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When is low blood pressure simply too low?

By Anonymous July 18, 2011 - 9:53am
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Since I was teen, I have struggled with excessive daytime sleepiness to the point of interrupting my lifestyle & basically disabling me from enjoying things 2 the fullest. Been tested for many things (sleep disorders, thyroid issues, anemia, heart maladies (echos only), etc), to no avail. I have been diagnosed with daytime sleepiness without cause (can't think of the medical term off-hand) & am taking Provigil. It helps little--very little. Common themes: lower B/P (can get as low at 90/55 but averages 110/70 (certainly ideal), and a lower heart rate (60 or less--has been recorded as low as 46). When I am excessively "sleepy", my B/P usually reflects it--low. Most recently, I was so very, very tired & happened to have a doctor's appt. My B/P was 102/64. Hopefully, you get the ideal. The medical profession seems to be at a loss as to my sleepiness, yet I can't get anyone interested in identifying if the low B/P and lower hearrate are indicative of the problem. The common answer: "be thankful you don't have high B/P". Okay, but... Suggestions for possible tests? I did battle breast cancer (estrogen positive) in 2007 w/ chemo, unilateral mastectomy, complete hysterctomy. Also had history of endometriosis. Thank you very much.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for your question and welcome!

Isn't it a bit annoying when people tell you that you should be happy to have X wrong with you, instead of Y?

There could be many other reasons for excessive daytime sleepiness, but since we're talking about low blood pressure, let's take a look at the causes and there are many of them. Have you been tested for any of the syndromes or conditions that often cause low blood pressure?

Take a look below at EmpowHER's causes for low blood pressure:

◦Excessive use of loop diuretic medications ( furosemide , bumetanide , ethacrynic acid )
◦Vasodilator medications (nitrate preparations, Ca blockers, or ACE inhibitors)
◦Prolonged bedrest
◦Addison’s disease (with inadequate salt intake)
■Impaired autonomic (nerve) reflex due to certain diseases:
◦Pernicious anemia
◦Guillain-Barre syndrome
◦Riley-Day syndrome
◦Shy-Drager syndrome
■Decreased heart muscle contractility or vascular responsiveness
■Certain drugs:
◦Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors ( isocarboxazid , phenelzine , tranylcypromine )
◦Tricyclic antidepressants ( nortriptyline , amitriptyline , desipramine , imipramine , protriptyline )
◦Tetracyclic antidepressants
■Phenothiazine antipsychotic drugs ( chlorpromazine , promazine, thioridazine )
■Atypical antipsychotics (eg, Seroquel )

Risk Factors
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

Risk factors include:

■Increased age
■Use of certain drugs:
◦Loop diuretics
◦MAO inhibitors
◦Tricyclic antidepressants
◦Tetracyclic antidepressants
◦Phenothiazine antipsychotic drugs
■Inadequate fluid intake
■Prolonged bedrest
■Certain diseases or conditions:
◦Advanced heart failure
◦Addison’s disease
◦Pernicious anemia
◦Guillain-Barre syndrome
◦Riley-Day syndrome
◦Shy-Drager syndrome

You can read a lot more here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/low-blood-pressure

Have you been tested for your body's salt content?

Please take a read of the above and we hope to hear back from you!

July 18, 2011 - 12:21pm
EmpowHER Guest

Aloha, my mom, myself, and my daughter all have very low blood pressure and low energy. We also have temperatures that run low..like 96. My daughter even started fainting because her blood pressure would drop so low. She got diagnosised with vasal vagal and prescribed a form of speed, which would double blood pressure and came with tons of warnings. We decided against taking that, and since then, it has been taken off the market as unsafe. Then she took salt tablets, which upset her stomach and caused her to have problems there. We started reading blogs, and now eat really well..fruits and all grains, and that seems to help our energy levels, plus exercise. Hope this helps..doctors sure did not help us at all, and we went to many specialists. Good luck!

July 18, 2011 - 12:16pm
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