Low blood pressure

A doctor uses a stethoscope and blood pressure monitor to take a woman

Having low blood pressure doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem, but it could be the result of another illness or condition.

 

 

What is low blood pressure (hypotension)?

Low blood pressure, medically known as hypotension, is when your blood pressure is below 90/60mmHg. This does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. In fact, people with low blood pressure tend to live longer than those with high, or even normal, blood pressure. 

How is blood pressure measured?

When you have your blood pressure measured, your blood pressure reading is written as two numbers. The first is when the pressure is at its highest (or systolic pressure), and the second at its lowest (or diastolic pressure). 

Systolic pressure: This is the highest level of your blood pressure – when your heart beats and contracts to pump blood through your arteries.

Diastolic pressure: This is the lowest level of your blood pressure – when your heart relaxes between beats.

Low Blood Pressure

  • Systolic: lower than 90 mmHg
  • Diastolic: lower than 60 mmHg

What are the signs and symptoms of low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure is sometimes found during a routine check-up. Most people with low blood pressure don’t have any noticeable symptoms. However, it can cause dizziness or even fainting. 

What causes low blood pressure?

Sometimes low blood pressure can be the result of another illness or condition. So, if you are having symptoms such as dizziness or fainting, it is important that you see your doctor.

If your blood pressure is unusually low, your doctor should check to make sure there is not a medical cause. Low blood pressure can sometimes be a side effect of medicines taken for high blood pressure, heart disease or depression. If this happens to you, your doctor may need to adjust the dose of the medicines you are taking, or give you a different medicine. Low blood pressure can also be caused by some over-the-counter and herbal medicines.

Want to find out more?