Symptomatic low blood pressure in the elderly can be very dangerous because it raises the risk of a fall. At its most extreme, it can lead to shock and even death. This article explains the basic facts about blood pressure, including how it’s measured and what the measurements mean.
Underlying causes of low blood pressure Decreases in blood volume: A decrease in blood volume can also cause blood pressure to drop. A significant loss of blood from major trauma, dehydration or severe internal bleeding reduces blood volume, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure for adults is generally in the range of 90 / 50 to 120/ 90 mm Hg . Hypotension is an abnormally low blood pressure , usually below 90 / 50 mm Hg. In severe or prolonged cases, it can be a serious medical condition.
Low blood pressure alone does not mean that death is imminent. Therefore, it is difficult to give an exact low blood pressure death range. The patient’s hospice care team will be assessing all of the patient’s symptoms in their totality, including how the patient is breathing and whether they have become unresponsive.
Treatment Use more salt. Experts usually recommend limiting salt in your diet because sodium can raise blood pressure , sometimes dramatically. Drink more water. Fluids increase blood volume and help prevent dehydration, both of which are important in treating hypotension . Wear compression stockings. Medications.
Current guidelines identify normal blood pressure as lower than 120/80 mm Hg . Types of low blood pressure Low blood pressure on standing up (orthostatic or postural) hypotension). Low blood pressure after eating (postprandial hypotension). Low blood pressure from faulty brain signals (neurally mediated hypotension).
Low blood pressure is defined by a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or lower , but a reading this low isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. It becomes a concern if you start to exhibit symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath, or fainting; if this happens, you should seek medical attention.
Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body’s organs can cause strokes, heart attacks , and kidney failure. The most severe form is shock. Common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood , heart disease , and medications.
Dealing with dips Focus on fluids. Drink water throughout the day; don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Shake some salt. If you don’t have high blood pressure , try eating more salty foods or drinking tomato juice or sports drinks. Support your legs or lower belly. Get a leg up.
In most people, blood pressure isn’t too low until it causes symptoms such as lightheadedness or fainting. However, 70 / 40 is a rather low reading, and could definitely cause the need to sit down or feel a little lightheaded.
And particularly when you’re human, you are more likely to die in the late morning — around 11 a.m. , specifically — than at any other time during the day.
Having a lower blood pressure is good in most cases (less than 120/80). But low blood pressure can sometimes make you feel tired or dizzy. In those cases, hypotension can be a sign of an underlying condition that should be treated.
As a general guide, the ideal blood pressure for a young, healthy adult is between 90 / 60 and 120/80. If you have a reading of 140/ 90 , or more, you have high blood pressure ( hypertension ). This puts you at greater risk of serious health conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks.