Doctors can successfully treat hypotension. Many people who had the condition and were successfully treated live normal, healthy lives.
If you have hypotension, you can take steps to prevent or limit symptoms, such as dizzy spells and fainting.
If you have orthostatic hypotension, get up slowly after sitting or lying down, or move your legs before changing your position. Eat small, low-carbohydrate meals if you have postprandial hypotension (a form of orthostatic hypotension).
If you have neurally mediated hypotension, try not to stand for long periods. If you do have to stand for a long time, move around and wear compression stockings. These stockings apply pressure to your lower legs. The pressure helps move blood throughout your body.
Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or sports drinks that contain nutrients like sodium and potassium. Also, try to avoid unpleasant, upsetting, or scary situations. Learn to recognize symptoms and take action to raise your blood pressure. Children who have NMH often outgrow it.
Other lifestyle changes also can help you control hypotension. For more information, talk with your doctor and go to "How Is Hypotension Treated?"
Ask your doctor about learning how to measure your own blood pressure. This will help you find out what a normal blood pressure reading is for you. Keeping a record of blood pressure readings done by health providers also can help you learn more about your blood pressure.
Severe hypotension linked to shock is an emergency. Shock can lead to death if it's not treated right away. If you see someone having signs or symptoms of shock, call 9–1–1.
Signs and symptoms of shock include light-headedness, sleepiness, and confusion. Over time, as shock worsens, a person won't be able to sit up without passing out. If the shock continues, the person can lose consciousness.
Other signs and symptoms of shock include cold and sweaty skin, a weak and rapid pulse, and rapid breathing.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.