Yes, Your Blood Pressure Can Be Too Low. Be Proactive.4 years ago | Proactive Health
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Most Americans are concerned with developing high blood pressure, also called hypertension. And there are legitimate reasons for concern, especially because reportedly 75 million (one in three) American adults have this condition. Hypertension increases our risk of developing heart disease and stroke - two of the leading causes of deaths among Americans.
But the opposite of high blood pressure is low blood pressure - also known as hypotension.
Famous talent show judge and music mogul Simon Cowell had a health scare back in 2017 due to having low blood pressure. According to this NBC news report when the incident occured, Cowell (who is now 59-years-old) suffered a concussion from passing out and falling down a flight of stairs in his home in London.
“[Doctors] think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out,” Cowell said.
“Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock.”
To understand all this, let’s do a brief review regarding the ‘highs and lows’ of blood pressure readings.
“Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood. It is usually described as two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The numbers record blood pressure in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), with systolic listed above diastolic. For most adults, a healthy blood pressure is usually less than 120/80 mm Hg. Low blood pressure is blood pressure that is lower than 90/60 mm Hg,” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
As you probably already know, many cases of high blood pressure may be diet related (as in consuming way too much sodium). Additional risk factors for developing hypertension include too little potassium in the diet (potassium is a mineral that helps balance out sodium levels), being a smoker, being overweight or obese and having chronic kidney disease (CKD).
But what are the causes of low blood pressure?
Well, first it’s important to understand that having relatively low blood pressure may be normal for some people.
A doctor in the NBC report mentioned earlier said that with blood pressure readings it is possible to fall below the lower limit and still be healthy and feel healthy. Basically, the doctor said that with low blood pressure, the number of the reading is pretty much irrelevant unless you experience symptoms. (Both the American Heart Association and NIH back this claim up as well).
Symptoms of low blood pressure.
Having dangerously low blood pressure often goes unnoticed and may be confused with other conditions. Here are some of the possible symptoms:
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
Low blood pressure and the brain.
When blood pressure drops too low, the critical organs in the body are affected because they do not get enough oxygen and nutrients. “When this happens, low blood pressure can lead to shock, which requires immediate medical attention. Signs of shock include cold and sweaty skin, rapid breathing, a blue skin tone, or a weak and rapid pulse. If you notice signs of shock in yourself or someone else, call 9-1-1,” advises the NIH.
And one of the body’s vital organs that may be affected is your brain.
“Your heart loves a low blood pressure; your brain sometimes not so much,” said the doctor from the NBC report.
“The challenge is that you need a certain amount of pressure to get the blood [which carries the oxygen and nutrients] up to your brain.”
This may cause a person to get light headed and fall and hit his or her head, which could result in death (especially if it is an elderly person). Simon Cowell is very lucky that he only suffered a concussion after fainting and falling down a flight of stairs.
So what causes low blood pressure?
Well, there are several potential causes. For example orthostatic hypertension is when blood pressure drops dramatically when a person stands up.
According to Harvard Health, aging, taking certain medications and having certain health conditions may cause your blood pressure to drop.
Oddly enough, some medications used to treat high blood pressure may significantly lower blood pressure.
Here are a few other potential causes of low blood pressure:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Heart problems
- Having a lack of nutrients in your diet (for example, not getting enough vitamin B12 and folate may cause anemia which may cause low blood pressure)
How can you be proactive?
For starters, having a balanced, nutrient-rich diet is a good start to ensuring your blood pressure will remain in the healthy range.
Always be aware of the side effects of the medications you take. Certain health conditions you have as well as your age are all factors that may put you at risk for low blood pressure. As a result, it is important to speak with a competent healthcare professional about the best way to manage this.
If you constantly have low blood pressure and don’t feel your best, it is important to exercise (after consulting with your doctor).
It is also important to stay hydrated. And if you consume more sodium (which most of us don’t need to do), this will help raise your blood pressure. Also be aware that consuming caffeine may raise your blood pressure.
Finally, stay nutritionally balanced by taking routine nutrient tests. These tests will determine if you have any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies which may cause low blood pressure. If you do, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and possibly recommend quality supplements.
The more nutritionally balanced you are, the more likely you will have a healthy blood pressure.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.