Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, can happen for a variety of reasons – it could be linked to the medication you are taking or an underlying health condition. It could even happen after getting out a hot bath.
An ideal blood pressure reading is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. A low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower.
Hypotension does not always cause symptoms, but you may be required to take treatment.
If symptoms do appear, there are certain ones you should look out for, including lightheadedness or dizziness, feeling sick and blurred vision.
The NHS lists the symptoms of low blood pressure, and recommends you get your blood pressure checked out if you keep experiencing this:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Feeling sick
- Blurred vision
- Generally feeling weak
If you get symptoms when you stand up or suddenly change position, you may have postural hypotension.
How to check your blood pressure
You can ask if your pharmacist can do it, or ask your practice nurse or GP.
You can also measure your blood pressure at home yourself using a home blood pressure monitor.
You can also get an approximate blood pressure reading at home without any equipment.
Your blood pressure is recorded with two numbers; systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Systolic pressure describes how hard blood is being pumped around the body by the heart.
Diastolic pressure is the resistance to the flow of blood in blood vessels.
You could get an approximate systolic blood pressure reading without a blood pressure cuff (a sphygmomanometer), according to health website Blood Pressure Nutrition.
But, it’s not possible to get a diastolic blood pressure reading without equipment.
First, find your pulse along your left arm. You’re looking for a radial pulse, which is below the thumb, and a little above your wrist.
If you can feel the pulse without any difficulty, your systolic blood pressure is at least 80mmHg.
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.
Persistent high blood pressure can increase your risk of a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Certain foods should be avoided if you have hypertension, or to reduce your risk of the condition, such as frozen pizza.