Women health

 Causes of orthostatic hypotension

An abrupt drop in blood pressure brought on by changes in posture, including when someone stands up fast, is known as orthostatic hypotension, sometimes known as postural hypotension.

Blood typically pools in the legs when someone rises up after sitting or lying down due to gravity. Your body then strives to force blood higher so that it can oxygenate the brain.

Blood pressure can drop if the body would be unable to do this adequately, which can cause symptoms including dizziness, blurred vision, or fainting.

The symptom of orthostatic hypotension is low blood pressure.

Whenever the blood pressure in the arteries drops below normal levels, hypotension, also known as low blood pressure, develops.

Thru the blood vessels, the heart circulates blood throughout the body. Among these tubular organs are capillaries, veins, and arteries. Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure exerted by the blood as it circulates through the arteries.

Two numbers represent blood pressure in millimeters of mercury:

  1. Systolic pressure: the force created as the heart's ventricles contract and force blood into the arteries.
  2. Diastolic pressure: the pressure at which the ventricles are relaxed and between beats of the heart. The heart receives its oxygen-rich blood at this moment.
  3. Blood pressure readings of 120 mmHg for the systolic component and 80 mmHg for the diastolic component, or 120/80, are regarded as normal. Hypotension, sometimes known as low blood pressure, is defined as a reading of 90/60 mmHg or below.
  4. Following three minutes of standing, people with orthostatic hypotension frequently experience a drop in blood pressure of roughly 20/10 mmHg.
  5. Treatment for low blood pressure is typically not necessary. Therefore, if someone consistently exhibits orthostatic hypotension symptoms, they should visit a doctor.
  6. So because the body's response to dips in blood pressure might weaken with age, orthostatic hypotension is frequently seen in persons 65 and older.

According to statistics used in studies by the Biotechnology Information ( NCBI, orthostatic hypotension affects about 18% of men & women in the United States who are 65 years or older.

According to the same study, 35% of hospital admissions in the United States are due to orthostatic hypotension in senior patients.


Orthostatic hypotension symptoms are most frequently caused by a fluid loss in the blood vessels. This might be the result of dehydration brought on by vomiting, diarrhea, or prescription use like diuretics or water pills. With the use of this drug, the body may eliminate extra salt and water through urination.

Other probable reasons include blood loss, anemia, and other disorders that diminish red blood cell counts. Dizziness and lightheadedness might happen whenever there aren't as many red blood cells available to deliver oxygen in the bloodstream.

Orthostatic hypotension-related symptoms could also be elicited by drugs such as beta-blockers and antidepressants. Those symptoms might also result from being bedridden for an extended length of time, working outside, or exercising in the heat.

Orthostatic hypotension symptoms have also been linked to Parkinson's disease, pregnancy, and cardiac disorders such as irregular heartbeat and heart valve dysfunction.

The Symptoms

Orthostatic hypotension can cause faintness, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Orthostatic hypotension symptoms are including:

  1. Dizziness
  2. Light-headedness
  3. Fuzzy vision
  4. Fainting
  5. Falling
  6. Nausea
  7. Fatigue

After several minutes of sitting or lying down, or as the body gradually adjusts to a standing posture, these feelings typically fade away.

Anyone else who consistently encounters any of these illnesses should get help from a doctor right once.


Falling down as a result of losing consciousness is a frequent orthostatic hypotension condition that can result in serious injury.

Additionally, the symptoms could cover up more serious illnesses. This included heart conditions including heart failure and irregular heartbeat.

Due to the obvious diminished blood flow to the brain, the abrupt decreases in blood pressure brought on by orthostatic hypotension are a health risk for strokes.


A person's medical history will be reviewed by their doctor if they exhibit any of the aforementioned symptoms. The doctor would then do tests as necessary to determine whether an underlying disease or condition is the source of the symptoms.

For instance, if a particular prescription is lowering blood pressure, the doctor may change the dosage or suggest switching to a different medication.

An examination on a head-up tilt table will examine how the subject's blood pressure responds to adjustments in their body's position. A person is tested while lying on a table that is gradually tilted higher.

Blood tests can reveal whether such a person has low blood pressure, which is indicated by low blood sugar or a deficiency in red blood cells.

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), which tracks the electrical activity of the heart, can identify issues with both the heart's blood and oxygen flow as well as irregular heartbeats.

The echocardiogram, often known as an ultrasound of the heart, uses sound waves to evaluate the heart valves and may detect underlying abnormalities.

Your heart can be monitored by a doctor during a stress test while the patient is exercising or even after receiving the medicine.

Prevention and treatment

Orthostatic hypotension can be treated or prevented in a number of methods, the majority without the use of medication:

  1. Be sure to consume plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. Replace any fluids lost due to vomiting or diarrhea as away. Alcohol consumption should be avoided or limited because it can exacerbate orthostatic hypotension.
  2. Add additional salt to your meals. A doctor should be consulted first, though, as consuming too much salt might raise blood pressure.
  3. Avoid doing anything strenuous when it's hot outside.
  4. Sit on the edge of the bed for a minute before rising up while getting out of bed.
  5. Sleep using your bed's head slightly up.
  6. Circulation can be improved and fluid buildup in the legs can be avoided with compression stockings.

Orthostatic hypotension that is severe can be treated with blood pressure-raising medications.


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