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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: Low blood pressure/ low pulse Should I be concened??

 jamo29 - Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:34 pm

Ok so me and the wife donate blood for time to time. Well the last 3 times we tried to donate she was denied because her blood pressure was below 100 and her pulse was in the low 40's? Is this cause for concern? Could this be something serious?? If not what are her best options to get her blood pressure up without medications?? Is there a diet she can follow??
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:55 pm

User avatar Hello --

While some people are naturally vagatonic (the vagus nerve dominates their heart rate and makes it slower than normal) and runners and the very fit also often have very slow rates, this can also be caused by an electrical problem. Since this was uncovered during blood donor screening there probably wasn't an EKG done, and that's one thing that should be done just as a baseline thing. If it looks fine then there's no sinus node nor AV nodal problem (no heart block or sinus slowing) and this is probably just an idiosyncrasy, especially if your wife has no other symptoms because of the lowness and slowness.

The 12-lead EKG and possibly an echocardiogram wouldn't be unreasonable, just to be certain this is all good. However, if your wife is very fit, a runner, or otherwise very athletic, this is often seen as a by-product. Some ultra-fit people even develop something called neurocardiogenic syncope, where the rate and BP get so low they get lightheaded and/or pass out. This is not a serious problem either, except that no one needs to be falling down or passing out, and one can get a head injury that way. If this isn't happening chances are there's nothing really going on, but to be on the safe side the EKG at least should be done just to be certain.

Making certain one is well-hydrated and has enough salts (electrolytes) in the blood can also help avoid the low BP if not the slower rate. Just an afterthought.

Hope this is helpful to you (and to your wife). Please follow up with us as needed.
 Dr. E Asis - Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:47 pm

User avatar Hi jamo29! As long as your wife is not having any symptoms such as dizziness, fainting spell nor any chest pain, it's not a problem at all. You better consult your doctor to request for at least an ECG just to make sure she's not suffering from any heart rate abnormality.

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