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2018-04-11 / South Texas Living

How low is too-low blood pressure?

DEAR DR. ROACH: You have written many articles about high blood pressure, but I want to know about low blood pressure. What is normal? What is low, and what is dangerously low? I have a heart issue for which I take medication. I want to know if my blood pressure is too low. -- Anon.

ANSWER: Among young adults, only 5 percent of men will have a blood pressure below 110/60 or so, and for young women, it’s 90/46. Blood pressure tends to go up with age, so low blood pressure numbers are higher for older adults.

For people with healthy hearts, the only time we worry about low blood pressure is if there are symptoms, and the most common symptoms are lightheadedness and fainting.

In people with congestive heart failure, low blood pressure usually is not concerning in itself, but because it might indicate that the heart is getting weaker. However, many of the medications used for CHF reduce blood pressure, which can even limit the amount of medication that can be used. In people with blockages in their arteries, too low a blood pressure can cause inadequate blood flow to parts of the heart and cause angina symptoms.

The blood pressure is dangerously low when a disease process is causing the low blood pressure. In extreme cases, low blood pressure is one of the most dangerous signs of shock. But in general, for healthy people, low blood pressures are not worrisome.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I would like to know about warts. I know they are common in both children and adults. I have one on my thumb. I am 50 years old. Where can the warts spread to? I heard you can find them only on your hands and feet. Is that true? -- J.S.

ANSWER: Warts are raised round or oval growths, caused by the human papilloma virus. Although they most commonly occur on the hands and feet, some strains of HPV are more likely to cause warts in the genital region. Warts can appear on any part of your body, and you can spread them from one part of your body to another, as well as from person to person. Warts are more likely to occur in areas of skin that are irritated, such as cuts, scrapes and even areas that are shaved. For this reason, it’s a good idea to treat the wart quickly, preferably before it gets bigger and harder to treat.

Over-the-counter wart treatments are most commonly salicylic acid. A nail file or pumice stone to get rid of dead skin first increases effectiveness. Liquid medicine is used for thinner warts, and a plaster is more effective for thicker warts.

One home remedy is as follows: Apply silver duct tape to the wart and leave it on for six days. Follow up by soaking the wart and removing any dead skin, then leave the tape off overnight. Repeat the process by applying duct tape for another six days. This is effective in some people. You should see your doctor if these home remedies don’t work.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med. cornell.edu. To view and order health pamphlets, visit www.rbmamall.com, or write to Good Health, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2018 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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