Common causes of low blood pressure

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Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension, is a condition where blood pressure is much lower than expected.

While it might not seem as critical as high blood pressure, it can cause symptoms like dizziness, fainting, and in extreme cases, can be life-threatening if it means the body’s organs aren’t getting the blood they need.

This article explores the common causes of low blood pressure, providing insights into how and why it occurs.

What is Considered Low Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is recorded with two numbers: the systolic pressure (the higher number) and the diastolic pressure (the lower number).

It is generally considered low when the systolic blood pressure is below 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or the diastolic blood pressure is below 60 mm Hg. H

owever, what counts as low blood pressure can vary significantly from person to person. For some, low readings cause no problems and are normal, for others, they can be a sign of a serious problem.


One of the most common causes of low blood pressure is dehydration. When the body loses more water than it takes in, it can cause weakness, dizziness, fatigue, and fainting.

Dehydration can occur for many reasons, including not drinking enough fluids, intense exercise, heat exposure, or illnesses that cause vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

Dehydration reduces the volume of blood, which means less blood returns to the heart and less is pumped through the blood vessels.

Medical Conditions

Several medical conditions can cause low blood pressure. For instance, heart problems such as extremely low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, heart attack, and heart failure can lead to low blood pressure because they prevent the body from circulating enough blood.

Endocrine disorders like thyroid conditions, adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can also cause blood pressure to drop.


Various medications can lead to low blood pressure, including diuretics (water pills), alpha blockers, beta blockers, drugs for Parkinson’s disease, certain types of antidepressants, and medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.

People taking these medications may experience a drop in blood pressure as a side effect. It’s important for individuals on these medications to be monitored regularly for changes in blood pressure.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A lack of essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B12 and folate, can cause anemia, a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Anemia can result in low blood pressure because there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s vital organs.


It’s not uncommon for blood pressure to drop during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. This happens because pregnancy causes the blood vessels to expand rapidly.

While this is normal, it can cause dizziness and fainting. However, blood pressure usually returns to the pre-pregnancy range after giving birth.

Neurally Mediated Hypotension

This occurs when standing for a long time leads to a drop in blood pressure. It’s thought to happen because of a miscommunication between the heart and the brain that occurs when you stand up. Symptoms can include dizziness, nausea, and fainting.

Severe Infections

When an infection in the body becomes severe enough, it can lead to a life-threatening condition known as septic shock. This occurs when an overwhelming infection leads to dangerously low blood pressure.

Managing Low Blood Pressure

Managing low blood pressure involves treating the underlying cause, whether it’s making lifestyle adjustments, addressing medication side effects, or treating a medical condition.

Drinking more water, eating small, low-carbohydrate meals, and wearing compression stockings can also help raise blood pressure.

In conclusion, while low blood pressure can be a sign of underlying health issues, it’s often treatable once the cause is identified. If you experience symptoms of low blood pressure, it’s important to seek medical advice to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

If you care about blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that could increase high blood pressure risk, and eating eggs in a healthy diet may reduce risks of diabetes, high blood pressure.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and results showing 12 foods that lower blood pressure.

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