Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How dangerous is low blod pressure really?"
My blood pressure has always run low, but I can't figure out if this is actually a bad thing. Other than getting a little dizzy if I stand up too quickly, how dangerous is low blood pressure in the long term? Should I really eat more salt to raise it?
True low blood pressure is a very dangerous thing because it can result in damage to organs by not allowing enough blood to get to them. Having too low blood pressure (also known as hypotension) is not defined as a specific pressure. In other words your pressure may be perceived by you as low because it is lower than the average, but it may be completely normal for you. For example, although the average blood pressure is 120/80, a blood pressure of 90/50 in someone who feels fine could be entirely normal. Thus if your blood pressure is closer to the 100s/50s or so and you've always been there, then you are probably fine and may even be better off than those with a pressure of 120/80. With that said, if your blood pressure were to suddenly drop, or if you begin passing out when you stand up, then you should seek medical attention right away. It is probably okay to feel a little dizzy when you stand up as long as it only happens every once in a long while. If it happens frequently, or if you actually black out, then it is possible that you need more fluids. The best type of physician for you to see about this is a primary care physician such as a family doctor or internal medicine doctor. He or she can take you blood pressure while sitting and standing and determine if hypotension is a problem.
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