When should you ask your doctor
about low blood pressure

It’s widely known that high blood pressure is something that warrants medical attention, and rightly so. High blood pressure can cause a great deal of symptoms, many of which are extremely dangerous or life-threatening.

It’s also believed that low blood pressure is something to strive for, which is also true—to an extent. Low blood pressure can be caused by a number of factors, including level of physical activity, pregnancy, illness and medication. It usually goes unnoticed, but individuals may experience symptoms when it drops too quickly or too low. 

What are symptoms of low blood pressure?

While the symptoms of low blood pressure are normally not dangerous in and of themselves, Diabetes Self-Management suggests that they might be a sign that there’s an underlying medical condition. If you are experiencing any of the following regularly, you may have chronic low blood pressure:

  • Weakness, confusion or nausea
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded or faint
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Blurred or unfocused vision
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat or rapid, shallow breathing
If you experience these symptoms often, you should discuss them with your primary care physician. They can guide you on whether you should be concerned, and what the next steps may involve.   

How to manage low blood pressure.

It’s best to seek advice from your primary care physician, who may offer the following advice:

  • Drink alcohol less or not at all
  • Stay hydrated
  • Increase your salt intake
  • Move slow and careful when going from a sitting to a standing posture
In some cases, your physician may also prescribe medication to help manage the condition. 
If you suspect yourself as having high or low blood pressure, it’s a good idea to purchase a home blood pressure monitor. You can use this tool to measure your blood pressure on a regular basis and compare this figure to what it reads when you experience symptoms. You’re blood pressure should fall close to 120/80 on average. Low blood pressure falls below 90/60.

Because low blood pressure may be linked to a heart condition, you may also consider heart and vascular screening at the Heart and Lung Center, especially if you are an older adult. 
Swedish Hospital’s primary care physicians are a diverse team of board-certified obstetricians, pediatricians and family medicine physicians dedicated to building personal relationships with patients while providing exceptional medical care and positive lifestyle choices. To schedule an appointment with a primary care physician, please visit our Find a Doctor page or call 773-878-6888.

The Heart and Lung Center offers comprehensive evaluation and the best-available treatments for heart, vascular and lung diseases, just steps away from a distinguished rehabilitation program centered at the Galter LifeCenter, Chicago’s only certified medical fitness center. Visit our events page to register for a comprehensive heart screening, available on the fourth Thursday of every month from now until May.

If you suffer from high blood pressure and would like to learn more about how to better manage your condition, please visit our previous story on high blood pressure

By David Modica | Published April 13, 2016
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