For the most part, low blood pressure, or hypotension, is considered to be a sign of good health. This is because higher blood pressure places more pressure is on the heart and the circulatory system. For this reason, individuals who have a blood pressure that is low are usually at a lower risk of kidney disease, stroke, and heart disease. In some cases, however, low blood pressure may not be healthy and, like high blood pressure, carries some risks.
With very low blood pressure, the brain, heart, and other vital organs may not receive enough blood. Ultimately, this can cause these organs to fail to function properly and even to become permanently damaged. The lack of oxygen can also cause a person to experience blackouts, particularly when standing up or sitting up too quickly after lying down. This type is generally referred to as orthostatic hypotension.
Low blood pressure can also be a symptom of a variety of conditions, some of which are life threatening. These include dehydration, shock, advanced diabetes, heart failure, heart attack, and anaphylaxia, a life threatening allergic response. While blood pressure that is low does not cause these conditions, it can sometimes be the first sign of them.
For a person to be diagnosed as having low blood pressure, his or her blood pressure must be below 90/60. Normal blood pressure is considered to be anywhere from 90/60 to 120/80. It is possible for only one of these numbers to be less than the normal range, and in such cases, the blood pressure may still be generally considered low.
Regardless of the blood pressure reading, medical professionals do not usually diagnose a person with low blood pressure unless he or she is showing other signs or problems associated with the condition. Some of these signs include dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting for no apparent reason. Since blood pressure that is low enough to cause health problems is usually caused by other health problems, the first treatment plan is to treat the underlying cause. If there is no underlying cause, certain medications may be prescribed to regulate the blood pressure.