Low blood pressure, or hypotension, happens when the pressure that your heart pushes blood around your body and the pressure when your heart rests falls below the recommended levels.
This means that you will have a reading of 90/60mmHg or lower when your blood pressure is tested by a GP.
Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors, or by processes we can’t control such as ageing.
Symptoms of the condition include dizziness and fainting, among others.
These often are not dangerous, according to the NHS.
The NHS says that your blood pressure varies depending on the time of day, and even where your reading is taken.
“[Generally] it gradually increases throughout the day. What you’re doing and how you’re feeling can also affect it,” says the national healthcare provider on its website.
“There are many possible causes of low blood pressure.”
The condition may be caused by high health and fitness levels, or may be due to inherited genetics from your parents.
Low blood pressure may also occur as you get older.
The NHS says that low blood pressure can also be caused by pregnancy, some medical conditions like diabetes, and some medication.
The Mayo Clinic, based in the US, adds that low blood pressure causes can include heart problems, dehydration, severe infection or a severe allergic reaction. It also says that age and parkinson disease may contribute to your risk of developing the condition.
“Drops in blood pressure on standing or after eating occur primarily in adults older than 65,” it says on its website.
“Doctors often break down low blood pressure into categories, depending on the causes and other factors.”
Symptoms of the condition include lightheadedness or dizziness, feeling sick, blurred vision, feeling weak, confusion and fainting, according to the NHS.
“Having these might mean your blood pressure is too low.”
“If you get symptoms when you stand up or suddenly change position, you may have postural low blood pressure.”
You can also develop low blood pressure after eating, due to faulty brain signals or nervous system damage.
The major risk factors for low blood pressure include old age, medications and certain diseases.