Most people worry about high blood pressure, and with good reason as it portends numerous health risks, such as the possibility of an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Low blood pressure brings a different set of problems, such as reduced brain function and increased mortality risk. If the upper or lower number deviates by more than 10 from 120/80, it pays to be aware low blood pressure may be affecting your health.
Think of it like this.
The function of your blood pressure is to push the blood out of your blood vessels by permeating out of them to the rest of the body. High blood pressure is often a compensatory response to something that is going on in the body. If you cover up the end response of your body you can get other symptoms. Such as, a very common side effect of blood pressure medications is brain fog or mental “unclarity”. Which really makes perfect sense. Your brain is now not getting the blood (or oxygen) it needs to function, which equals……uhhhhhhhh? What?
As a side note I often find that in the elderly, if they have not taken care of themselves and their arteries are already starting to harden, this will lead to decreased permeability of the blood vessels. As a result, blood pressure goes up to compensate and get blood to the brain. If you lower blood pressure too much, you no think too much! ;-)
Blood pressure pushes blood through about 100,000 miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries in the body, carrying oxygen, nutrients, immune cells, hormones, neurotransmitters, and other vital compounds.
High blood pressure strains blood vessels. However, low blood pressure means not enough blood is getting to capillaries and tissues, particularly in your hands, feet, and brain. This deprives those tissues of sufficient oxygen and nutrients. You may have chronic nail fungal infections and cold hands and feet if so. These can also be signs of an immune system that is deficient as well. So it pays to check both.
Adrenal fatigue as a cause of low blood pressure
The most common cause of low blood pressure (other than taking blood pressure medications) in a functional medicine model is poor adrenal function.
The adrenals are two walnut-sized glands that sit atop the kidneys. They produce stress hormones and help regulate blood pressure. Many people today suffer from adrenal fatigue due to chronic stress. Other causes of adrenal fatigue are poor diets, low blood sugar, chronic infections, gut problems, inflammation, and unmanaged autoimmunity — all stressors.
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I had an eating disorder in high school and ever since I've had low blood pressure. All the symptoms are me. :/ Constantly cold hands and feet, constantly sick, definitely experience dizziness frequently, I've fallen before, etc. It's frustrating
Thank you Craig
Your eloquent manner made understanding this condition very informative.
I have began feeling very dizzy and my husband (also an MD like your good self) suggested sea salt. My concern is; as I get older, will I be at a higher risk of dementia ?
Yesterday evening I was feeling well as long as I lay down but with my work (deadlines), running my own practice etc, it’s not conducive to do so. I suffer from LBP and as such the brain fog makes sense. My fear is vascular dementia when I’m old.
Thank you so much. This was very helpful! Last time I measured my blood pressure, it was 90/60. At that moment I did actually feel pretty good. I feel dizzy and sick almost all day every day... I even fainted a few times already. The doctor noticed how much my blood pressure drops when I stand up.. Yet no one seems to take it seriously... My hand and feet are often cold and I am especially very annoyed by the paleness of my face skin, which is way lighter that the rest of my body and makes me look ill. Could that last symptom have to do with poor blood circulation? And can low blood pressure also affect your colon? Since I have been suffering from chronical obstipation...
Thank you very much. I use AdrenaCalm now, plus do salt sole and iodine. Still struggling to get BP up to safe levels. I realized from your video that low blood sugar could be an issue. Since I focus on brain health I eat low glycemic and fast about 14 hours from dinner to breakfast. I'm wondering if that could be contributing to the BP problem. Would adding the licorice root and cortisol calm be too much with what I'm already doing? I understand if a reply is not given, but wanted to try :-). Thank you again.
I’m 11 and I just started 6th grade a few days ago. In class I was starting to get real dizzy. And then at the end of the day I had a school assembly and the same thing happened again. When I got up to go back to my class my head started hurting. I called my dad and he said I probably had low blood pressure. Do you think I have low blood pressure?
1 out of every 30 times I stand up, the lightheadedness is so bad I have what I can only describe as a seizure. My upper body spasms and one time I fainted and lost consciousness for long enough to not understand why I was lying on my back. My bp is usually around 100/56. Bloodwork showed my sugar was 73...i did eat 2 dennys pancakes that morning and i was supposed to be fasting...
I think I have low blood pressure my nurse checks my vitals and because im lightheaded all the time and I blackout always I always seem to have literally low blood pressure according to my nurse. She tells me its low and I tell her yes I feel that it is low. I am concerned about me because of the blacking out part I do not feel my best having this condition.
Lol. The short answer is death, but it depends on your weight. On google you can search LD50 of Atenolol. It’ll tell you how to calculate your weight and the meds. This is the lethal dose in about 50% of people.
I have orthostatic low blood pressure and very low when I exercise. When coming home from walking a fast walk I'll have 80/65 and I'm dizzy, shaky and weak as fuck. No one cares in the hospitals. I'm ill in bipolar disorder and people just think it's a mental problem, they just think I fuzz over nothing. I'm chronically tired and don't want to live my life like this. HELP.
I thought I’d have high blood pressure cause I’m fat but it turns out I have extremely low blood pressure 😂 I checked three times cause I was so shocked, the results I got were 85/47/65 , 98/56/71 and 96/65/68. Now I understand why I always get dizzy when I stand up.
No salt crave. IBS dehydration tho. Dizzy and sleep all the time. BP can go from 120 to 140 while I only take fluexotine. Can feel my palpitations esp when I sit up in the bed/wake up from sleeping. Can't do squat(go to work, school, etc my performance suffers badly). W/e it is it makes my family super angry with me they don't even believe me. Like I've said in another comment, I'm taking a birth control pill for irregular menstruation and my BP has me here looking up what low BP is. It's never gotten this low so it might be because of this medicine but my BP can get high...without the birth pills. The birth pills are not responsible for me not doing well with work or school or just walking outside...always sleepy.
I have a reading of 112/74 right now. It's so weird cuz my BP is usually high, normal, or low...day to day it's all over the place. Dizzy like someone spun me five times but w/e it's my normal. I can stand up tho and my vision is...the usual. You definitely should go to a cardio doc. It's prob the medicine I'm takin that makes me go low but even off of the meds my BP can get up to 140/80. You don't sound like a medicine problem tho...
Hi Dr. Mortensen, my husband had a third episode of low blood pressure last evening He also has a "silent stroke" in Jan. of this year that wasn't diagnosed until he began to have problems with his left extremities in June. He stopped drinking about 7 years ago and he was a heavy drinker then. From that point on his substitute for the alcohol was candy which he eats every day and in excess. Since his last low blood pressure episode I've made sure that he eats some sort of breakfast from hot dogs to fried egg and cheese sandwiches to pancakes and eggs, just to give his body something other than candy to function off of (and provide energy). Of course, I'm very worried about this issue with him. He's a 65 year old african american who ate a lot of artery clogging foods in the past. And his mom made chittlins recently and he eat some of that last week. The doctors also say to follow up with you cardiologists and he's done that without a diagnosis of any issue with his heart. Your mention of poor adrenial function/adrenial fatigue gives me hope that this could be his issue and on Monday with his doctor that's what I'm going to insist on having test performed on. Thank you for your video; I found it very informative regarding the arteries and general causes of high and low blood pressure. This is the most positive information I've gotten on this issue with him-the doctors call it "near syncope," which doesn't help at all with the "why" of it all.
Question please, my vision gets blurred as a result of low blood pressure and I'm wondering if it's only temporary until I can get my blood pressure stabilized or if this can cause permanent damage in the long run if I don't get it fixed soon? Thank you
Hello Dr. I believe i am suffering from low blood pressure i have suffered from sudden fainting, loss of vision (blackness), and recently i feel really tired and cant do anything. i have lost my appetite which made me lose weight. i am stressed in life because of personal issue. i sometimes feel like I'm going to have a heart attack because my heart beats very fast and sometimes i cant breath because it hurts my heart. I need advice.
I would definitely recommend seeing a doctor and/or functional medicine doctor. Have them do a full blood workup to see what is going on. Some of the first things that come to mind are adrenal fatigue, hypoglycemic episodes(possibly hyper followed by hypo), anxiety and cortisol management, possibly even hormones. Keep in mind I cannot give medical advice over youtube but that will give you a starting point. Good luck and let me know if I can help you with anything.
Hello if you can help well I akways been having. Low BP but yesterday it was 85/51 😷 felt so weak and disoriented .Other times when I sit amd get up my legs start to tingling and I feel like I'm going to loose balance or faint and start feeling dizzy even when I'm working out too hard :( What should I do I just feel so weak ...
I always recommend getting a full workup to see whats going on at the root of everything. Make sure they check glucose levels, anemia, adrenals (cortisol saliva 4 times a day) electrolytes, and possibly even hormones. Coffee can affect things. Sometimes it can either help or hurt adrenal fatigue issues (if that is the case) and will sugar levels and blood pressure.
There could be a number of causes. If you are getting true palpitations like an arrythmia type issue I would definitely get checked out by a cardiologist. Other that that the first things to look at are blood volume, adrenal fatigue, cycle and period severity and length, electrolytes, and nutritional status to name a few.
Dr Mortensen, thank you for your response to my question. I was interested to note your reference to cardiologist but could dehydration be another reason for such drop in BP. I should mention that she was on chemotherapy at the time this occurred. Thank you.
That is pretty low! I would wonder what is it normally? Are you on any meds? Do you have any other health issues? Did you pass out and how long did it last? That may require a visit to the cardiologist.
I get dizzy very often sitting to standing to sitting to laying down even just doing dishes.... sometimes i think there's an earthquake happening but really things are just moving in my head apparently lol scary :/
always crave salt and i always eat himalayan daily.... i always have shallow breathing and my blood pressure is often low. Recent blood pressure was 98/63. Always tired, depressed, anxious and have memory issues, foggy brain and aches and pain
I still have that problem i'm notorious for of doing really well for awhile then crashing hard.
I appreciate all the guidance you've given me, you definitely know your field very well.
Iv been learning some trick from the Life Regenerator guy on youtube too....
this guy used to have a very unhealthy lifestyle, then he moved to Kauai to detox and live clean, the man bathed in waterfalls and sleep in dirt lol but his juicing seems golden his skin glows and he's got so much energy ..... he's really interesting to watch lol check him out "Dan the Man" lol
Thank you Dr. Craig!!!
To start I would recommend doing a full blood panel (not a typical blood panel). For example my first panel will often be in the range of 6-10 vials and sometimes you might have to go to the blood draw station on two separate occasions to get it all. Depending on what you find on that an adrenal and/or hormone testing might be in order. There could be a few different things that could be going on but that would be a good place to start. Make sure to have a functional medicine doctor evaluate the labs. We generally use different reference ranges. Dr. C.
I am a hemodialysis patient usually having hypertension. Since undergoing dialysis, my pressure has decreased 74/34 at it lowest then it increases suddenly, then falls again. After treatment my pressure remains low 108/70. Yesterday I felt faint and almost fell. This is a first time event. I am followed by a Penn Medicine Cardiologist who ordered pending blood work. What advice if any, can you give that could prevent future episodes? In your video I heard you reference sea salt. I would like to learn more. B. Kristoff Jakksen
Thank you Dr. Mortensen, your video helped me a lot. I've had orthostatic hypotension since I was about 9 years old, and as I've aged (I'm now 50), my symptoms have become more like the ones you describe initially (dizzyness, cold extremities, fatigue and depression). I've gone to several doctors over the years, and all have said low blood pressure, no matter how low, is not a problem until it's so low that one dies. Therefore, I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge! I made a dietary change a few months ago, trying to avoid salt, and the vertigo has intensified. I will see if going back to sodium changes anything.
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