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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 (123 Responses)
  1. do it yourself

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    August 2, 2012 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Kaylee

    I think I have low blood presser because I was in my room last night and I felt like I was about to pass out now I just felt that same way

    January 19, 2013 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. mohammad nasir

    hi sir
    i had alsa bf problem from last two weeks about 70/100
    i m feeling abnormal from all part of body i also take medicen but my main point is this that can low blood pressure makes sex problem i mean that if B P contain sex problem for men my age 24
    my question is that is BP had a relation with weakness in sex

    March 23, 2013 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. kim

    Blessings, my Dad since January have been suffering with sickness, weak n such. He was lately identified to have low blood pressure. along so with pneumonia and bronchitis... would like to know what is recommended that he do here to build his pressure. Thank you.

    April 8, 2014 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Name*lourens

    Hi I got a blood pressior problim ever time a take a test it shows 201/156 pulse 71 ever day its like that I feel fine I cant sleep can't eat by I live in exel cond pleas tell me that can that be its bEen going on like this for 8 years now

    July 29, 2014 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. marcie

    Hello there , I had an episode a week ago that has me and my doctor puzzled. I had breakfast with my daughter and within one hour of eating I started getting nausia and sever dizzyness. My daughter took me home and then I got worse. I was so dizzy that I could not stand up and could barley see. I also got so cold that I was freezing in 80 degree weather. I got 911 to my place and they said my bp was abnormally low and they wanted to stand me up to try my bp again. I passed out at this attempt and for 7and one half hours I was in and out of conciousness and freezing at the hospital. I was given alervert, something for nausia and it took three bags of water before I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. The night before I took a half of benadryl. I took a benadryl the other day because I have sever allergys. I woke up and felt kinda dizzy like I was going to fall over. I normally have high blood pressure. So far the doctor said he is puzzled. Could this be a allergy problem as I am very allergic to 7 different drugs? I have taken benadryl before and no problem. So I am not sure that is the problem. My tryglicirides are also high. would appreciate your help.

    September 21, 2014 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
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    November 22, 2014 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lyn

    Another nurse and I had a long-term-care patient last evening who had a 10 am upper-GI endoscopy, returned with SBP 110, then at bedtime had BP 65/50, and yet he could sit up, stand and walk around and consistently denied faintness. BP subsequently down to 62/58 - not a typo - when he conceded dizzyness after standing for about 30 seconds. (He was sleepy that evening; he has a habit of going out of facility and drinking alcohol, which he has the right to do.)

    Four points of pulse pressure don't seem compatible with function, and yet he did function. How could this occur? We called ambulance. EMTs got 60/40, then over several minutes BP rose to 90/60. He did not go to hospital. This morning, I called. He had remained at facility with low BP but apparently safe.

    The BP cuff did not appear to be malfunctioning. Is that the only explanation?

    February 5, 2015 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. jenny

    my bp is always low, right now its 75/50.im getting pain on left side of head, have severe palpitations and shortness of breath . cant walk up the stairs without getting palpitations

    May 28, 2015 at 09:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Abhishek

    Sir
    I'm 17,I had low blood pressure,am good in athletic.I'll swim every day for 500 mtrs
    why this cause?Is it dangerous?

    July 26, 2015 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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    August 10, 2015 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jen

    Hello I saw this and my blood pressure has gotten as low as 50/20. It's orthastadic, and doctors are fully aware of this yet I have never fainted! I get so dizzy that I fall back to the ground and I see black and red spots in rhythm with my heartbeat. I also have severe headaches, hot and cold flashes and extreme fatigue. I don't think any of the 90/60's should be an immideate concern but do be sure to address to be safe. I've sat there standing up with people taking my Bp and 70/40 is when a normal person without any resistance may faint. Docs say that because I've had this for so long my body creates reactions that refuse to let me faint such as tripling speed of heart rate which could do damage later on. Address asap don't let anything go on to long!!!!

    September 6, 2015 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Ayesha Ahmed

    Hi Sir, i been having problems with low blood pressure since about one year now and I'm only 19 and weight about 105lbs. if you can please help me out here ill highly appreciated.

    Thanks

    September 22, 2015 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. zecroshac

    i'm with my father in the icu right now, and his blood pressure is 78/29. that seems freakishly low to me. what does the 29 part even mean? he has a failing heart, sepsis, cirrhosis, etc and i don't understand what's going on and why this low of blood pressure isn't getting the doctors' attention, it seems like it'd be low enough to give him some freakin blood pressure pills, right?

    September 28, 2015 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tasha

    I normally have high blood pressure and take medication for it. Recently, within the past few months I have blacked out due to dizziness. I have ringing in the ears,ect. 2 weeks ago I mentioned my last blackout episode to my dr. He contributed it to my blood pressure which that day was 193/109. I spent the evening in the ER last night due to another blackout. THEY said it was due to my blood pressure being 84/52??? What could cause such a drastic change? I have horrible headaches, ringing in my ears, worsening memory,ect. I thought it was possibility from a concussion from 1 of the past 4 falls from blacking out,but they did a CAT scan last night and said it looked ok? Any suggestions?

    October 5, 2015 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. hi am francis

    what is the cause of my headche,dizziness and weakness anytime i have sexua intercuorse

    November 30, 2015 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
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  18. Kristina

    My blood pressure shoots low when I stand up its like 128 over 86 then I stand up and it shoots to 83 over 68 I feel dizzy and feel like I'm going to faint what do I do

    February 2, 2016 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Anum

    Hello,
    I'm a women age 22 and recently recorded my blood pressure my systolic was 103 my diastolic was 53 and pulse rate 55 ...I was receiving severe headaches tried to ate ponstan forte but it didn't help and when I tried to stand up I was getting blackouts please kindly tell me is it good or bad for my health and I don't know what caused my blood pressure to get low....waiting for reply 🙂

    February 10, 2016 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. christine spielman

    I am very concerned about my health. I had a heart stress test with medicine interventely and the highest it got to was 130 over 80, and I started at 80 over 47. I sleep a lot and have no energy. is there any medicine for this? any advice?

    February 24, 2016 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Rachel

    I need to know if 103 over78 and
    Pulse 71 low of a blood pressure
    I am 5'2 inches talk and I was weighing 268.4 pounds now I weigh 267.8 pounds So I have lost 5 pounds so my first blood pressure was 91 over 65 and the pulse was 84

    March 3, 2016 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
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    March 29, 2016 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Name*Herman Wilkinson

    My heart rste runs from 35 to56 and my B.P. average is as low.as 55/47 and as jigh as 240/187. I thaught.it.may be my.machine so i.got a new one they noth resd the same. I went.through a barouge of tess ca n't find the problem. Any one have any.TIPS ON WHAT IT MAY BE??!??

    April 10, 2016 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. adindu

    mum is 73 and strong.she has no history BP, she complained of late that he rb is low at 90/50.she is worried thinking is low.any remedy.thanks.stanly

    April 15, 2016 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
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    When I found out my marriage was over, I thought my life was over too because my husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes he goes out and doesn't even come back home for about 2-3 days. I did all I could to rectify this problem but all to no avail. I became very worried and needed help. As I was browsing through the internet one day, I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he did a spell for me. Three days later, my husband came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my family are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity . If you need a spell caster that can cast a spell that truly works fast, I suggest you contact Dr Unity. He will not disappoint you. mail him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,or contact him through his mobile number : +2348072370762 .

    April 15, 2016 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Patty

    My husbands blood pressure is 94/48 is that too low

    May 20, 2016 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Rickie Wilborn

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    July 18, 2016 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. mic

    hi! im 17 years old and my bp is 90/60. is it normal or too low for my age?

    July 25, 2016 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
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    August 6, 2016 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Catrin Roberts

    Hi, ive been feeling very unwell the last 2 days, feeling faint and like im ready to pass out! My blood pressure is usually in the 100-110 systolic, but when checked today it is 80/51, is this dangerously low or just a bit on the low side? Thanks

    August 16, 2016 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • subduedjoy

      I'm not a doctor. So I can't give you advice. I'm someone who has low blood pressure. So I can tell you what my doctors have told me regarding my blood pressure. Whether or not I need to worry about my blood pressure depends partially on what my blood pressure is normally. If my blood pressure were normally high, then, yeah, having a blood pressure reading of 80/50 would be a cause of concern. But my blood pressure tends to be on the low side. Still, even though I normally have low blood pressure, if my blood pressure drops below 80/50, then my doctors get worried and give me fluid IVs to boost it up above 80/50. There have been times in which I have been bloated from all the fluid IVs the doctors have given me to boost my blood pressure. I've also been told that I'm in danger of fainting if my blood pressure drops below 80/50. Not only have I had issues with dizziness/lightheadedness/vertigo, I have also fainted before in the past. Keeping hydrated helps to keep my blood pressure from dropping too far. I need to make sure my blood pressure isn't too low before driving or swimming.

      February 1, 2017 at 11:02 | Report abuse |
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  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 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
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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.