September 21, 2009,
S.L. asks from Boise, ID on September 16, 2009
What Does Low Blood Pressure Feel Like?
Most people will just tell me that low blood pressure doesn't have symptoms, and that it means I'm healthy.
But yesterday at my OB appointment, my blood pressure was really low, 100/43. WebMD says that if either number is less than 90/60, it's considered low. The nurse went on and on about how great that was, and read back to me my past BP's. Two weeks ago it was higher, not low enough to qualify as low. And before that (and as usual) it was 120/80 (that's my norm). I couldn't belive the nurse was so happy about it being so low. I said, "yeah, as long as I don't pass out!" She said, "as long as you're feeling fine."
So I thought it was interesting that I have been feeling awful. I'm not one to psych myself into feeling a certain way, so I don't think it's psychosomatic. Last night, I could NOT concentrate. It took me 30 minutes to mix biscuit dough. And I couldn't focus on what my kids were saying. It all sounded like really annoying background static. Speaking of static, I told my hsuband that it felt like my brain was tuned to a snowy channel. I was also very weak and tired, so much that my husband took the kids out to a movie so I could rest.
I feel a little better today, but still a little "snowy" in the brain, and not much energy. I'm used to a little of that because I have fibromyalgia, but this is WAY worse! I can hardly function!
Could it be the low blood pressure, or is it just another "you're pregnant and there's nothing for it" symptom?
So What Happened?™
Thanks, everyone. I'm not so worried about it anymore thanks to your repsonses. It just seems like my sudden super-tiredness coincided with the low BP. I have fibromyalgia, so I'm used to the fuzzy brain, body aches, and fatigue, but this was BAD. Nothing like the usual.
If it's just from not getting enough rest, I don't know how I'll fix that. i'll have to overhaul my life, because I'm already behind big-time on housework and getting ready for the baby. It's all so complicated with fibromyalgia! Since I always feel tired, i sort of ignore feeling tired, so I don't always get enough rest.
I've been trying to drink more and added some extra salt. I haven't felt as bad as I did that one night, so I guess it's working!
M.H. answers from Denver on September 17, 2009
I can't say if yours is a problem or not, but I will say that your "low" blood pressure is my "normal"... and when I was pregnant, it was even lower than that. I started doing a lot of research on it because the only symptom I have is that I can't get up too fast - or I am dizzy. When I was younger I used to pass out a lot, but not since I have been an adult.
So anyway my research yielded that the medical community has decided that nothing is considered "low" blood pressure any more - NOTHING (which I find weird) and like you, the nurses were happy with me talking about how great my seemingly insanely low blood pressure was when I was pregnant. At one point I was left wondering... well how low, exactly, can low go? I can't remember how low it got, but I gave up worrying about it. I think maybe at one point they told me the top number shouldn't go under 70. Something crazy.
Can't say for sure, but with 2 kids and being pregnant you are probably tired and need rest!!
E.T. answers from Denver on September 17, 2009
As one of the other ladies noted, some people normally have low blood pressure. All of the women in my family tend to have blood pressure on the low side. As a young woman, my mother's blood pressure was so low that she should have been dying or dead -- they always took her pressure 5 or 6 times. But my mom always felt fine.
My blood pressure is usually @ 90/60, and occasionally it dropped for no reason when I was pregnant. I usually just laid down and tried to rest. I also occasionally get low blood sugar if I'm not sensible about my eating, and eat too much sugar or carbs without anything else. It only happened once or twice when I was pregnant because I was so conscientious about eating well.
When that is severe, I get really woozy/confused and nauseated with the cold sweats. The best solution is to eat or drink something with with sugar in it like OJ to deal wth the immediate symptoms. Then quickly follow it up with protein (or fats if you can't get protein) to make sure that you don't have another blood sugar drop.
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A.C. answers from Colorado Springs on September 17, 2009
I have low blood sugar & have the same symptoms. I too get foggy brain when I'm pregnant, but I think what you're describing is more than that. Start writing down your symptoms & when you have them, so you can take it to the doc & say "see, this is a pattern & a real problem for me". Hubby can't take the kids to the movies every night & won't be there to help you all day long. Hopefully they can do something to help you!
L.C. answers from Denver on September 17, 2009
I've been having the same problem, feeling sick,and very light headed. When the nurse took my blood pressure at my last OB appt she said it was 100/60, looking good. Well, I'm usually at 120/80 every appt. When I actually went in to see my OB and mentioned the whole dizzy and out of it feeling, she said it was because my blood pressure was lower. Not low on the dangerous end, just low for what my body is used to, and it can happen about this spot in the pregnancy. So it probably is the low blood pressure, unfortunatly nothing to do but just rest when you can. But I know exactly what you feel like as far as being so loopy and you can't focus.
J.F. answers from Denver on September 17, 2009
I think it is just your pregnancy... if there was something wrong they would tell you.
My BP is always in the 90's and I am 39 weeks prego.
They say it is great.
I am of course tired and sometimes fuzzy, but I assume that is just baby stuff. My other pregnancy was the same way. AND when I am not prego my BP is still lower than normal. My docs all say it is good... so just be happy you aren't on the other end and have to deal with preeclampsia and what not.
M.K. answers from Provo on September 17, 2009
I have had low blood pressure my whole life. Usually I am fine. I'm very active and it doesn't usually hinder any of the activities I like to do: running, swimming, biking, climbing, wakeboarding, for example. Sometimes though it drops really low and I have to be careful about fainting. If I stand up too fast I get dizzy and can possibly faint. I also have noticed that on days that are bad if I take a hot shower in the morning it's dangerous. I have found that eating something salty really helps me. I also get low blood sugar sometimes and orange juice helps for that.
You are pregnant (I thought I gathered that from your description). Your body is making a lot of extra blood. The first thing it does is make the plasma part, then the red blood cells have to catch up. This effects your blood pressure. Totally normal, but can cause dizziness.
I have never really noticed not being able to focus as one of my symptoms from low blood pressure, so you might want to consider a combination of things.
I do have a hard time focusing when my blood sugar is really low, i also get cranky.
I also get EXTREMELY tired, fatigued, and foggy brained when I am pregnant. Especially for the first 20 weeks. I get so tired it really is hard to do anything at all and focusing is difficult. I feel like a am mentally constantly pushing through sludge. I don't know if it is connected with my low blood pressure I never thought of linking the two. I just thought it was a symptom of pregnancy. (That's the number one way I know I am pregnant, it's like pressing an instant tired button). Try to get as much rest as possible, see if that helps. I mean you are growing a whole other human being, that is taxing on the body!
You could also consider being checked for anemia. That can be common during pregnancy and it will definitely make you more tired.
One other thing to just consider is depression which can also develop during pregnancy. Tiredness, and inability to focus ARE symptoms. Usually though to get a diagnosis of depression you would also have to have feelings of prolonged sadness and loss of self esteem, etc.
You know your body. If you are getting a lot of rest, eating well and you still feel concerned about your health consider talking to your doctor about it. (not the nurse)
K.D. answers from Provo on September 17, 2009
There's normal, healthy blood pressure, and then there's low blood pressure. While we should all strive to have ours on the low healthy side, if it's too low then your body isn't getting the oxygen it needs because it's like trying to water a garden with a hose that has no water pressure behind it -- the water just dribbles out.
What you describe is exactly how I felt with my last pregnancy. I didn't have low blood pressure, but I did have low iron (it was borderline, so they hadn't brought it up with me, but I live at high altitude so borderline is really low). Call your docs office and tell the nurse how you're feeling. Ask her to check with the doc and see if iron supplements might be necessary (They made a world of difference with me!). Good luck!
M.G. answers from Salt Lake City on September 17, 2009
Low blood pressure is completely normal during pregnancy!!!