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March 5th, 2009
12:20 PM ET

Can low blood pressure be dangerous?

As a new feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers’ questions. Here’s a question for Dr. Gupta.

Asked by Bella, Buffalo, New York

"Dr. Gupta,
Everyone always talks about high blood pressure, but I have a question about low blood pressure. I am 21, female, eat very healthy, not intensely athletic, but I do cardio every morning and my blood pressure is 90/60. I am dizzy every morning when I wake up, and if I sit for too long, I am dizzy when I stand up. Is this a problem, and is there something I should be doing differently?"

Answer:

Thanks Bella for writing in. I am a little concerned about what you are writing. Blood pressure can be a tricky thing to understand because levels categorized as “too high” or “too low” in one person, may be normal for someone else.

Once a person establishes his or her baseline number, it’s important to consult with a health-care provider to evaluate its specific impact.

A normal blood pressure is essential to your heart because it promotes and allows healthy blood flow. And you are right–typically you hear people talking about the dangers of HIGH blood pressure because it can lead to heart disease. But low blood pressure, known as hypotension, can be dangerous as well.

What’s too low? Anything below 90/60mm. Experts say that if you have a low BP level and are experiencing dizziness, fatigue, nausea it could be a sign of serious underlying conditions such as a heart condition, blood infection or damage to your nervous system. It is best to be evaluated to determine what could be the trigger.

For those not experiencing symptoms, a low BP level is rarely of concern. You can boost your blood pressure levels naturally by staying hydrated throughout the day and increasing the amount of sodium in your diet.


soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Bradly Tramm

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    September 29, 2016 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rebecca luster

    my dr put me on new med for high bp this is fourth one , I took it today and bam without warning I bottomed out it dropped too 77/50 and pr was 87 from 158 / 110 range . I was throwing up , dizzy, and felt like passing out so bad. managed too keep calm , took bp and got some salt into me too raise it some. hours later I still feel sick, I'm pale, clammy, and right before id throw up id get really hot. 1st time that's happened in years. muscles ache in shoulder area , not sure why but weak as heck tonight. Hate new meds......

    December 1, 2016 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Edith Levin

    I have been having shortness of breath lately. I took my blood pressure just now and it was 90/54. Should I do anything avout this.

    January 6, 2017 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Michelle

    It sounds like your reader may have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. You didn't ask her how high her pulse was getting.

    January 16, 2017 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. DEDE

    My Grand daughter has irregular heart beat as does my 76 year old husband, but my husband also has irregular blood pressure and my Granddaughter says she can keep her heart rate and blood pressure normal by drinking lots of water and from everything I've read being hydrated is extremely important, KEEP HYDRATED

    January 25, 2017 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Wesley Webb

    My mom has pancreatic cancer, and has went to cancer centers of America, she had a syber knife as well and we checked her blood pressure and it is 74 over 44 I don't know what to do.

    February 4, 2017 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Name*Garry Phipps

    I have high blood pressure it has been over near 300 but today and yesterday it was about 98 over 85 is this good or bad i was getting dizzy and tired

    February 9, 2017 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Name*Subhash

    I am Subhash aged 70 years male. Generally I have higher BP between 130 to 160, lower BP between 57 to 75 and pulse rats between 68 to 85.
    Is this a normal or not good for my health and
    How can I improve the levels in normal range – by taking medicines and by dietary control.
    Thanks.

    February 16, 2017 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ana Ramalho

    Dr. Gupta
    I used to watch you on tv a few years Ago. I moved to Portugal about 10 years Ago. My husband is 58 and about 2 1/2 years ago he had a heart atack and went in cardíac arrest in hospital. He has recovered somehow. He kept An almost normal life with some limitations. Follows medication guidelines, goês to gym regugarly, weight with normal parameters. He played sports for most of his life. His blood pressupõe sometimes drops to very los levels, like 92/54. He feles dizzy. Just went for testing, including an echocardiogram. Results were normal. Sometimes he has spikes in blood pressure. I am very concernes. I dont know if there's anything in the works or if he's going to have another attack again. Are any other tests or anything that we can do in order to prevent it? Thanks só much

    Ana

    February 19, 2017 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.