Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing

Low blood pressure | Causes, symptoms, management, and treatment

07 November, 2018
Doctor checking blood pressure of patient

Getting low

In an age of stress, anxiety and almost constant change, it can be easy to forget that blood pressure flows both ways. Low blood pressure (or hypotension) might conjure images of sipping coconut juice on a beach, but the reality of the condition may leave some feeling weak, tired, and dizzy.

Before we get to that, we must ask…

What is low blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure pumped blood places against the walls of blood vessels.

Blood pressure has 2 components, the systolic (the pressure exerted on vessels when the heart is contracting and diastolic which is the pressure exerted when the heart is relaxed.

A normal blood pressure is 120 (systolic)/80 (diastolic).

When your blood pressure is at healthy levels, it means your blood, carrying nutrients and oxygen to various parts of your body, isn’t putting your arteries or body under unnecessary strain to properly oxygenate all your organs.

High blood pressure could see your arteries and heart get damaged by the extra force placed on them. This is a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and other heart and general health conditions.

High blood pressure (hypertension stage 1) has a score of 130-139/80-89.

High blood pressure (hypertension stage 2) has a score of 140/90 or higher.

Critical blood pressure has a score of 180/120 or higher. If you are measured in this category, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Low blood pressure is the opposite, where your where the pressure of the blood circulating is lower than what is expected. It is generally only a problem if it produces physical symptoms.

A blood pressure score of 90/60 or lower is considered to be low.

Interesting note: very fit people can have low blood pressure and experience no negative effects. This is because their cardiovascular system is more efficient, able to deliver necessary blood without extra effort.

Symptoms of low blood pressure

Because low blood pressure can have no symptoms at all, it’s important that you’re getting your blood pressure checked regularly. When symptoms do occur, they might include:

  • Feelings of light-headedness or dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue and general weakness
  • Clammy, pale skin
  • Fainting

When might these symptoms occur?

Symptoms can occur when you’re doing nothing or going about your day as normal.

If you have orthostatic or postural hypotension, you’ll experience dizziness and light-headedness during a change of position, like getting up from a chair, or straining on the toilet.

This is because blood vessels respond to gravity by constricting. When they don’t constrict, your blood follows the natural path left to it by gravity, and rushes away from your brain.

What causes low blood pressure?

It’s a big, long list, but here it goes…

  • Overheating
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Allergies
  • High intake of drugs and alcohol
  • Some medications
  • Illness by infection
  • Certain heart conditions
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Emotional distress (like pain or fear)
  • Blood loss (donation or…otherwise)
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Addison’s disease
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Prolonged bed rest

Managing low blood pressure

Because low blood pressure is a symptom of other causes, it’s best to go to your GP to figure out the (forgive the pun) heart of the problem.

In the meantime, some general principles to follow are:

  • maintain a normal fluid intake
  • Eat a varied, healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Ask your doctor or chemist about side-effects of your medication
  • Take your time changing body positions, such as if going from lying to standing do so gradually and not in one quick movement
  • Control any bleeding straight away

Especially the last one.

If you’d like to know more about managing blood pressure, check out this helpful guide.


1911_CBHS Skyscraper Banner-07

Suggested Articles

  • Older adults using fitness gadgets

    Top Fitness Trends of 2020

    We put our ears to the ground and asked the pros what top health and fitness trends we can expect to see in 2020.
    • Fitness
    21 January 2020
  • A tropical smoothie

    Treat yourself to a tropical smoothie

    Keep up your good intentions as January draws to a close and stay off the high fat, processed snacks. Treat yourself to this delicious tropical smoothie instead.
    • Nutrition
    21 January 2020
  • A person checking weight Loss

    Four simple rules to lose weight

    Dieting but not losing weight? You may have been given bad advice. Try following these four simple food rules to speed up your weight loss efforts.
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020
  • Face mask

    Should I be worried about smoke haze?

    Australia’s bush fire crisis has devastated many towns and rural communities. Cities not directly affected have been blanketed in smoke, but how hazardous is it?
    • Wellbeing
    16 January 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F