have really low blood pressure – what causes it and is there anything I can do to regulate it? Marie, 40

For some people blood pressure is naturally low because their kidneys are particularly good at flushing excess sodium from the body. Technically hypotension, as it is known, is diagnosed when blood pressure falls below 90/60 mmHg. If you don’t have symptoms it doesn’t necessarily need treating, but it can cause people to feel light-headed, dizzy and tired, and experience headaches, anxiety, depression and poor concentration, all due to reduced blood flow to the brain.

If you have any of these symptoms and your ability to function properly is affected, your doctor may suggest increasing your intake of dietary table salt, and to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. It is also wise to avoid alcohol, vigorous exercise, standing up suddenly and getting over-heated. Elasticated compression stockings, socks or calf sleeves can also help by stopping blood from pooling in your legs because of gravity.