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I say blood pressure - - you say high! Blood pressure – high! Blood pressure – high!
While it may sound like a chant from a high school cheer, “high” is the word that most of us naturally associate with when blood pressure is mentioned -- and high blood pressure is a condition we strive to avoid.
Unfortunately, what many of us may not realize is that blood pressure can actually become too low. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, can cause numerous health problems, some of which are life threatening, as well.
Simply put, blood pressure is a measure of how much force your blood places on artery walls every time your heart beats. Blood pressure readings measure two separate events: systolic pressure or amount of pressure that occurs when the heart beats, and diastolic pressure or the amount of pressure that happens when your heart is at rest between beats.
The two measurements are expressed together and provide an indication of whether or not there is normal or too much pressure placed on the artery walls when the heart beats. The following blood pressure ranges are generally accepted:
• Hypertension or high blood pressure: 140/90 or higher
• Prehypertension: between 120/80 and 139/89
• Normal blood pressure: 120/80 or lower
• Hypotension or low blood pressure: 90/60 or lower
Because the pressure exerted is lower than normal with hypotension, vital organs such as the heart, brain, or kidneys, for example, do not receive enough blood. Low blood pressure may cause numerous symptoms including such things as dizziness, nausea, lack of concentration, fainting, vision problems, cold skin, clammy skin, fatigue, thirst, rapid breathing, depression, or nausea. In some cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.
There are some people, such as athletes , who tend to have naturally low blood pressure and don’ exhibit any symptoms or adverse side effects. However, it’s important to note that low blood pressure is frequently a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as: