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Low Blood Pressure: How Low Is Too Low?

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

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

The only circumstances in which I advise people to carefully monitor blood pressure
lower than 90/60 are 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 (yes, it's a drug)
Certain heart medications

I'm not suggesting that the drugs listed above must be avoided in all cases. Only that if you choose to take any of them, that you and your doctor carefully monitor your blood pressure.

Finally, it is important to note that the following conditions can also 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, then I wouldn't consider having blood pressure as low as 90/60 to be a problem.

For those of you who missed my article on blood pressure a couple of months ago, you can read it here: Understanding Blood Pressure.

 
 

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