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Orthostatic hypotension: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
Orthostatic hypotension

Many people have found that getting up from a sitting or lying position makes them dizzy and, although it usually does not last more than a few seconds, they have to hold on or sit down again because they can lose their balance and cause falls. This disorder is known as postural or orthostatic hypotension.

This alteration is because blood pressure decreases with rapid or sudden movement when getting up. After all, Blood accumulates in the legs and does not allow time for the body to pump it to the muscles and organs, especially the brain. Although it is usually mild, if it is prolonged or happens frequently, it is best to see a doctor since it could be indicating a severe problem. If you are interested in learning more about orthostatic hypotension: causes and treatment, in this FastlyHealarticle, we offer you the most relevant information.

Primary symptoms of orthostatic hypotension

The main sign of postural hypotension is dizziness when getting up after sitting or lying down for a while. This situation is very brief, lasting only a few seconds, and it also disappears if the person lies down or sits down again. Other symptoms could accompany dizziness, although these may not frequently occur, including:

  • Sickness.
  • Lightheadedness or disorientation
  • Soft spot.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Fatigue.
  • Chest pain.
  • Loss of balance
  • I am fainting or feeling like you are about to do so.

Causes of orthostatic hypotension

Although postural hypotension occurs because blood pressure decreases when standing up in the face of rapid movement. During that time, the blood flow from the heart to the brain is not enough; several factors could prevent the correct response of the body from moving and be causing the disorder.

One of the less severe causes of orthostatic hypotension is dehydration, either from not drinking enough water or suffering from disorders that cause fluid loss from the body, such as diarrhea and excessive sweating. This causes the blood volume to be reduced and the blood vessels to constrict, making it difficult for blood to circulate.

Likewise, the inability of the cardiovascular system to respond quickly and adequately maintain blood flow to where it is needed is another reason why orthostatic hypotension occurs. These cases generally occur when suffering from a heart problem, such as alterations in the heart valves, heart failure, bradycardia, and heart attack, to name a few.

Disorders that do not allow proper communication of nerve impulses that help regulate blood pressure can also cause the characteristic dizziness when standing up. The most common are endocrine diseases such as hypoglycemia, diabetes, thyroid diseases, nervous system pathologies such as Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and multiple systemic atrophy.

You can also suffer from orthostatic hypotension when taking certain drugs, among which those used to control high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, and some diuretics stand out.

Other risk factors for this disorder are anemia, drinking alcoholic beverages, being tall, pregnant, and being exposed to high temperatures.

Causes of orthostatic hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension: treatment

It is essential to determine what is causing it and give specific treatment for the disorder to combat dizziness when getting up. If it is due to the administration of a drug, it is enough for the doctor to change to another drug or decrease the dose. It is not a life-threatening condition. The prognosis is excellent and can be successfully treated.

When diagnosing orthostatic hypotension, treatment begins with some lifestyle changes, which in some cases may be enough to prevent the alteration. In general, the measures that the specialist could suggest are:

  • Stand up slowly. If you need to be on bed rest, spend some time sitting on it.
  • Stay well hydrated and avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Wear suitable clothing in hot weather.
  • Divide the food into six small portions.
  • Have a cup of coffee before breakfast.
  • Follow an exercise routine according to the person’s condition and wear compression stockings. They put pressure on the legs, preventing the accumulation of Blood in this area and promoting circulation.

Suppose these changes do not improve the condition. In that case, the doctor may resort to drug treatment to reduce symptoms, including those whose function is to increase blood volume or prevent blood vessels from enlarging, causing blood pressure to rise. Frequently, fludrocortisone, midodrine, or erythropoietin are prescribed, the specialist’s dose will be established. It is essential to follow their indications and not self-medicate, as it is necessary could generate other adverse reactions.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Orthostatic hypotension: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation category.

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