Key Points about Hypotension

  • Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of conditions, from dehydration to pregnancy.
  • Hypotension can go unnoticed, but some cases can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, lightheadedness and blurry vision.
  • Not every person with hypotension experiences symptoms.
  • Call your doctor if you are experiencing fainting or other symptoms of hypotension, as the underlying cause of your symptoms could be serious.
Common related conditions
Heart (Cardiovascular) Disease Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Overview

Hypotension, or low blood pressure, can lead to dizziness and fainting in some people, while others may experience no symptoms. Low blood pressure can result from a range of conditions, such as dehydration, pregnancy, heart problems, blood loss, or septic shock.

It is important for physicians to uncover the underlying cause of hypotension, in order to provide proper treatment. Hypotension may be treated with dietary modifications or medication. Call your doctor if you experience unexplained fainting or other signs of hypotension.

Hypotension causes

In some cases, low blood pressure can result from an underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Heart issues
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Septic shock
  • Extreme blood loss
  • Endocrine issues
  • Insufficient nutrients in your diet, such as folate and B-12

Hypotension risk factors

You may be more likely to experience hypotension if you:

  • Take certain medications
  • Have diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or certain heart conditions

Hypotension symptoms

Many people with hypotension do not notice any symptoms. People who do notice symptoms may experience:

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Trouble concentrating

Hypotension complications

Extreme cases of low blood pressure can lead to oxygen deprivation in the body, which can cause heart and brain damage.

Hypotension diagnosis

When you have hypotension, your doctor will work to identify its cause. Your doctor will review your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and provide a blood pressure screening. Your doctor may also give tests such as:

  • A blood-test
  • A stress-test
  • An electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • An echocardiogram
  • The tilt table test

Hypotension treatment

Treatment for hypotension will depend upon its cause and severity. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Increasing dietary salt intake
  • Increasing water intake
  • Certain prescription medications

Next Steps

Your doctor will help you set up a customized plan to raise blood pressure and alleviate your symptoms.