Blood pressure: How low is too low?

LAST UPDATED: 31 Dec, 2012 @ 07:54
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Blood pressure: How low is too low?

HIGH blood pressure (hypertension) is pretty easy to define: Anything above 120/80 is abnormal.

But low blood pressure is not so simple as there is no absolute number below which blood pressure is considered abnormally low.

To help you understand low blood pressure, it’s useful to think of the arteries and veins as a system of pipes that carry blood around the body.

The heart is the pump that keeps the fluid moving.

As long as there is enough pressure in the pipes to get the blood to where it is going, the plumbing system is doing its job and there is nothing to worry about.

Low blood pressure is only a problem when there isn’t sufficient pressure to get enough blood around the body.

The brain often temporarily loses some of its blood supply when we first stand up and gravity pulls everything (including our blood supply) down.

That dizzy or lightheaded sensation is your brain’s reaction to low blood pressure.

Fortunately, these symptoms usually pass in a few seconds as our bodies quickly respond with a faster heart rate and increased blood pressure.

But if your blood pressure is too low, it may take more than 10-15 seconds to recover after standing up.

More severe low blood pressure can cause dizziness or lightheadedness even when you’re not standing up.

And very low blood pressure can sometimes cause complete loss of consciousness because the brain isn’t getting enough blood.

If your blood pressure is very low but not causing any symptoms, then there’s nothing to worry about.

The treatment for low blood pressure is usually pretty simple – eating more salt and drinking more fluid works for most people.

Some patients need to take salt tablets, or occasionally prescription medicine, to raise their blood pressure.

If you frequently feel lightheaded and dizzy, you should see your doctor.

For more information visit www.simplecarehealthplan.com

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