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Low Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low?

From Our Mailbag:

"Just read your blog about understanding blood pressure, and I have a question. There seems to be a lot of information out there about people with high blood pressure, but what about too low - how low is too low, and what does it mean? Information about low blood pressure seems to be pretty scarce, and I think it would be a good thing for you to comment on. Mine is usually something around 105/60, but that is
the same as my teenage daughter, so I am hoping it's good. Is this very uncommon?

Stephanie H.
Canada"

***

Generally speaking, low blood pressure is only a problem if it causes dizziness or lightheadedness. I sometimes find that healthy people can have blood pressure that is significantly lower than 120/80.

I advise people to carefully monitor blood pressure lower than 90/60 when certain drugs are involved.

Here is a list of drugs that can cause dangerously low blood pressure and warrant careful observation:

  • Drugs for high blood pressure, including diuretics
  • Drugs for anxiety
  • Some drugs for depression
  • Narcotic pain killers
  • Alcohol
  • Certain heart medications

Also, it's important to note that the following conditions can cause problematic low blood pressure:

  • Dehydration
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Shock (from trauma, infection, stroke, or
    life-threatening allergic reaction)
  • Advanced peripheral vascular disease

So long as none of the drugs and conditions listed above apply to you, I wouldn't consider having blood pressure as low as 90/60 to be a problem.

 
 

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