Diagnosing Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (nOH)

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

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If your healthcare provider thinks you may have nOH, he or she may:

  • Check and compare your blood pressure while you are sitting, standing, and lying down
  • Ask about your medical history and conduct a physical exam to find out what could be causing your symptoms
  • Conduct a neurological exam
  • Conduct cardiac tests
  • Review your current medications

Managing nOH

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

Lifestyle Changes

Your healthcare provider may suggest lifestyle changes such as*:

  • Drinking more water
  • Increasing salt in your diet
  • Avoiding carbohydrate-heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Wearing compression stockings or an abdominal binder
  • Avoiding standing still for prolonged periods of time
  • 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 that relate to nOH and its associated conditions of Parkinson’s disease, MSA, and PAF.

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 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