What is Low Blood Pressure?
Low blood pressure is a physiological condition wherein the force of blood flowing within the arteries is low. Also called hypotension, low blood pressure is the direct opposite of hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Low blood pressure can be detected by a simple blood pressure reading. In a blood pressure reading, a person’s blood pressure is indicated with a figure similar to a fraction. This represents systolic/diastolic numbers, indicating the pressure on the arteries as the heart contracts and expands. A reading which has a lower than 90 mm of mercury systolic BP or 60 mm mercury diastolic BP means that the individual being tested has low blood pressure.
A healthy blood pressure delivers oxygen and nutrients to vital organs in our bodies including the heart, brain and kidneys. Having a low blood pressure impedes the delivery of such nutrients to the organs, causing it to decline, which can eventually lead to a life threatening condition called shock.
Low blood pressure is not a disease but rather can be caused by a disease or other factors such as excessive bleeding. Symptoms include dizziness, fainting, fatigue, confusion, paleness of skin, and blurred vision. Some of the more common causes of low blood pressure are pregnancy, cardiovascular conditions, endocrine problems, blood loss, dehydration, blood infection and inadequate nutrients.
Some forms of low blood pressure are mild enough that they can be corrected by certain changes in one’s lifestyle. However, some are serious and can lead to heart and brain damage, or organ failure if left untreated.