Low blood pressure that either doesn't cause signs or symptoms or causes only mild symptoms rarely requires treatment.
If you have symptoms, treatment depends on the underlying cause. For instance, when low blood pressure is caused by medications, treatment usually involves changing or stopping the medication or lowering the dose.
If it's not clear what's causing low blood pressure or no treatment exists, the goal is to raise your blood pressure and reduce signs and symptoms. Depending on your age, health and the type of low blood pressure you have, you can do this in several ways:
Use more salt. Experts usually recommend limiting salt in your diet because sodium can raise blood pressure, sometimes dramatically. For people with low blood pressure, that can be a good thing.
But because excess sodium can lead to heart failure, especially in older adults, it's important to check with your doctor before increasing the salt in your diet.
- Drink more water. Fluids increase blood volume and help prevent dehydration, both of which are important in treating hypotension.
- Wear compression stockings. The elastic stockings commonly used to relieve the pain and swelling of varicose veins can help reduce the pooling of blood in your legs.
- Medications. Several medications can be used to treat low blood pressure that occurs when you stand up (orthostatic hypotension). For example, the drug fludrocortisone, which boosts your blood volume, is often used to treat this form of low blood pressure.
Doctors often use the drug midodrine (Orvaten) to raise standing blood pressure levels in people with chronic orthostatic hypotension. It works by restricting the ability of your blood vessels to expand, which raises blood pressure.
April 22, 2017
- Hypotension. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/book/export/html/4880. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
- Low blood pressure. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Low-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301785_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
- Kaufman H, et al. Mechanisms, causes and evaluation of orthostatic hypotension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
- Understanding blood pressure readings. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
- Kaplan NM, et al. Ambulatory and home blood pressure monitoring and white coat hypertension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
- Kaufman H, et al. Treatment of orthostatic and postprandial hypotension. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 11, 2016.
Low blood pressure (hypotension)