Symptoms of low blood pressure

If your blood pressure is naturally low, it's unlikelyto cause any symptoms orrequire treatment.

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean there's not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs, which can lead to symptomssuch as:

  • Lightheadedness
  • unsteadiness
  • fainting
  • blurred vision
  • heartbeatsthat suddenly become more noticeable (palpitations)
  • confusion
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • general weakness

What to do if you have symptoms

If you think you may be experiencing an episode of low blood pressure, you should:

  • stop what you're doing
  • sit or lie down
  • drink some water

The symptoms will usually pass after a few seconds or minutes.

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have frequent symptoms of low blood pressure. Your GP can measure your blood pressure and help identify any underlying causes of the problem.

Symptoms shouldn't lastlonger than a fewseconds, as your blood pressure will adjust to your new position.

This type of low blood pressure tends to affect people more as they get older, when it can lead to more frequent falls . Similar symptoms may also occur after exercise.

Low blood pressure after eating

If you experience symptoms after eating, it's known as postprandial hypotension. Itoccurs more often in older people, particularly in those who have high blood pressure or conditions such as Parkinson's disease and diabetes mellitus.

After a meal, your intestines need a large amount of blood for digestion. If your heart rate doesn't increase enough to maintain blood pressure, your blood pressure will fall, causing symptoms.

Low blood pressure after standing for long periods

Some people experience symptoms after standing up for long periods of time. This is sometimes known asneutrally mediated hypotension, and most often affects children and young adults.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 5 Jan 2017