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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 (120 Responses)
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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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  8. Lorenzo Tagata

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    April 13, 2017 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Name*rusell frindoza

    hi im rusell im 35 yrs old im been have bp 225/191 this april but i dont feel anything of it but now my bp is 138/85 but im having dizzy in bed night if i sleep and noon time back pain.

    April 30, 2017 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jill Stafford

    I am 72 years old and have been diagnosed with hypoaldronism. My blood pressure has been running low. Today my blood pressure is 119/49. Is this dangerous?

    May 12, 2017 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Donna james

    My bp has been high for a number of years, I am on metoprolol and norvasc, at the end of December, I was hospitalized,they had me on four bp meds,but after a week there,they took me off all but the two. Bp still runs a little high most of the time. A while ago I was doing some housework when I started sweating real bad,got nations and very dizzy,my head was vothering me also. I immediately laid down and put a cool rag on my head and closed my eyes, I thought my bp had gone up. My husband brought me my monitor and to my shock, it was real low. 145/56. I took it four times and it varied only a couple times,always real low. What could cause this? I have a follow up doctor appointment in the morning, was planning to check pressure,if to low again,was planning not to take my meds and ask Doctor what causes it and if I should go ahead and take it. I just want to know what could be causing this. Thank you for listening.

    May 25, 2017 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Rosy

    hello I m 21 years old girl n hving Low by problem which results in fingers folding of hand as well as legs...is it really dangerous?? n tell the solution plzz.

    July 7, 2017 at 11:09 | 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.