Updated 04 May 2018

When is blood pressure too low and what can one do about it?

There seems to be much controversy as to whether this condition in fact exists.

Obviously, if someone has lost a lot of blood after being injured, their blood pressure will be low, but in an otherwise healthy person, there seems to be no bottom cutoff point when it comes to measuring low blood pressure.

Doctors can test blood pressure when a person is lying down and after they have stood up to determine whether there is a significant difference.

Often low blood pressure is disease-based and the disease needs to be treated before the blood pressure will be corrected.

If someone is basically healthy, there is no way to bring up their blood pressure. Drugs claiming to do this can be unsafe.

(Professor Lionel Opie, Cape Heart Centre, UCT)

Read more:
Hypertension in the elderly
Hypertension and fasting


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Dr Jacomien de Villiers qualified as a specialist physician at the University of Pretoria in 1995. She worked at various clinics at the Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Hospital, these include General Internal Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cardiology. She has run a private practice since 2001, as well as a consultant post at the Endocrine Clinic of Steve Biko Hospital.

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