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High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure dropping

09/23/2008

Question:

I have had some issues with neck/throat pain and constant headaches at the base of the back of my head as well as dizzy spells for about three months now. I also noticed that sometimes upon waking after a nap or in the morning, my heart seems to be racing. My bp has always been right at 120/80. In June while donating blood I discovered my bp had dropped to 114/76 and at my yearly visit to the gynecologist this past week, I was concerned to find out that it has again dropped to 96/50. Should I be worried? Are all of these symptoms related?

Answer:

It is hard to give specific advice without having all the data.  However, a few points can be made:

Low blood pressure is harmless, as long as the person has no symptoms.  In other words, if you feel well, you don't have to worry about a blood pressure of 96/50.

On the other hand, if you experience lightheadedness or dizziness while your blood pressure is low, it may be the sign of an underlying problem.  You may need an ultrasound exam (Doppler) of your carotid arteries, an EKG and some basic lab test (blood count, urinalysis, blood sugar level and kidney function tests).

For more information:

Go to the High Blood Pressure health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati