Hypotension is diagnosed based on your medical history, a physical exam, and results from tests. Your doctor will want to know:
- The type of low blood pressure you have and how severe it is
- Whether an underlying condition is causing the low blood pressure
When a person is in shock, someone should call 9–1–1 right away because emergency treatment is needed.
For other types of hypotension, your doctor may order tests to find out how your blood pressure responds in certain situations. The results will help your doctor understand why you're fainting or having other symptoms.Blood tests
During a blood test, a small amount of blood is taken from your body. It's usually drawn from a vein in your arm using a thin needle. The procedure is quick and easy, although it may cause some short-term discomfort.EKG (Electrocardiogram)
An EKG is a simple test that detects and records the heart's electrical activity. It shows how fast the heart is beating and the heart's rhythm (steady or irregular). An EKG also shows the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of the heart.Holter and event monitors
Holter and event monitors are medical devices that record the heart's electrical activity. These monitors are similar to an EKG. However, a standard EKG only records the heartbeat for a few seconds. It won't detect heart rhythm problems that don't occur during the test.Echocardiography
Echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. The picture shows how well your heart is working and its size and shape. Stress test
Some heart problems are easier to diagnose when your heart is working hard and beating fast. During stress testing, you exercise (or are given medicine if you're unable to exercise) to make your heart work hard and beat fast while heart tests are done.Tilt table test
This test is used if you have fainting spells for no known reason. For the test, you lie on a table that moves from a lying down to an upright position. Your doctor checks your reaction to the change in position.
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.Hypotension is diagnosed based on your medical history, a physical exam, and results from tests. Your doctor will want to know: The type of low blood pressure you have and how severe it is Whether an underlying condition is causing the low blood... More
General: If a person has symptoms of hypotension, the goal is to determine the underlying cause. A doctor may perform one or more of the following tests to reach a diagnosis.
Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed to determine if an infection is present in the blood. They are also used to detect possible endocrine problems, such as low blood sugar levels, an underactive or overactive thyroid gland, or adrenal insufficiency. Blood tests may also determine if the patient has vitamin B-12 or folate deficiencies and/or anemia.
Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG): An electrocardiogram may be performed to detect abnormalities in the heart's rhythm or structure. It can also detect problems with the supply of blood to the heart muscle. During the procedure, small electrode patches attached to the person's chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes transmit information about the electrical activity of the heart to a monitor.
Stress test: A stress test may also be performed to determine how blood pressure changes when the heart is working harder than normal. This test may make it easier for a doctor to diagnose hypotension. During the test, the patient either exercises (often on a treadmill) or is given medication to make the heart work harder. Small electrodes are placed on the patient's chest to monitor the electrical activity of the heart. The patient's blood pressure may also be monitored. People with hypotension will have lower blood pressure during a stress test than healthy people who undergo a stress test.
Tilt-table test: Patients who have postural hypotension or neutrally mediated hypotension may undergo a tilt-table test. During the test, the patient lies on a table that is tilted to raise the upper part of the body. The patient's blood pressure is measured during the test to determine how the body reacts to changes in position.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.General: If a person has symptoms of hypotension, the goal is to determine the underlying cause. A doctor may perform one or more of the following tests to reach a diagnosis. Blood tests: Blood tests may be performed to determine if an infection... More