Causes Of Low Blood Pressure
Throughout the day, your blood pressure can vary by between 30-40 mmHg depending on what you are doing. Having a stressful week at work, the temperature outside, and even what you had for lunch could affect your blood pressure reading.
Each time that you have your blood pressure measured, it is important that the test is carried out under similar conditions to ensure that the results are consistent. If you have a low blood pressure reading, your GP will first consider the everyday causes that might have affected it, before considering the possible underlying causes.
Choosing A Blood Pressure Monitor
If you’re planning to take your blood pressure at home, it’s important to have a reliable blood pressure monitor. The AHA recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep monitor, but there are other options.
When selecting a blood pressure monitor, consider the following:
- Fit: To ensure a proper fit, measure around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes with the correct size cuff.
- Number of people: If more than one person will be using the monitor, make sure to choose one that fits everyone.
- Features: Some blood pressure monitors offer extra tech features, like Bluetooth and app connectivity. If you don’t think you’ll benefit from these extras, go ahead and choose one that is efficient, easy to use, and more affordable.
- Budget: High-quality blood pressure monitors vary dramatically in price, from around $25 to well over $100. Keep in mind that a good monitor is a great investment and that you will be using it daily for several years.
- Other considerations: The AHA notes that when selecting a blood pressure monitor for a senior, pregnant person, or child, you should make sure it is validated for these conditions.
If you need help selecting an at-home device, check out these blood pressure monitors, which were vetted by the Verywell team based on the above criteria.
Average Systolic And Diastolic Blood Pressure
Average SBP/DBP was 115/74 mm Hg in males aged 20 to 79 in 2012-2015 and 112/70 mm Hg in females aged 20 to 79 in the same period . SBP and DBP varied by age group and sex. For both males and females, SBP increased with age, but the difference in SBP between the youngest and oldest age groups was much greater among females than among males . Mean DBP was highest for middle-aged males whereas females mean DBP was fairly stable across all age groups. Neither the crude nor the age-standardized average SBP and DBP values for males and females changed significantly from 2007-2009 to 2012-2015 . In 2012-2015, the prevalence of isolated systolic hypertension was higher among females than among males . Males and females aged 70 to 79 had a higher prevalence of ISH than younger age groups.
Recommended Reading: Blood Pressure Is 120/80
When To Call Your Doctor
The risks of both high and low blood pressure make monitoring your blood pressure at home essential to your overall health and well-being. Both Dr. Wong and Dr. Desai recommend calling your healthcare provider if your self-monitored blood pressure readings are greater than 180/120 mmHgeven if you have no other symptoms.
You should call 911 if these blood pressure readings are associated with symptoms of organ damage, such as headache, vision changes, weakness, numbness, chest pain or shortness of breath, says Dr. Wong.
You May Also Be Interested In Blood Pressure Monitor From Our Featured Partner
iHealth Track Blood Pressure Monitor
What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Of 140/72 Mean
Readings above 140 systolic pressure indicate Stage 1 Hypertension even if your diastolic pressure is between 60 and 79. This is because the worse reading is used when systolic and diastolic pressure fall into different ranges.
Hypertension increases your risk of life-threatening problems such as heart attacks and stroke. Blood pressure in this range may also damage the heart and kidneys, particularly in those who already have chronic medical problems affecting these organs.
Can High Blood Pressure Affect Pregnancy
High blood pressure complicates about 10% of all pregnancies. There are several different types of high blood pressure during pregnancy and they range from mild to serious. The forms of high blood pressure during pregnancy include:
Chronic hypertension: High blood pressure which is present before pregnancy.
Gestational hypertension: High blood pressure in the latter part of pregnancy.
Preeclampsia: This is a dangerous condition that typically develops in the latter half of pregnancy and results in hypertension, protein in the urine and generalized swelling in the pregnant person. It can affect other organs in the body and cause seizures .
Chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia: Pregnant people who have chronic hypertension are at increased risk for developing preeclampsia.
Your provider will check your blood pressure regularly during prenatal appointments, but if you have concerns about your blood pressure, be sure to talk with your provider.
And Whats The Definition Of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts a strain on your heart and blood vessels and makes you more susceptible to heart attacks and strokes.
Normal blood pressure is regarded as being between 120-129 and 80-84 .
The definition of high blood pressure, according to 2018 ESC/ESH Guidelines, is anything above 140/90 mmHg. If you measure it in the comfort of your own home, where youre likely to be more relaxed, the limit is slightly lower at 135/85.
If your blood pressure is between 120/80 and 140/90, you may be at risk of developing hypertension at some stage in the future unless you take action to bring it under control. This is called prehypertension.
A blood pressure reading of over 180/120 is dangerously high. Doctors call this a hypertensive crisis, and it requires immediate treatment.
Systolic blood pressure, the top number, is more important than diastolic blood pressure in people over 40. Thats because its a better predictor of stroke and heart attack. And only one of the two numbers has to be higher than it should be to count as high blood pressure.
All this can be summarised in a blood pressure chart, like this:
To check your blood pressure against the chart, start from your systolic pressure on the left-hand side, and move your finger to the right until you reach your diastolic pressure. The colour will tell you whether you have normal or abnormal blood pressure.
Also Check: New York Cancer Blood Specialists
When Should You Get Help For An Abnormal Blood Pressure Reading
One high or low blood pressure reading by itself may not mean you need to call for help. If you take your blood pressure and it is out of the normal range, wait a few minutes and take it again. If it’s still high or low, use the following guidance.
911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out .
or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your blood pressure is much higher than normal .
- You think high blood pressure is causing symptoms such as:
- Severe headache.
What You Should Know About A Blood Pressure Of 140/82
Requirement for a blood pressure Hypertension Stage 1 is a value of 140-159 over 90-99.
Doctors consider a person with a 140/82 blood pressure as hypertensive. A case of hypertension could be primary or secondary. A primary case of hypertension can be from a persons diet or obesity. Hypertension may develop from a high sodium intake, as well.
A secondary case of hypertension may come from a reaction to a medication. Secondary hypertension can develop because of a heart, liver or kidney disease, as well. Diabetes may play a role in the development of stage 1 hypertension. Doctors will want to control or reduce a patients hypertension before it becomes a case of stage 2 hypertension or a hypertensive crisis. Medical specialists may use a variety of methods to treat a person with stage 1 hypertension.
Hypertension Stage 1 can cause damage to a persons kidneys, liver and heart if he or she does not receive treatment for it. Therefore, a physician will most likely implement a dietary plan for a person with stage 1 hypertension. He or she may also prescribe pharmaceutical drugs such as thiazide, lisinopril, nadolol or diltiazem. A person who is over the age of 20 should receive a blood pressure reading a least once every two years to check for high blood pressure. Quick action is the best defense against the condition.
Also Check: Symptoms Of Low White Cell Blood Count
What Can Help Bring Down Blood Pressure Quickly
There are several lifestyle and diet changes you can make today that can immediately help lower your blood pressure, including:
- Add potassium-rich foods, like leafy greens and bananas. These naturally lower the pressure within the body and help you excrete sodium.
- Learn to effectively manage stress with meditation, yoga, hobbies, recreational therapy, exposure to green and blue space, and so forth.
- Pick up dark chocolate, which has flavonoids that relax blood vessels.
- Cayenne pepper is a natural vasodilator and very effective at lowering blood pressure immediately.
- Fish oil, garlic, and hibiscus tea are natural supplements with an extensive history in lowering blood pressure.
What To Do If Your Blood Pressure Reading Is 140/82
A blood pressure reading of 140/82 can be cause for concern. The first step is to take another reading to confirm your blood pressure.
As an aside, home blood pressure monitors are amazingly affordable and great way to stay on top of your blood pressure. So invest in your health and check out .
Elevated blood pressure should be confirmed on at least 3 separate days before diagnosing hypertension.
Already diagnosed with hypertension? If so a blood pressure in this range may indicate the need to adjust your blood pressure medications.
Once you have been assessed by a medical professional there are a number of ways you can address a blood pressure reading of 140/82.
You May Like: Blood Test For Cancer Screening
What Can I Do To Lower My Blood Pressure
There are things we can all do to help control blood pressure. These lifestyle modifications are changes you can make in your daily life.
- Follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products with reduced saturated and total fat.
- Increase your physical activity. Add 90 to 150 minutes each week of aerobic exercise. Also, include three days of strength training each week. Not only can this help reduce or control your blood pressure, but it can also help with weight management. In overweight individuals, a weight loss of even five to 10 percent has been shown to reduce blood pressure.
- Limit your alcohol. It is recommended that men have no more than two drinks per day and women have no more than one to help control blood pressure.
- Manage your stress. Because stress can have a major impact on our bodies, it is important to have an effective coping technique. There are many techniques for relaxation.
- If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can have a huge impact on your health.
These are some of the most proactive ways one can support a normal blood pressure and an overall healthy life. But sometimes, even a healthy lifestyle is not enough to maintain a safe blood pressure. When lifestyle modifications do not lower blood pressure to better levels, medication can be prescribed.
About the Author:
Blood Pressure Monitor Vs Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure monitor and blood pressure cuff are two phrases often used to describe the same blood pressure measurement tool. The blood pressure cuff is the element that wraps around either the upper arm, wrist or finger to measure blood pressure. The blood pressure monitor is the element in charge of inflating and deflating the cuff, as well as providing your blood pressure reading on an easy-to-read display.
Most experts recommend using a blood pressure monitor with an upper arm blood pressure cuff for at-home readings because they tend to be more accurate than wrist cuffs and finger cuffs.
You May Like: Average Blood Loss During Period
Risks Of High Blood Pressure
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as:
- have a relative with high blood pressure
- are of black African or black Caribbean descent
- live in a deprived area
Making healthy lifestyle changes can sometimes help reduce your chances of getting high blood pressure and help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high.
What Can I Expect If I Have This Condition
Since high blood pressure doesnt cause many symptoms at first, you probably wont feel any different with a high blood pressure diagnosis. But its important to follow your providers instructions to bring your blood pressure down so it doesnt cause serious illnesses later in life.
How long does high blood pressure last?
If you have primary high blood pressure, youll need to control it for the rest of your life.
If you have secondary high blood pressure, your blood pressure will most likely come down after you receive treatment for the medical problem that caused it. If a medication caused your high blood pressure, switching to a different medicine may lower your blood pressure.
What is the outlook for high blood pressure?
You can get seriously ill if you dont treat your high blood pressure. However, if you take the medicines your provider ordered, you can control your blood pressure. Exercising and eating healthy foods also helps lower your blood pressure.
Recommended Reading: Can Blood Pressure Medicine Cause Erectile Dysfunction
The Name Of The Game: Prevention
So if rising blood pressure and aging don’t — or shouldn’t — go hand in hand, what should the millions of us who now have prehypertension do about it? The good news: we shouldn’t be looking for a new pill. “Unless you have diabetes or kidney disease, people with prehypertension don’t need to be on medication,” says Sheps.
That’s also the bad news. Preventing high blood pressure means lifestyle changes, which is usually harder than popping a pill. Number one on the blood pressure reduction hit parade: preventing or treating obesity. As our pants sizes get smaller, so do our blood pressure numbers. Of course, the opposite is true as well. With our nation on a supersizing binge and a growing percentage of adults and children becoming overweight or obese, it’s no surprise that rates of high blood pressure have skyrocketed as well.
What Does It Mean If You Fall Into The New Guidelines
With these new guidelines, it is estimated that about 14 percent of people will now be classified as having hypertension many of those individuals may be younger. However, only a small percentage will require intervention by medication. Individuals who now fall into a hypertensive category will receive more aggressive prevention interventions, like lifestyle changes.
Read Also: Facts About Red Blood Cells
Heart Rate Vs Blood Pressure
Blood pressure measures the force that moves blood through your blood vessels while your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. They are both important health indicators, but they are measured independently and dont necessarily increase or decrease synchronously.
A temporary increase in heart rate, such as during exercise, is not considered problematic. In fact, your heart is expected to rise during a bout of activity and return to its resting rate afterward. And the more intense you work, the more you should expect your heart rate to rise during exercise. Your heart rate can safely double during activity so long as it returns to its resting rate relatively soon after you finish your workout.
Significant increases in blood pressure, on the other hand, are not normal and should be monitored and shared with your health care provider.
Normal Blood Pressure By Age Race And Gender
Previously, guidance for normal blood pressure for adults varied by gender and specific age, but new data states normal blood pressure for adults as a collective is less than 120/80 mmHgHigh Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 7/16/2021. .
When it comes to race and ethnicity, Dr. Desai says certain groups have a higher rate of hypertension. Non-Hispanic Black people have a significantly higher rate of hypertension compared to non-Hispanic white people, and Hispanics and non-Hispanic Asians have lower rates than the first two, he says.
The reason for this variance can range from substandard insurance coverage and poor access to healthcare to gaps in the use of medications to treat multiple conditions with reduced compliance in certain groups, he adds.
As for gender, theres increasing evidence for risk of cardiovascular disease in women with blood pressures lower than what is considered normal, says Jennifer Wong, M.D., medical director of non-invasive cardiology at MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.
Also Check: Blood Clots In Teeth Gums
Your Blood Pressure Is Borderline High What Should You Do About It
Perhaps this has happened to you: You go to the doctor, for a checkup or a sprained ankle, and find that your blood pressure is high.
Not really high, not hypertension high, but borderline high. Say 130 over 85. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or below, and hypertension is defined as 140/90 or higher.
Should you be worried? Is there something you can do now to ward off a later diagnosis of hypertension?
Hypertension increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, as well as for kidney disease and vision loss. And hypertension is very common: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one of every three American adults has the condition.
But the cardiovascular risks dont suddenly begin at the magic number of 140/90. Its important to realize that theres a continuum of risk, says Elliott Antman, president of the American Heart Association and a cardiologist at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk.
The label prehypertension became official when clinical practice guidelines were updated in 2003. Since then, researchers have continued to find significant risks associated with borderline high blood pressure. A 2013 review of studies encompassing more than a million people found that those with prehypertension had a 28 percent increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 41 percent increased risk of dying from stroke compared with people who had normal blood pressure.