Low diastolic blood pressure is when blood pressure between heartbeats is lower than it should be. Blood pressure is the force that blood exerts against the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body.
This article will take a closer look at low diastolic blood pressure, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What is low diastolic blood pressure?
A person with low diastolic blood pressure may experience lightheadedness and confusion.
Blood pressure readings use two numbers recorded in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The two numbers measure:
Systolic blood pressure: This is the top number, and is the higher of the two. It measures how much pressure the blood applies to the artery walls when the heart beats.
Diastolic blood pressure: This is the lower number, which shows the pressure that the blood applies to the artery walls when the heart rests between beats.
A blood pressure reading will show the systolic blood pressure number first, and diastolic blood pressure second. A doctor will assess a person’s blood pressure by considering both numbers. In most adults, a healthy reading is usually less than 120/80 mm Hg. Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is blood pressure that is below 90/60 mm Hg.
Low diastolic blood pressure, or isolated diastolic blood pressure, is when the diastolic blood pressure falls below 60 mm Hg, while the systolic blood pressure remains at a normal level.
When the heart rests in between beats, the coronary arteries receive and supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood. If the diastolic pressure is too low, the heart will not get the amount of blood and oxygen it needs. This may cause the heart to weaken over time.
Aging can increase the risk of low diastolic blood pressure. Other risk factors include taking certain medications, such as antidepressants, diuretics, or drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.
Older people who take medications for high blood pressure are at higher risk of experiencing lower diastolic blood pressure.
Some people naturally have lower blood pressure, which causes them no health problems. Other people may experience a drop in blood pressure due to an issue with their health. These issues can include:
Some people may also experience neurally mediated hypotension, where blood pressure drops after standing for long periods
Low blood pressure can also be due to:
prolonged bed rest
high salt intake
Moving from lying down to standing up can lead to a dip in blood pressure. This may usually only lasts for a few seconds.
A dip in blood pressure can also happen to some people after they eat a meal. According to the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, this mostly occurs in older adults, those with high blood pressure, or people with Parkinson’s disease.