Diagnosing Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (nOH)

You play an integral role in your health and can proactively search for new ways to manage symptoms of nOH. Start by talking with your healthcare provider about your symptoms.

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If you think you may have nOH:

  • Use our Symptom Checker to see which symptoms of nOH you may be experiencing when standing or sitting up. Then print your results, and use them as a guide to start a discussion with your healthcare provider
  • Ask your healthcare provider to check and compare your blood pressure while you are lying down or sitting, then standing

Managing nOH

Getting a diagnosis of symptomatic nOH brings hope for managing its symptoms. There are many steps you can take to help get you moving in the right direction.

Bringing someone with you to the doctor can help when it comes to keeping track of information. Hear Danny talk about the role he plays at Doug’s appointments.

Lifestyle Changes

After diagnosing nOH, your healthcare provider may suggest lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms.

When you have symptoms of nOH, you need to make adjustments to your daily life. But nOH doesn’t change who you are. Watch Danny talk about how Doug is the same person he’s always been.

Lifestyle changes* for managing nOH may include:

  • Drinking more water
  • Adjusting the amount of salt in your diet
  • Avoiding carbohydrate-heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Wearing compression stockings or an abdominal binder
  • Elevating the head of your bed
  • Slowly rising when standing
  • Using caution when walking or changing positions if you feel dizzy
  • Getting regular exercise

*Ask your healthcare provider for guidelines and advice on lifestyle modifications that would work best for you. 

There’s Support for You

Get support and education from organizations dedicated to nOH and its associated conditions of Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, and pure autonomic failure.

To learn more about nOH, download this nOH 101 presentation often used at support group meetings to teach people about nOH.

Managing Symptoms

Learn more about an option to help manage the symptoms of nOH.

Need an nOH Specialist?

Use our nOH specialist locator tool to find a healthcare provider in your area.

Multiple system atrophy

A rare, Parkinson's-like neurological disorder that causes problems with movement, loss of coordination, and malfunction of involuntary bodily functions (such as blood pressure control)

Autonomic dysfunction

Also known as dysautonomia. A term referring to conditions in which the autonomic nervous system does not function properly

Dopamine beta-hydroxylase deficiency

A rare disease that affects the autonomic nervous system. DBH is present at birth, but is not typically diagnosed until late childhood, and nearly all patients with DBH will have severe OH by their early adult years.

Autonomic nervous system

One part of the nervous system that helps regulate the many functions in the body that aren’t consciously controlled, including heart rate and blood pressure

Blood pressure

The force the blood has on the arteries. It has two numbers: top/bottom (systolic/diastolic)

Dementia with Lewy bodies

the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms include progressive dementia; trouble remembering, learning, concentrating, or making decisions; visual hallucinations; and parkinsonism movement issues like tremor, impaired speech, or muscle stiffness.

Hypotension

Abnormally low blood pressure

Idiopathic

Arising from an unknown cause

Neurogenic

Associated with the nervous system

Parkinson’s disease

A nervous system disorder associated with damage to nerve cells in the brain and nerves that control movement and cause malfunction of involuntary bodily functions (such as blood pressure control)

Pure autonomic failure

A very rare, neurological disorder characterized by damage to regions of the nervous system that control involuntary functions (such as blood pressure control)

Norepinephrine

A neurotransmitter that functions to mobilize the brain and body for action

Orthostatic

Relating to standing up

MSA

A rare, Parkinson's-like neurological disorder that causes problems with movement, loss of coordination, and malfunction of involuntary bodily functions (such as blood pressure control)

PAF

A very rare, neurological disorder characterized by damage to regions of the nervous system that control involuntary functions (such as blood pressure control)

Autonomic dysfunction

Also known as dysautonomia. A term referring to conditions in which the autonomic nervous system does not function properly