circulatory system. Blood pressure essentially is the amount of pressure that is present in your large arteries during regular circulation. When your heart contracts and manipulates your blood through your arteries, your body’s blood pressure naturally goes up. When your heart releases this squeeze and relaxes, your body’s blood pressure will go down.

Your blood pressure is significant to your health because when your body is experiencing high blood pressure, you are at risk for further health conditions down the road in the future due to extra strain being placed on your heart muscle and arteries. However, when your blood pressure is too low, you may have a whole new set of problems going on.

Blood Pressure Reading

When your blood pressure is taken, you get two numbers. The first number, which should be higher than the second number, is known as the systolic pressure. This is the measurement of the pressure in your arteries when they are filling with blood as a result of the heart contracting. The second number represents the diastolic pressure, which is the pressure present in your arteries when the heart is at rest.

For more information on reading your blood pressure, visit here.

Low Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure is typically around 20/80 mm Hg (meaning a measuring unit of pressure that is the same as the pressure applied by a column of mercury that is 1 millimeter high at 0° Celsius.) However, there is a limit to when low blood pressure can become dangerous. We are used to hearing that low blood pressure is a good thing, and usually it is.

Blood pressure that becomes lower than 90/60 mm Hg falls under the category of being too low. A reading this low brings on issues.

Postural hypotension

Postural hypotension is also known as orthostatic hypotension and is usually noticed when you are standing up. This occurs when your blood pressure gets lower when your body changes from a lying down position to sitting upright, or, more commonly, from sitting down to standing up on your feet. When your body experiences this sudden drop in blood pressure, less blood is able to get out to your essential organs and muscles. If you frequently have symptoms of dizziness, fainting, blurry vision and weakness when you stand up, it is important to seek medical attention.

Neurally Mediated Hypotension

Neurally mediated hypotension is also called the fainting reflex and typically comes about when an abnormal reflex occurs between the brain and the heart. After exercising, after standing, or after a stressful event takes place is usually when this condition occurs in those that are susceptible to this condition.

Causes

Essentially, anyone can develop a blood pressure that happens to be too low. There are many factors that come into play but some of the factors that lead to this are dehydration, age and blood loss are seemingly the main game players.

When your body is dehydrated, your blood volume can be decreased. Blood volume is the quantity of liquid content that is circulating throughout your vessels and circulatory system. Having a normal blood volume is essential and very important for your blood to be able to sufficiently stretch out to all of the organs, muscles, and tissues in your body. If your organs are not receiving the oxygen they need from your blood, your body can even go into shock.

The older your body gets, the more likely that you may have problems with blood pressure. Blood flow tends to slow down as your body ages and this results in a possibility of hypotension.

Lastly, when one loses a lot of blood due to donation or injury, your blood volume tends to go down, just like the effects dehydration has on your body. After having blood drawn or getting wounded, it is important to take it easy and slow and to replenish your body’s fluids to avoid symptoms of hypotension. Be alert and in tune with your body.

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