It might be. As most of us know, hypertension—blood pressure that’s too high (130/80 or above)—is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. But many people don’t realize that a condition known as hypotension—blood pressure that’s too low (90/60 or below)—also can pose health risks.
While some people have blood pressure that is naturally on the low side and is no cause for concern, readings that are as low as yours often signal an underlying health condition. A number of health problems, including diabetes, adrenal disorders and even dehydration, can cause low blood pressure. Some medications, including diuretics and other drugs used to treat hypertension, beta-blockers to treat heart disease, tricyclic antidepressants and erectile dysfunction drugs, also can cause low blood pressure.
To help determine the effects of your low blood pressure, ask yourself this: Do you frequently feel tired, light-headed and/or dizzy? These are symptoms that your low blood pressure needs to be evaluated by your primary care physician. Also tell your doctor about any nausea, clammy skin and/or blurry vision. These symptoms can occur because your nervous system is reacting to low blood pressure.
Helpful: To manage low blood pressure, stay hydrated. Feeling thirsty is a sign that your body needs water. Eat a heart-healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and lean meats. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.
If you are taking blood pressure–lowering medication, be sure to monitor your blood pressure closely if you are experiencing an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. You may need to hold off, with your doctor’s approval, on taking your blood pressure medication until you recover.