Low Blood Pressure and Diabetes

So, I’ve always had low blood pressure. When I was younger, and would get sick, I’d often drop to 80 systolic, and 30s diastolic… and even keep a normal blood pressure in the low 100s, or 110s. Never felt awful, or terrible… but you know, dizzy a bit if I got sick, and such… Then fast forward to my Diabetes diagnosis, where I was having higher blood pressure issues instead… Often from 130-140 systolic. Never too horrible feelings, but I controlled my numbers, and lost 65 lbs… and now I have low blood pressure again… Except that I have to be careful because if I’m standing for a long time in the shower – hot water, or just even standing for too long, etc, I will have a very low BP episode, like I’m going to pass out… and have come very close to passing out. The doctor is aware of this, and keeps a good eye on it, though no meds yet or anything… It is more prevalent on days when I’ve exercised a lot, or pushed myself more than usual… (like today…) If I go jump in the shower, where I’m not in motion anymore, and pump on the hot water… or even without the hot water… If I am standing for way too long, I will drop like crazy, and lose all energy, and get dizzy… Blood sugars are always fine during these little episodes… Was done with my shower today, felt fine… was not hot or anything, had the door open… was doing my hair in front of the mirror… and boom… Low BP episode, and had to run and lay down on the bed, and call hubby to help me. There’s a billion reasons why a person can have low blood pressure, but one of the sites I’d been researching said “advanced diabetes” can cause low blood pressure, whatever the heck that means… I don’t have any complications, and I have great control… I guess my question is… Do any of you have low blood pressure, too? Instead of high blood pressure? Just curious… I know I need to be more careful, but damn, I thought I was in the clear today… lol sigh

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I know when my BG gets down really low, my BP follows it… that’s all i can think of though. I have the occasional transitional blood pressure problem, but i think everyone has that.

My Mother would have that once in awhile and her doctor told her to add in a bit of caffeine, that will raise BP. If you have cut all caffeine out of your diet you may want to add a bit into it again. Caffeine will raise BP. It worked for her. Just a suggestion.

Yeah, I had cut it all out… hmmm That’s an idea. I might have to try that, for sure. :slight_smile: Thanks.

I’ve always had low BP too. Often, 96/50 or so. Lower if I was even a little dehydrated. I’ve only had diabetes for a few months, but there seems to be no change in my BP either as a general trend since I was diagnosed or in correlation with my BG. I have a CGM and have my BP tested all the time (because I work as an EMT and there’s always someone who’s bored or in training and wants to practice) so I have plenty of chances to observe the connection. Of course, what Stephen has said is also true, I just mean I’ve seen my BP go low independent of my BG both before and after I developed diabetes. As far as I know, chronic hypotension being listed as a complication of “advanced diabetes” is as a direct result of either heart or kidney disease, so if you don’t have those issues and always tended towards low BP… seems like maybe D is not the issue?
Feel better! Watch they hydration, but I’m sure you know that.

Hypotension in advanced diabetes is due to one of the autonomic neuropathy complications that effect BP and pulse rate. Real licorice (not licorice flavored twisler candies) can also raise BP during those activities that you have identified as ones when your BP can drop. You may try that. Licorice can be found at health food stores. They are small and not too sweet so shouldn’t affect BG level too much but may help with your hypotension.

My BP is always low amd I’ve been a Type 1 for 36 years now. Never thought about it before I srarted trying to take care of myself but don’t need the BP meds anymore.

I’ve always had low BP & way before being diagnosed. Doctors/nurses take it twice because it’s that low. Never dizzy, never tired or faint from it, which is odd. My mother had low BP her entire life, too, until she turned 83 & now it’s high (she’s not a diabetic).

I was told to eat something salty if I feel dizzy & that’s what my mother was also told. I like Donna’s idea about licorice.

Yeah, I had a “Death Becomes Her” deja vu moment, once, when the nurse tested my BP 3 times, and then threw away the monitor he was using, and got another one. lol I was feeling fine, too. hehe I’ve gotten a lot of good advice today, and I think I’m gonna give some of it a try… I’ve never had these issues with dizziness before, until now.

Thanks. :smiley:

No one believes me that I’m not dizzy & never fainted. When I was hospitalized, they kept an auto BP cuff on me & the nurses kept running in. Had to tell them that I was fine & not about to pass out:)

But hey, I started out being hypoglycemic for years & didn’t know that was a possible indicator for diabetes, so I’m keeping an eye on my low BP.

my understanding is that blood pressure doesn’t go lower than about 50 for the lower reading (diastolic).
so, you may need to check this, and perhaps get a new machine, or double check your measuring technique with a specialist if you are getting readings of 30 for the lower reading ??

That measurement was taken at a doctor’s office, with an actual gauge machine. And it was ages ago, Michael… I was a teen. I am sure they would know this, if it’s supposed to go that low or not… This is something they routinely have to do, so I’m kind of sure they would’ve repeated if they thought it was wrong…

I had high BP before I was diagnosed. I dropped about 30 lbs on the DKA diet and the doctor had to cut my Lopressor dose in half due to low BP and low pulse. Nothing wrong with low BP unless you get dizzy and pass out behind the wheel.

Another thing to think about: Addison's causes low BP and happens more often in people w/T1 than the 'general population.' If you've never been tested, it's a good idea to get it checked out. If that's the cause, and you treat it, you'll feel better overall.

Your story is so familiar to me with one exception: when I'm in the doctor's office, my BP is sky high. Soooo the doc will not listen to me about my BP. The truth is it is usually quite low. 72/48, 79/47, 67/48, 79/45, 66/40, 62/48. These are some of the lowest morning readings in the past 3 months. Typicaly my morning BP will be 85/55, the highest it gets in the afternoon is 100/70. But some mornings all I get is error messages several times before something will finally register. I have two monitors and they have been calibrated, there is nothing wrong with them. The digital monitors in the doctors' office also give an error message sometimes, then the machine's pressure just keeps cranking up more and more until it gets a reading. I hate that, it really hurts.

I have been keeping records of my BP for 5 years because my ding dong GP gave me Lisinopril when I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes and it practically killed me. I want to avoid a repeat of that. The doctor said he commonly prescribes this to protect kidneys. Well, okay, but not for me. My kidneys are fine and I know very well that my blood pressure is not high outside the doctor's office. I have read a lot on my own and am pretty sure I have autonomic neuropathy with hypotension when I stand or walk very far. I have never passed out, and can usually take care of the problem with a cup of coffee and sitting down for a while. With 1/4 of a Lisinopril pill, all I could do for 3 hours in the morning is sit with my head on the kitchen counter or lower it between my knees. It's very annoying to have a doctor judge the problem on the one reading taken in his office every 3 months or so. Some days I can feel that my blood pressure is low all day. I take my BP and BS every 3 hours and have never noted that there's a correlation. My BS has been good, A1Cs from 4.9 to 5.5 for the past 5 years. I do have other autonomic complications and acute neuropathy, and it was NOT a result of high blood sugar for a long period of time. My highest BS was at diagnosis, A1C of 9.1. It went down immediately in a month on diet changes only. I surmise that all this AND the T2 diabetes are the result of some overall autoimmune problem, it all progressed very rapidly. I cannot get a doc to even investigate though. Once you're diagnosed with diabetes that's as far as they look. At least that's the way it is at Kaiser.

It can and has gone below 40 on me… Dr. would not let me fly overseas because of it. Now am on meds to raise it if necessary.


I have a history of low blood pressure as well. Salt also raises it.