Low blood pressure; Blood pressure – low; Postprandial hypotension; Orthostatic hypotension; Neurally mediated hypotension; NMH
Definition of Hypotension
Low blood pressure, or hypotension, occurs when blood pressure during and after each heartbeat is much lower than usual. This means the heart, brain, and other parts of the body do not get enough blood.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Blood pressure that is borderline low for one person may be normal for another. The most important factor is how the blood pressure changes from the normal condition.
Symptoms may include:
Signs and tests
The health care provider will examine you and try to determine what is causing the low blood pressure. Your vital signs (temperature, pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure) will be checked frequently. You may need to stay in the hospital for a while.
Hypotension in a healthy person that does not cause any problems usually doesn’t require treatment.
Low blood pressure can usually be treated with success.
Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/22/2009