Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension) - Topic Overview
To check for the causes of your low blood pressure, your doctor will ask about your past health, your symptoms, and the medicines you take. He or she will do a physical exam and may do other tests. Your doctor may check for another health problem that could be causing your low blood pressure.
Will your doctor treat low blood pressure?
You will likely get treated for low blood pressure only if it is causing symptoms or if your blood pressure drops suddenly. Treatment depends on your symptoms, how severe they are, and the reasons for the low blood pressure.
Your doctor may have you:
- Add more salt to your diet.
- Get fluid through an intravenous (IV) line if you are very dehydrated.
Change or stop medicines that lower your blood pressure.
Take medicine to treat the problem that is causing low blood pressure. For example, you may need antibiotics to treat infection or medicines to stop vomiting or diarrhea.
Be sure to talk with your doctor before you add more salt to your diet or make any changes in your medicines.
How can you prevent low blood pressure symptoms?
If you have orthostatic hypotension, your doctor may suggest that you try some simple ways to prevent symptoms like dizziness. For example, you can:
- Stand up slowly.
Drink more water.
Drink little or no alcohol.
Limit or avoid caffeine.
Wear compression stockings.
If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, sit down or lie down for a few minutes. Or you can sit down and put your head between your knees.
This will help your blood pressure go back to normal and help your symptoms go away.