Hypotension

If high blood pressure is bad, then low blood pressure must be good, right?

Not necessarily. Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure (less than 90/60). Low blood pressure might seem desirable and for some people, such as highly fit athletes, it causes no problems. However, for some, abnormally low blood pressure can cause dizziness, fainting and potential injury from falls. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening. Therefore, it’s important to find the cause of your low blood pressure so that it can be treated.

What’s considered low blood pressure for you may be normal for someone else.

Causes of low blood pressure include heart or endocrine problems, blood loss, severe allergic reaction or infection, pregnancy, dehydration or poor diet. Certain medications may also affect blood pressure.

The most common types of hypotension include orthostatic (postural), a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up from a sitting position or after lying down; postprandial, often appearing in older adults after eating; and neurally mediated, a pressure drop most often occurring in young adults and children after standing for long periods. Once a cause is determined, treatment may range from simple diet changes to the use of compression stockings to medication.

Symptoms may include: 
• Dizziness or lightheadedness
• Fainting (syncope)
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Lack of concentration

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