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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 (138 Responses)
  1. 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
  2. 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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    March 5, 2017 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Lorenzo Tagata

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    April 13, 2017 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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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    September 10, 2017 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Shannon

    Listen I'm 29. I'm dizzy 247 my bp runs 90/60 p 111 or 85/56 p125.. I found out by a heart doctor bc I was driving I got dizzy I went off the road and hit a mailbox I blacked out lucky nobuddy got hurt. But I was diagnosed with POTS. U have to be tested for it. I have pots disease. If u don't maintain it it can cause major issues. There only one medication out to raise ur BP I'm on it 2x aday.. and I have to. wear Ted hose at the age 29. Alot of my issues I suffer with is all do to the pots. Pits isnt a joke got to heart doctor explain urself to them. And sea medical attention. Now what's bad about pot ur not allowed to have caffine. No soda no coffee and chocolate.u will have to go a weird diet. I don't really follow it but my BP is so out of wack I need to listen to the hot diet b4 something happends.. two things that are major with pot u have to have a lot of salt in ur diet. And drink cap load of water. That will help ur BP stable with the medication. .
    Shannon

    January 8, 2018 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Heather Baltazar

    I had a table tilt study done in Aug 2017. They gave me nitro glycerin to make me pass out. I've dealt with syncope for over 20 years with no explanation. I passed out during the study. When I came out of it they told me my blood pressure was 37/49. Why would that happen and why would they send me home right after?

    January 13, 2018 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Char L

    My blood pressure is always low. Today it’s 70/61. Should I be worried?

    February 12, 2018 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Malik Zaid Imran

    My name is Malik Zaid Imran i am 18 years old, male. My bp always less then 100/40 i checked my bp at 4 pm when i came back from college and i checked my bp after taking lunch and my bp was 26/80 but was feeling normal.

    July 10, 2018 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. vel Sanassy

    I’m 80 and my blood pressure is 95 over 46. I feel dizzy and tired. Six weeks ago I fell heavily from a sitting position and passed out for a while.
    I’m still suffering from severe pain in my chest when I sleep. I have been told that my scapula moved violently during the fall and caused internal damage.
    What should I do to bring my blood pressure to a suitable level to avoid dizziness and fainting?

    August 21, 2018 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Name*Debbie

    Hi I need some advise I have been diagnosed with hi blood pressure as it was reading 150 over 88 with in a week or two of me taking my tablets it's dropped 105 over 64 I've been feeling really tired & my heard rate is 90 should I be worried plus I've been under some stress aswell

    September 2, 2018 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Malehlohonolo Moleli

    This morning my blood pressure was 111/67 i just wanna know that it is normal because i always feel dizzy and i'm sweating alot and feeling tired

    October 25, 2018 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. YogiDevendra Biriyani

    i'm at 103/75, i have a heart abnormality and tend to be hypoglycemic and will often forget to eat or drink enough water, being adhd and having a busy life. i think the dehydration/lack of nutrients makes my circulation crappy.

    December 13, 2018 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. susan

    My blood pressure fluctuates between very high, the highest was 192 over 154 and the lowest was 67 over 49. My doc told me to take my bp morning and evening and if needed take my meds. He finaly managed to find out what was going on. It can be a part of pps. Post polio syndrome. Luckily we have (now had) a pps clinic in our area. This was in the nineties. I guess we are a dying breed.

    January 5, 2019 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Deni Green

    II was allergic to a form of penicillin I was taking it for a bladder infection The attending doctor gave me a shot at 8 PM I almost died because the time they responded to me I was out cold and I will when they got my attention my blood pressure was 45/16 Passed out and I couldn’t breathe they put oxygen mask on me they gave me an EpiPen and then they called the paramedics and the paramedics came and gave me a shot of Benadryl that helped wake up my system. I was taken to emergency room at the VMC I stayed in emergency from 945PM to 5 o’clock in the morning.. The paramedics that I was very lucky a course in the midst of it all I lost all of my bladder urine and I’ve been told that that’s the first thing that happens is that you lose your bladder and rectum control. Would like your input on this? The Dr sawl MyChart that I was allergic to a form of penicillin! The doctor called me next day and apologized and Paula Jason I said you almost killed me because nobody was paying attention I yelled at you in the hallway where you were chitchatting and you ignored me. My attending physician at VMC doesn’t matter how busy she is she would squeeze me in and kept giving me a hug and saying you’re a fighter you’re a fighter maybe I have nine lives have used three of them up near death experiences.

    January 18, 2019 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Name*char

    I’m 77 & my BP has been in the low 100’s & low 50’s & do not experience any dizziness or nausea so should I be concerned? Thank you

    January 22, 2019 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Anna

    My BP is always low. Today I had a medical exam and it was 90/45, and I felt perfect! I never get dizzy or lightheaded, and I can do a lot of physical activity! Sometimes doctors get concerned about it, but because It doesn't affect me, they say that it's fine. Salt and coffee help to increase BP little bit.

    January 24, 2019 at 01:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Barb

    I eat just alittle. Then I felt very hot . I got so dizzy when I was out that they called the parmedic. He took B/ P and it was 74/56
    He wanted me to got to hospital but I said no. I will watch it at home. What could this be

    February 3, 2019 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Russell Autenrieth

    73 yr old man, 2 weeks out from back surgery, this morning ended up in ER after paramedics found my BP at 40/32, dehydrated for no apparent reason and babbling nonsense. Released tonight at 5PM after 4 bags of fluid, cat scan of brain, blood work, EKG , etc.

    Still no explanation why I crashed. Any thoughts?

    April 10, 2019 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jack

    Am a 91 yr old male: bp 91 over 48 in the a.m. blacked out & fell twice within 2 wks. later in day bp averages about 148/71.
    Am using cane or walker in house–but fell when was on the walker & broke my glasses. will see heart dr. tomorrow. Am home alone most of time. Am in fair health. Will keep U posted.

    May 21, 2019 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. JACK

    REF: MY POST MAY 21,2019-BP STILL LOW..
    FEEL DIZZY LOOKING UP. OR DOWN. FELL DOWN AGAIN TODAY.. ARMS & LEGS WEAK . DIDN'T BLACK OUT.
    AM WORRIED. MY DR IS NO HELP. MY HEART MONITOR DIDN'T SHOW SHOW ANYTHING. WHAT TO DO NEXT????

    July 24, 2019 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. nellie macon

    My blood pressure is low and high. It drops 10 points or more when I stand up. I feel diizzy have passed out I am in pain all of the time I feel light I can,t think good. Does pain cause low blood prusser

    November 9, 2019 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Name*joy

    I'm having blood pressure very low 88/62 and always low my doctor said it could be my heart he doesn't know yet.

    November 28, 2019 at 00:06 | 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.