Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

Low blood pressure facts

  • Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is blood pressure that is low enough that the flow of blood to the organs of the body is inadequate and symptoms and/or signs of low blood flow develop.
  • Low pressure alone, without symptoms or signs, usually is not unhealthy.
  • The symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting. These symptoms are most prominent when individuals go from the lying or sitting position to the standing position (orthostatic hypotension).
  • Low blood pressure that causes an inadequate flow of blood to the body's organs can cause strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure. It's most severe form is shock.
  • Common causes of low blood pressure include a reduced volume of blood, heart disease, and medications.
  • The cause of low blood pressure can be determined with blood tests, radiologic studies, and cardiac testing to look for arrhythmias.
  • Treatment of low blood pressure is determined by the cause of the low pressure.
Reviewed on 7/14/2014
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