You've probably heard that high blood pressure is a problem. Sometimes blood pressure that is too low can also cause problems.
Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure. Your blood pressure reading uses these two numbers. Usually they're written one above or before the other, such as 120/80. If your blood pressure reading is 90/60 or lower, you have low blood pressure.
Some people have low blood pressure all the time. They have no symptoms and their low readings are normal for them. In other people, blood pressure drops below normal because of a medical condition or certain medicines. Some people may have symptoms of low blood pressure when standing up too quickly. Low blood pressure is a problem only if it causes dizziness, fainting or in extreme cases, shock.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- How Is Hypotension Treated? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- What Causes Hypotension? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Multiple System Atrophy with Orthostatic Hypotension (Shy-Drager Syndrome) (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Orthostatic Hypotension (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Orthostatic Hypotension (Postural Hypotension) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Types of Hypotension (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Orthostatic Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure) and Parkinson's Disease (Parkinson's Disease Foundation)
- Syncope (Fainting) (American Heart Association)
- Syncope (Fainting) (Beyond the Basics) (UpToDate)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Understanding traumatic shock: out-of-hospital hypotension with and without other physiologic...
- Article: Lower incidence of hypotension following spinal anesthesia with 6% hydroxyethyl...
- Article: Primary fluid bolus therapy for infection-associated hypotension in the emergency...
- Low Blood Pressure -- see more articles
- Fainting (Syncope) (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)