Low blood pressure can be defined as blood pressure below the normal blood pressure range. Most of the time it is benign but at times it can be fatal if ignored.
Low blood pressure readings can differ from person to person.
Quite a few people suffer from low blood pressure, but they need not worry unless they experience certain health symptoms like dizziness and fainting. In such cases, they should seek medical advice.
What is blood pressure?
Blood Pressure is the pressure exerted on the inner walls of the arteries by the blood during its flow. It varies during the contraction and relaxation of the heart, and accordingly it is called systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. The normal blood pressure readings for systolic and diastolic are defined and when the blood pressure falls below the normal levels, it is called low blood pressure.
What is systolic and diastolic blood pressure range?
The pressure of blood exerted at the time of contraction of the heart (systolic pressure) is higher than the pressure exerted during the relaxation of the heart (diastolic pressure).
The normal healthy systolic blood pressure range is 120 to 140 mm of Hg and the normal diastolic pressure range is 60 to 90 mm Hg. The blood pressure is thus mentioned as 120/80 mm of hg and simply means that the systolic pressure is 120 and the diastolic pressure is 80 mm hg. The lower the blood pressure within the normal range, the better it is.
‘ Hg ‘ is the chemical abbreviation for mercury and a mercury column is used in the glass tube of the conventional blood pressure measuring instrument called the sphygmomanometer.
There are other types of instruments also available for measuring blood pressure such as the dial instrument or the digital instrument.
What is Low Blood Pressure Range?
Blood Pressure readings below 90/60 mm hg are considered to be low. To be defined as a low blood pressure patient, you need to have only one of the readings to be below the normal range.
Most of the times there are no effects on the body and no symptoms present themselves. In such cases, even though the low blood pressure is detected, the physician does not advocate any treatment.
However, lower blood pressure can give rise to problems and this warrants immediate medical intervention. Certain symptoms and complications arise and are not to be neglected. Medical help is to be sought.
Low blood Pressure results in less flow of blood to the various organs in the body like the brain, the heart, the liver, the kidneys etc. This reduced blood supply and the resulting deficient oxygen supply cause the organs to function less than they should, and symptoms and signs pertaining to those organs are manifested. For example, less blood flow to the brain tissue will result in the patient feeling dizzy or he may even faint. These signs and symptoms are discussed under the relevant title.
This reduced blood supply and the resulting deficient oxygen supply cause the organs to function less than they should, and symptoms and signs pertaining to those organs are manifested. For example, less blood flow to the brain tissue will result in the patient feeling dizzy or he may even faint. These signs and symptoms are discussed under the relevant title.
For example, less blood flow to the brain tissue will result in the patient feeling dizzy or he may even faint. These signs and symptoms are discussed under the relevant title.
What is postural or orthostatic hypotension?
The American Family Physician defines postural hypotension as follows:
“Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 20 mm Hg or a decrease in diastolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg within three minutes of standing when compared with blood pressure from the sitting or supine position.”
What is postprandial hypotension?
Again AAFP defines postprandial hypotension as follows:
“In postprandial hypotension, there is a decrease in systolic blood pressure of at least 20 mm Hg within 75 minutes of a meal.”