Health and lifestyle FAQs

View our short videos specifically designed to answer all your questions about how your health and lifestyle affect your heart health.

What is low blood pressure?

Low blood pressure (hypotension) is when you have a blood pressure reading below 90/60mmHg.

When you have low blood pressure, the force of blood pushing through your blood vessels and against your artery walls is too slow. This means blood isn’t pumping around your body quickly enough to reach vital organs, including the brain.

Hypotension is not always an indicator of any problems, as many healthy adults have low blood pressure due to medication or certain lifestyle factors. Excessive low blood pressure, however, can be a sign of a medical issue or condition that needs addressing.

Symptoms

You are unlikely to have symptoms if your blood pressure is low, so you might not know you have it until you measure it.

If you do experience symptoms, they might include:

These symptoms could indicate a serious illness or condition needing immediate medical attention.

Talk to us if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are worried about your heart health. We can help diagnose your condition and walk you through a tailor-made treatment plan for your needs.

Causes

There are many causes of low blood pressure, which include:

Everyday causes

  • Your age
  • Your genetics
  • Eating
  • Standing up too quickly (known as postural or orthostatic hypotension)
  • The external environment temperature
  • Exercise
  • Levels of stress
  • Dehydration
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Alcohol or recreational drug use

Medication

Some medications can cause side effects, including lowering blood pressure. Some medications that can cause these side effects include beta blockers, alpha blockers, and some types of antidepressants.

Speak to a healthcare professional you trust about your symptoms and any changes you’ve noticed over the course of taking your prescribed medication.

Illnesses or conditions

Anaemia – When your blood’s red blood cell or haemoglobin count is low due to low levels of vitamin B-12, folate, and iron, you can experience low blood pressure.

Pregnancy – Orthostatic hypotension is expected during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Any bleeding or complications can also cause low blood pressure. You should return to normal once your pregnancy is over.

Central nervous system diseases – Conditions like Parkinson’s disease or multiple system atrophy can affect how your nervous system controls your blood pressure.

Heart and lung conditions – If your heart is beating too slowly or your lungs aren’t functioning correctly, this can trigger low blood pressure.

Diabetes – This condition can affect your hormones and nerves, leading to your blood vessels. Issues with the blood vessels can make you susceptible to orthostatic hypotension.

Problems with your adrenal glands – These glands produce hormones that help control blood pressure. If the glands are damaged, this can lead to hypotension.

Life-threatening conditions – Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), heart attacks, a collapsed lung, and pulmonary embolism (PE) can all affect your blood pressure. Serious allergy attacks (anaphylaxis) and reactions to severe infections, such as sepsis, can also cause hypotension.

Diagnosis

Our specialists will walk through your medical and family history, as well as your symptoms, to determine an accurate diagnosis. A physical examination may be necessary to locate the issue and confirm your condition or illness.

Other tests that may be required include blood tests, an electrocardiogram (ECG), or a tilt table test. We will explain why these tests may be necessary in your first consultation.

Treatment

Low blood pressure without symptoms rarely needs treatment.

The best treatment for your low blood pressure will depend on the cause. These might include changing medication, hormone replacement, or medication to lower your blood pressure or stimulate your nerves.

We will tailor your treatment plan based on your individual needs, so you get the best outcome possible.

Book an appointment

Book an appointment with our skilled cardiologist to better understand your health and set your mind at ease with expert guidance on your next steps.

What our patients say

After suffering from a heart condition for a number of years I was very happy to meet Dr Ahsan, from the first consultation where he believed there was a solution I have now completed the surgery and had my final consultation with him today…

I am very grateful to have Dr Syed Ahsan as my consultant. Dr Ahsan always greets you warmly on each visit despite his busy workload. Dr Ahsan explains everything clearly and helps you to understand even the most complex medical terms…

Have a question?

Speak to our team of specialists:

0203 303 0325
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