Low Blood Pressure: Why It Matters And How To Treat It

Published by Health Professional

on Thursday, April 6th 2023


  • Heart Diseases
  • Trending Health Topics
  • Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is a condition that occurs when the force of blood flowing through your arteries is lower than normal. In most cases, low blood pressure is not a cause for concern. However, it can lead to serious health problems if it is severe. 

    This article will discuss why low blood pressure matters, its causes, its symptoms, and how it can be treated.

    What is low blood pressure?

    Low blood pressure is a medical condition that occurs when your blood pressure is lower than normal. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood throughout your body.

    Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is represented by systolic and diastolic numbers. Systolic pressure is the top number and represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. Diastolic pressure is the bottom number and represents the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.

    A blood pressure reading of 90/60 mmHg or lower is considered low and can cause concern if symptoms accompany it.

    Why does low blood pressure matter?

    Low blood pressure can lead to a lack of blood flow to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. When these organs don’t get enough blood, they may not function properly, leading to serious health problems.

    If your blood pressure drops suddenly, it can cause dizziness, fainting, or shock. This can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

    Causes of low blood pressure

    There are many possible causes of low blood pressure. Some of the most common include:


    When you become dehydrated, your body loses fluids and electrolytes, which can lead to a drop in blood pressure.

    Blood loss

    Your blood pressure may drop if you experience significant blood loss due to an injury or surgery.


    Low blood pressure is common during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes.

    Heart problems

    Heart problems like bradycardia (a slow heart rate) or heart valve problems can cause low blood pressure.


    Certain medications, such as diuretics, alpha-blockers, and beta-blockers, can cause low blood pressure.

    Symptoms of low blood pressure

    The symptoms of low blood pressure can vary depending on the severity and cause of the condition. Some common symptoms include:

    • Dizziness or lightheadedness
    • Fainting or feeling faint
    • Blurred vision
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Rapid or shallow breathing

    Diagnosing low blood pressure

    Low blood pressure is typically diagnosed through a physical exam and blood pressure measurement. Your doctor may also perform additional tests to determine the underlying cause of your low blood pressure.

    How to treat low blood pressure

    The treatment for low blood pressure depends on the condition’s underlying cause. Some common treatments include:

    Increasing salt intake

    Eating foods high in salt or adding salt to your diet can help increase blood pressure. However, it is important not to consume too much salt, which can lead to other health problems.

    Drink more water

    Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, so increasing your fluid intake can help raise your blood pressure. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

    Wear compression stockings

    Compression stockings can help improve blood flow and prevent blood from pooling in your legs, which can help raise your blood pressure.


    If an underlying medical condition causes your low blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to help raise your blood pressure.

    Lifestyle changes

    Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can help improve your overall health and may help raise your blood pressure.

    When to see a doctor

    If you are experiencing symptoms of low blood pressure, such as dizziness or fainting, it is important to see a doctor. Additionally, if you have a medical condition causing your low blood pressure, such as heart problems or diabetes, you should see a doctor.

    Prevention of low blood pressure

    While it may not always be possible to prevent low blood pressure, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include:

    • Staying hydrated
    • Eating a healthy diet
    • Exercising regularly
    • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
    • Taking medication as prescribed


    Low blood pressure is a condition that can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. While it is not always a cause for concern, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary. 

    By making lifestyle changes and taking medication as prescribed, you can help manage your low blood pressure and reduce your risk of complications.


    1. Is low blood pressure more common in men or women?

    Low blood pressure affects both men and women equally.

    1. Can stress cause low blood pressure?

    Stress can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure, but it is not typically a cause of chronic low blood pressure. Chronic stress may contribute to other health problems leading to low blood pressure.

    1. How long does it take for medication to raise blood pressure?

    The time it takes to raise blood pressure can vary depending on the medication and the individual. Some medications may start to work within a few hours, while others may take several days or weeks to have an effect.

    1. Can low blood pressure be cured?

    Low blood pressure may be managed with lifestyle changes and medication, but it may not be possible to cure it completely. Treatment aims to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

    1. Can low blood pressure cause headaches?

    Low blood pressure can cause headaches in some individuals. Other symptoms may include dizziness, fainting, and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, seeing a doctor to determine the cause of your low blood pressure is important.