Causes and Risk Factors of Low Blood Pressure


Many things can cause your blood pressure to be too low (less than 90/60 millimeters of mercury, or mmHg, which is called hypotension). It could be due to factors unrelated to the underlying medical condition, such as dehydration or medication side effects. But it can also be the result of problems like heart problems, hormonal imbalances, nervous disorders, and even pregnancy.

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To determine the root cause of your low blood pressure, you need to find out what type of hypotension you have.

Blood pressure is between 90/60 mm Hg. Art. And 120/80 mm Hg. Art. It is considered normal. Your brain and other organs may not be getting enough blood to function properly if the pressure is below this.

Common causes

The three main types of low blood pressure are orthostatic hypotension, neuromediated hypotension, and severe hypotension associated with shock. Everyone has different reasons.

Orthostatic hypotension

A particularly important cause of low blood pressure is orthostatic hypotension, sometimes called postural hypotension . This phenomenon occurs when blood pressure drops rapidly with a change in body position, usually during the transition from sitting to standing. When present, this condition causes the classic signs of too low blood pressure, such as dizziness, blurred vision, and fainting.

Typically, your nerve receptors signal when you stand up, and your central nervous system responds by telling the muscles in the walls of your arteries to contract to raise your blood pressure, in addition to making your heart beat faster. This prevents blood from pooling in your lower body.

With orthostatic hypotension, this does not work as it should, and the accumulation of blood causes less blood to flow to the brain, lowering blood pressure and causing drowsiness.

Orthostatic hypotension can be caused by the following conditions:

  • The pregnancy
  • Dehydration (which can be associated with sweating, insufficient drinking, vomiting, or diarrhea)
  • Advanced age
  • Heart diseases
  • Anemia
  • Severe infections
  • Thyroid gland diseases.
  • Low blood sugar and diabetes.
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Nervous system disorders including Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia, multiple systemic atrophy, Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome, and neuropathy.

Orthostatic hypotension can also be a side effect of certain medications, especially diuretics or other high blood pressure medications , such as beta-blockers. Medications used to treat erectile dysfunction and certain mental disorders can also cause low blood pressure.

You may also experience orthostatic hypotension simply from being in a heat or immobile for a prolonged period.

Neuron-mediated hypotension

Nervous system problems, especially autonomic nervous system disorders , including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and vasovagal syncope , can lead to a drop in blood pressure after prolonged periods of standing. Emotional stress can also trigger neuro-mediated hypotension.

In these conditions, the communication between the brain and the heart is poor, which sends false signals of high blood pressure. In turn, your heart slows down, further lowering your blood pressure.

Autonomic neuropathy and peripheral neuropathy, which are characterized by nerve damage and can be caused by diseases such as diabetes, also affect blood pressure regulation.

Severe hypotension associated with shock

Although some of the causes of severe hypotension in shock can also lead to orthostatic hypotension, the drop in blood pressure is much greater in the former case and does not return to normal.

Causes of hypotensive shock include:

  • Great blood loss (internal or external)
  • Septic shock from infection or toxins
  • Severe fluid loss due to diarrhea, burns, or overuse of diuretics.
  • Cardiogenic shock due to heart attack, arrhythmia, or pulmonary embolism
  • Vasodilator shock seen in traumatic brain injuries, liver failure, intoxication, or anaphylaxis.

Shock is a medical emergency and you should call 9-1-1 for medical assistance.


For the most part, low blood pressure is good. Unless it happens suddenly or causes symptoms, there is usually nothing to worry about. In fact, when you have low blood pressure, you have a lower risk of developing heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.

A study by a team of Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers found that a small portion of the population has a genetic mutation that not only lowers blood pressure, but also reduces the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. In fact, according to the researchers, people who carry the mutation have a 60% reduction in the risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure by age 60.

A 2012 study looked at the genetic variants that were associated with blood pressure and did not find that they strongly influence a person's orthostatic hypotension. Although orthostatic hypotension is more common in people who have close relatives with the condition, it is not associated with specific inheritance patterns.


Sometimes your blood pressure is affected by the function or structure of your heart. This can lead to orthostatic hypotension or, in severe cases, cardiogenic shock. Here are some common problems that affect your blood pressure:

  • Heart problems that cause a decrease in heart rate.
  • Heart problems that lead to a decrease in heart force.
  • Decrease in the amount of blood that enters the body.

Plaque buildup in the arteries associated with aging narrows them and can reduce blood flow to the heart and brain. It can also contribute to the development of hypotension.

Lifestyle risk factors

Other factors can affect blood pressure, such as diet, exercise, and age. Here is an overview of some of the additional risk factors for low blood pressure:

  • Deficiencies in essential nutrients such as folic acid or iron can lead to a decrease in the red blood cell count or hemoglobin concentration, resulting in anemia.
  • Changes in blood sugar levels , such as those caused by diabetes, can lead to hypotension.
  • Eating habits : Some elderly patients, especially those with pre-existing high blood pressure , may experience postprandial hypotension , when blood pressure drops suddenly after a heavy meal.
  • Hydration – Make sure you drink the right amount of water and / or sports drinks during your workout to prevent dehydration. When you exercise longer or when you sweat more, you need to replenish salt (electrolytes found in sports drinks) and maintain good blood pressure.

Get the word of drug information

Feeling a little dizzy when you get up suddenly is something that most people experience at times. But if it happens frequently, it can be worrisome. If you have been diagnosed with low blood pressure and begin to experience symptoms such as dizziness, dizziness, tiredness, or fainting, you should speak to your doctor immediately.

Frequently asked questions

  • Call 9-1-1 or seek emergency care if you have low blood pressure along with any of the following signs or symptoms:

    • Nausea
    • Cold, clammy and pale skin
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness
    • Cardiopalmus
    • Fainting
    • Unusual dehydration or thirst
    • Blurry vision
    • Rapid, shallow breathing
    • Concentration problems
    • Headache, neck or back pain
    • Depression
    • Fatigue

  • If you have dangerously low blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe IV fluids in the emergency room. To avoid sudden drops in blood pressure, your healthcare professional may recommend the following:

    • Get up slowly when sitting or lying down
    • Wear compression stockings
    • Avoid standing for long periods

    If your low blood pressure is caused by a medical condition, your healthcare provider will work with you to diagnose and treat it .

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