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Low Blood Pressure (72/56)


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When I was a child, my blood pressure had always been normal. However, since I entered the teen-age range, it's always been on the low side. Usually the systolic number is in the 80's; but I forget the diastolic one. Today, while at the doctor's, my blood pressure was measured to be 72/56, which she said was close to what someone who would be admitted to ICU would have. Is it really that bad? Basically she told me to load on the salt to get my blood pressure up; she even suggested that I start drinking salt water >_<. I already take in more sodium than the average recommended amount so I'm really not sure how I can add even more and beyond that, I'm kind of worried about the water retention.

Any other tips on how to raise my blood pressure?

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I don't know, about how to raise your blood pressure, but please let me know when you do. My heart rate is usually around 35 and my blood pressure like 80/60. I salt the heck out of everything then load on the ketchup. I don't know what else to do. I didn't think that all that salt is very good for me anyway, but i figure i will probably die of something else.

 

it can be genetic, my whole family are known for low blood pressure.

i have always been the lower side of average but when undeweight i went to 80/50, (which btw is around the same as my uncle has always had and he's super fit).

it can also be low if your really fit

salt i good for it, soy sauce etc i was told i could heat some water with some salt, not sure on other ways but have a feeling theres more, google it

if you fain/feel dizzy with this what helped me was to get up and down slowly, from what i gathered it means a poor heart (strength) DONT do this without consulting a doctor but SUGGEST to him (correct me if im wrong) slowly building up cardio to help your heart 'work it'. that would make sense to me, but every case is different.

u seen/seeing a cardiologist?

 

I agree with holbee here... I think it can be genetic. I am in no means underweight... and while I am fit, I still have like 18% body fat so I'm not that lean either.

Before diet/fitness it was low. While just dieting, it was lower. Now that I am working out it has gone back to just being low again.

Before diet/fitness I would get very dizzy or get the "black sand" as I called it whenever I stood up too quick. Kinda sucked for a while especially when I started dieting, I would sometimes lose hearing for a second too.

Now, I work out 6 days a week... and it's hard work, no pansy stuff. I don't get dizzy at all anymore, and I still do have low blood pressure and a low heart beat. Also when I run or do spin class I have a 190-200 heartbeat... which is technically 95-100% of my maximum capacity (you normally not able to sustain this kinda of working out for more than 5-10 minutes max, but I go for 60-90 mins). So really idk about what the doc says all the time... I don't "do" salt. Never have.

Research, test, ask... and good luck girly!

I second the genetics thing. Everyone in my family has super low blood pressure. When I was in the hospital having pregnancy issues rather than having high blood pressure problems like many pregnant women I kept setting off the alarms because my blood pressure was lower than the machines like, I was hanging out at 80/45 when awake when asleep it would go lower and the darned alarms would wake me up. At any rate, everyone in my family is salt addicted too. We salt EVERYTHING and I joke that it's what's keeping us all from passing out every 5 minutes.

Really though I've never been affected by it at all. I sometimes get a tiny bit dizzy and my eyes go black when I stand up quickly but doesn't everyone? If it's not causing you any problems I don't personally see why you should go to nasty measures like drinking salt water. If you feel like you want to raise your sodium having a handfull of pretzels is much nicer.

yeah i was under the care of a cardiologist for a while, i had palpatations where your heart beat gets so slow that it actually skips a rythm. but then your back up system kicks in or something. I think it was called bradycardia. I feel like i eat alot of salt already, i load it onto alot of food and have soy sauce all the time, rice and lettuce salads with soy sauce is one of my favorites, it worries me though because my mom and dad are on medication for high blood pressure. I am pretty fit and that is what the doctor seems to attest it to for me right now. Well i would rather be on this side of the spectrum than the other i guess!

i agree, i get a little dizzy sometimes too, from standing up. The thing is though that i have read on like Web MD and stuff that most of the salt that raises blood pressure is from processed food, not the salt that we put on our food. So keep salting it up to add flavor and taste, but stay away from ramen noodles that provide like twice the amount of sodium we should have in a day in a single serving. That kind of processed stuff is really bad for you, plus ramen noodles are deep fried at the factory so they are pretty un healthy all around. Cheap, but a crappy source of fuel for your body.

You know, it's interesting you post this.  On Friday I saw a presentation from someone at Harvard who is doing a study in which they are recruiting people with high blood pressure (>140/90) and putting them on as many medications as possible to lower their blood pressure as low as possible.  He said there is the old notion that there is such a thing having too low blood pressure.  He went on to say there is no science to back up that idea.  He also said he suspects that symptoms that doctors typically attribute to low blood pressure (like dizziness) are really caused by something else.  So far in their study they have lowered the average blood pressure to about 110/60 (which is basically unheard in studies of people which high blood pressure - they thought getting it less than 120 would be nearly impossible)  There haven't been any complications.  Some of the participants have BPs less than 80/40 and they are completely fine.

As long as you are not having symptoms (like dizziness, nausea, or headache)that are severely impacting your life you really do not need to worry about it.

Original Post by holbee:

it can be genetic, my whole family are known for low blood pressure.

i have always been the lower side of average but when undeweight i went to 80/50, (which btw is around the same as my uncle has always had and he's super fit).

it can also be low if your really fit

salt i good for it, soy sauce etc i was told i could heat some water with some salt, not sure on other ways but have a feeling theres more, google it

if you fain/feel dizzy with this what helped me was to get up and down slowly, from what i gathered it means a poor heart (strength) DONT do this without consulting a doctor but SUGGEST to him (correct me if im wrong) slowly building up cardio to help your heart 'work it'. that would make sense to me, but every case is different.

u seen/seeing a cardiologist?

The thing is, I'm neither fit nor is my low blood pressure genetic. My parents are both on medication for high blood pressure as is my paternal grandmother. I definitely feel the side effects of low blood pressure and often get light-headed. I also get out of breath really easily which I've read can be attributed to low blood pressure as well? At first I thought it may be due to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) but tests showed me to be fine.

I'm thinking the best thing to do would be to see a cardiologist. Has anyone been to one? What usually happens during an appointment?

i was going to say when i read the headline you were probably lacking sodium

 

i knew a kid that had low blood pressure due to lack of sodium, he used to scrape it off the plate as if it was tomato sauce

insania as peter andre would say

 

I also have low blood pressure that my doctor says is the "low side of normal" although it is very low according to medical charts. I actually get turned away at the blood bank as my blood pressure is too low to donate (safely), in their opinion.

While I am currently very active (exercise at least an hour every day) and maintain a fairly healthy diet. My husband is sometimes amazed that I'm not comatose, however understands that it is "helpful" as I have a very high stress career. He also attributes lower blood pressure to physcial fitness - the more you work out (especially strength and weight training), your blood pressure becomes lower as your cardisvascular system becomes more effiicient.

If your primary doc didn't refer you to a cardiologist, then he/she must not be overly concerned, or their office will order a lab work-up and can even order a 24-hour holter monitor. It sounds like their advice was to try dietary and external measures vs. looking for any organic or disease-based cause.

Despite your parents having high blood pressure, it remains that your personal history indicates your blood pressure runs low. Growth, fluid-volume factors, the time of day, activity level prior to pressure being measured, medications, manual vs. machine reading ... can all affect your number. They usually repeat if it seems unusual for you or outside parameters. They usually schedule a nurse visit to follow-up if there is continuing concern.

My blood pressure always runs in the exact range you mention and sometimes even drops lower during the night, as someone else mentioned. I am mostly asymptomatic, though I have the occasional dizziness that would be expected upon sudden change in position, etc.

Make sure you maintain hydration, report all medications and herbs/supplements you might be taking, and follow your doctor's recommendations.

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These posts are interesting.  I also have low blood pressure - been as low as 80/50 but usually closer to 90/60 or if stressed, 100/60 or 100/70.  Plus my resting heart rate hovers in the mid fifties and even when I exercise strenously to bring it up, it'll drop back down pretty quickly.  I also tend to run low on body temperature; roughly 97.5 or .6 seems to be normal for me.  But, lately I've been running in the 96.5 range dropping as low as 95.2 on a couple recent occasions and I have NOT felt well at all; always tired, stomach always queasy, lots of headaches.  To make matters worse I know I"m dehyrdated; somewhat chronically and its because I don't drink enough water.  But I genuinely have a hard time forcing myself to drink any liquids....I don't know why, it's almost like a phobia or something; sometimes I can barely force water down.  I know its a bad cycle but hard to get out of.  I personally am beginning to believe that all this - no such thing as too low blood pressure is not really right.  I do work out a fair amount but I'm no athlete; that isn't why everything is low.  I've heard from too many people either here or other places that also have low blood pressure, pulse and body temp and also suffer from headaches, dizziness, nausea.  How about you?  Any of you others with the low bps have any odd symptoms?  My extremities are aways cold and I get alot of muscle cramps?  Anyone else?

Low body temp and always cold yeah, but then again I was anemic for the longest; still think my perfect diet is the only thing keeping me from still being anemic. Anyhow, Yeah always cold, sleepy, Mid-day slumps even when I have been eating perfectly for 2+ weeks. (although they are minimal). Good luck with that one! I tried extra salt.. doesn't work for me. The only time I got cramp was when I took creatine. Mind you I also had no probs whatsoever and I felt better than I have in years. Drinks? well I am all or nothing so it's either that I have a thirst which cannot be quenched or I need nothing for days. Weird!

Do what the doctor told you to do.  Don't second guess your doctor.

You can easily increase sodium just by adding a little to each meal.  You can put a dash of salt in things like oatmeal and it actually brings out the sweetness of whatever you use to sweeten it.  A serving or two of canned soup will boost it up.  Condiments like mustard are high in sodium too and low in calories. 

What he wants is more fluid retention, so stop worrying about that.  You might see it on the scale, but it's not fat or real weight gain.

Original Post by alittlet:

These posts are interesting.  I also have low blood pressure - been as low as 80/50 but usually closer to 90/60 or if stressed, 100/60 or 100/70.  Plus my resting heart rate hovers in the mid fifties and even when I exercise strenously to bring it up, it'll drop back down pretty quickly.  I also tend to run low on body temperature; roughly 97.5 or .6 seems to be normal for me.  But, lately I've been running in the 96.5 range dropping as low as 95.2 on a couple recent occasions and I have NOT felt well at all; always tired, stomach always queasy, lots of headaches.  To make matters worse I know I"m dehyrdated; somewhat chronically and its because I don't drink enough water.  But I genuinely have a hard time forcing myself to drink any liquids....I don't know why, it's almost like a phobia or something; sometimes I can barely force water down.  I know its a bad cycle but hard to get out of.  I personally am beginning to believe that all this - no such thing as too low blood pressure is not really right.  I do work out a fair amount but I'm no athlete; that isn't why everything is low.  I've heard from too many people either here or other places that also have low blood pressure, pulse and body temp and also suffer from headaches, dizziness, nausea.  How about you?  Any of you others with the low bps have any odd symptoms?  My extremities are aways cold and I get alot of muscle cramps?  Anyone else?

 Have you seen a doctor about these symptoms?  Muscle cramps can be caused by deficiencies in potatssium and magnesium, but the only way to tell is a blood test.  You need to find out the cause of the low BP.  It might be normal for you, or it might mean something isn't right.  Only an in person examination and diagnosis from a doctor will help you figure this out.

I'm really puzzled as to why people worried about unusual symptoms posts it on the internet for strangers to give bad advice, but won't go to the only ones who can help - medical practitioners.

claire,

In response to your wondering about posts... I see your point but I think that some people do not have medical coverage enough to go whenever they please. Other's like myself need to find alternative answers... because sometimes what the doc says doesn't always seem to fit and you want to hear what others who have experienced it also have to say...

Comfort?

my blood pressure was more around the normal range 120/80 before I started jogging.  I run 5 days out of the week now.  Not jog run,  I enjoy working out and fine tuning my body. I was jogging reg for 8 months and my bp was around 110/75.  I went on a hiking trip 1 month ago with a few people and realized that just jogging doesn't really help.  If you get into certain extremes where you really need endurance you have to push your self harder to maintain longer durations.  I now run hard for as long as i can and when i need rest i jog till i can run again 1 day a week which last at least a half hr.  and the other 4 I run hard as i can for just 5 min.  now my bp in one month has dropped down to 93/71 I was a little worried until I started reading these forums.  I agree with the guy who was talking about the speech from Harvard.  I would be a lot more worried about high bp at any age than low bp at a younger age.  If your bp is lower without exercise, I would advise you should at least a little.  Our bodies maintain themselves better with exercise, and face it life is just a little easier when we do. (mentally and physically) With low bp your body is not stressed at all to maintain normal homeostasis.  so in conclusion if your not overly tired or feel as tho your having a hard time getting around I don't think you should really worry.  Im a 1st year med student and not a doctor, (one day i will be) they have had a lot more studying than i have had. So if your doctor advises you to do something listen to him.  He has been threw allot of school,  allot of school just to give you educated  information.  I just thought that this might help

My blood pressure used to be like 72/46 when I went in.(Even at a healthy weight). As I'm getting older it is getting more normal though...I think its genetic. My mother had very low blood pressure in her teens, but it got into the normal range the older she got.

I just turned 50 and I still have very low blood pressure.  sometimes 77 to 95/56. I have hypothyroid and was constantly cold and have tons of headaches and nauseous. And I mean I kept my heat at 85 degrees in my home and still was cold.  I finally found a doctor that would put me on Armour thyroid and I am sooooo much warmer! My hands, feet and nose are not cold anymore. I'm still hoping it will help my bp but so far it's still low. Oh I added more salt to my diet too.

Low blood pressure, heart rate, low body temp, cold hands, cold feet,headaches ... all symptoms of hypothyroidism.

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