While many people with low blood pressure may not experience symptoms, other people experience headaches, among other things.
Very high or very low blood pressure can indicate an underlying condition or issue that needs treatment.
When a person has low blood pressure (hypotension), they may experience a headache and a range of other symptoms, including nausea and lightheadedness. Sometimes, these symptoms require medical attention.
Keep reading to learn more about low blood pressure headaches, including the causes and how to treat them.
Some medications may cause the body to lose more liquid, leading to a decrease in blood volume, low blood pressure, and, sometimes, a headache.
A change in posture may also trigger a headache due to low blood pressure. Experiencing some forms of hypotension, such as orthostatic hypotension from standing up too fast, may cause symptoms in some people.
Other symptoms of low blood pressure and the severity of these symptoms vary from person to person.
Potential symptoms of low blood pressure include:
- feeling lightheaded
- fatigue or weakness
- blurred vision
- neck or back pain
- heart palpitations
- nausea and vomiting
Sitting down and resting may help relieve mild symptoms.
The American Heart Association (AHA) note other symptoms of low blood pressure can include:
- dehydration or constant or unusual thirst
- difficulty concentrating or feeling confused
- rapid, shallow breathing rate
- cold, clammy skin
Low blood pressure is blood pressure in ranges lower than
Many people with low blood pressure may not even be aware of it. The
Low blood pressure is not always a cause for concern, however. The AHA note that there is no specific level that constitutes dangerously low blood pressure.
A dangerously low blood pressure level varies greatly between individuals. Doctors may only consider low blood pressure a dangerous issue if it causes noticeable symptoms.
There are many causes of low blood pressure, including a person’s health and daily activities, underlying conditions, and medications.
Daily health and activities
- breathing rate
- stress level
- physical health
Some people may not notice blood pressure changes, while others will experience symptoms.
Underlying conditions or other issues may also influence low blood pressure and lead to symptoms.
Low blood pressure may occur with:
- nutrient deficiencies
- lying down or standing for extended periods
- endocrine issues such as hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, and parathyroid disease
- low blood sugar and diabetes
- severe blood loss, such as from trauma, dehydration, or internal bleeding.
- alcohol use
- severe infection
- allergic reaction leading to anaphylaxis
Additionally, low blood pressure may occur as a response to some drugs, such as:
- drugs for high blood pressure
- heart medications, such as beta-blockers
- tricyclic antidepressants
- drugs for Parkinson’s disease
- drugs for erectile dysfunction
- narcotic drugs
Finding ways to control the underlying cause may help prevent symptoms, such as headaches.
Learn about other causes of low blood pressure and how to treat it here.
There are several types of low pressure:
Orthostatic hypotension: This is a drop in blood pressure when moving from a prone position to standing. Symptoms include brief dizziness, seeing stars, or headache. Research posted to the Journal of the American Medical Directors Associationnotes that older people are more at risk for complications and injury from orthostatic hypertension, such as falling due to dizziness.
Postprandial hypotension: This is a drop in blood pressure that may occur just after eating. Research posted to Clinical Autonomic Researchnotes that this may be more of an issue in people with other underlying neurological conditions.
Neurally mediated hypotension: This may occur after standing for extended periods. Research posted to Frontiers in Immunology notes that this may be more common in children with underlying conditions, such as allergic conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system.
Severe hypotension: Severe hypotension may occur with various forms of shock. In this form, hypotension gets so bad the body cannot supply the organs with enough blood. Severe hypotension and shock can be life threatening.
It is not necessary to raise the blood pressure unless low blood pressure is causing concerning symptoms. Anyone who has concerning symptoms should contact a doctor or healthcare professional.
However, some general tips that may also help keep a person’s blood pressure within an optimal range include.:
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day may help prevent dehydration. It may also help counteract the effects of some medications that dry the body out or make it use more water, such as diuretics.
Those who experience headaches from low blood pressure as they stand up may want to pay close attention to their movement. Changing positions slowly and gradually may help prevent symptoms.
Anyone who suspects a medicine is causing the symptoms should talk to a doctor about changing their dosage or prescription.
Do not stop taking a medication without direct guidance from a doctor.
A person with consistently low blood pressure who is otherwise healthy and feels fine may not need medical treatment. However, doctors may continue to monitor the low blood pressure.
People who experience low blood pressure symptoms for the first time should check in with a doctor who can diagnose any underlying issues.
Sometimes, extremely low blood pressure can be a medical emergency, as it could prevent the organs from getting enough oxygen. If this occurs, the body could go into shock.
Symptoms of shock include:
- rapid, shallow breathing
- fast but weak pulse
- cold, pale, clammy skin
- blue hue to the skin
- confusion or difficulty concentrating
- fainting or loss of consciousness
Anyone experiencing symptoms of shock should seek emergency medical attention.
Low blood pressure is generally not a cause for concern unless it causes symptoms, such as a headache.
Anyone concerned about their symptoms should see a doctor for a full diagnosis and treatment plan because the low blood pressure could relate to an underlying condition.