Q:

What causes low blood pressure?

A:

Quick Answer

Dehydration sometimes causes low blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic. Dehydration can lead to a life-threatening condition known as hypovolemic shock. The low blood volume reduces the oxygen supply to tissues and, if untreated, can cause death. Other causes include blood loss and heart problems.

Continue Reading
What causes low blood pressure?
Credit: Shana Novak Photodisc Getty Images

Full Answer

Dehydration sometimes occurs from health conditions such as diarrhea, according to WebMD. The loss of fluids and electrolytes leads to a decrease in blood volume. When a dehydrated person stands, the symptoms of low blood pressure, including dizziness, are made worse. This dizziness can lead to falls.

Major trauma, such as an automobile accident or internal bleeding, also lead to a loss of blood volume, according to the American Heart Association. When low blood pressure results in dizziness, the individual should see a doctor to rule out dangerous internal bleeding.

Heart problems can prevent the blood from circulating through the body correctly, according to Mayo Clinic. A low heart rate due to heart disease causes low blood pressure. Heart valve problems prevent the heart from building the blood pressure to the correct level. Heart failure and heart attack also have the potential to lower the blood pressure.

A single low blood pressure reading is generally not reason for concern, according to the American Heart Association. However, sudden drops in blood pressure sometimes cause the individual to become dizzy or faint. The drops can indicate an underlying problem, and a doctor should examine the person.

Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels

Related Questions

Explore