Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Quick GuideLow Blood Pressure (Hypotension) Pictures Slideshow

Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension) Pictures Slideshow

What are low blood pressure symptoms and signs?

When blood pressure is not sufficient to deliver enough blood to the organs of the body, the organs do not work properly and can be temporarily or permanently damaged. Symptoms of low blood pressure caused by conditions or diseases depend upon the specific cause of the low blood pressure. For example, if insufficient blood flows to the brain, brain cells do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients, and a person can feel lightheaded, dizzy, or even faint.

The most common symptoms of low blood pressure include:

Symptoms of low blood pressure due to conditions or diseases include:

  • Orthostatic hypotension: Going from a sitting or lying position to a standing position often brings out symptoms of low blood pressure. This occurs because standing causes blood to "settle" in the veins of the lower body, and this can lower the blood pressure. If the blood pressure is already low, standing can make the low pressure worse, to the point of causing symptoms. The development of lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting upon standing caused by low blood pressure is called orthostatic hypotension. Normal individuals are able to compensate rapidly for the low pressure created by standing with the responses discussed previously and do not develop orthostatic hypotension.
  • Heart disease: Chest pain (a symptom of angina) or even a heart attack due to is insufficient blood pressure to deliver blood to the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart's muscle), a person may develop.
  • Kidney disease: When insufficient blood is delivered to the kidneys, the kidneys fail to eliminate wastes from the body, for example, urea (BUN) and creatinine, and increases in their levels in the blood occur.
  • Shock is a life-threatening condition where persistently low blood pressure causes organs such as kidney, liver, heart, lung, and brain to fail rapidly. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 1/26/2015
References
REFERENCES:

"Low Blood Pressure." American Heart Association. 4 Apr. 2012.

Cupp, Melanie Johns. "Herbal remedies: adverse effects and drug interactions." American Family Physician 59.5 (1999): 1239-1244.

Goldstein, D.S. and Y. Sharabi. “"eurogenic orthostatic hypotension: a pathophysiological approach." Circulation. 119.1 (2009): 139-146.

IMAGE SOURCES:

1. Veer

2. MedicineNet / National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, NIH

3. MedicineNet

4. MedicineNet

5. iStock

6. WebMD/Steven Pomberg

7. iStock

8. Getty Images

9. iStock

10. iStock

11. iStock

12. Getty Images/Comstock Images

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Low Blood Pressure - Causes

    What caused your blood pressure to be abnormally low?

    Post View 35 Comments
  • Low Blood Pressure - Treatments

    What was the treatment for your low blood pressure?

    Post View 27 Comments
  • Low Blood Pressure - Symptoms

    What symptoms do you have when you suffer from low blood pressure?

    Post View 9 Comments
  • Low Blood Pressure - Numbers

    What did you do to get your low blood pressure numbers up into a normal range?

    Post View 4 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors