What Causes Blacking Out When Standing Up & How to Prevent it

Blacking out while standing up is a condition, commonly described as a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness. This may be experienced when raising from a seated or sleeping position or even when rising from the floor. It can be seen in adults as well as children and is often more common in females as compared to males. It is important to understand the causes of blacking out when standing up and ways to prevent it to be able to manage the condition.

What Causes Blacking Out When Standing Up & How to Prevent it

What Causes Blacking Out When Standing Up?

Blacking out when standing up can be a result of low blood pressure, medically referred to as orthostatic hypotension. When a person stands, gravity causes the blood to sweep down into the veins of legs and trunks. The pooling of blood in the lower part of the body reduces blood pressure as well as the amount of blood that the heart pumps to the brain; resulting in dizziness or lightheadedness. Low blood pressure or orthostatic hypotension can be caused due to medicines that control high blood pressure, due to illness, dehydration or peripheral neuropathy and other neurological disorders.

Common causes of blacking out when standing include any imbalance in body fluids or dehydration and fluctuations in blood pressure. While chronic diseases like diarrhea, anemia, overheating can also result in fainting and lightheadedness.

Some other severe causes of blacking out when standing up include

  • Abnormal functioning of the autonomous nervous system due to consumption of drugs.
  • Decreased ability of heart to pump blood to the brain, causing deficiency of oxygen.
  • Irregular hormonal disturbances

Common fainting episodes can be caused by intensive work out, fear, anxiety or intense emotional stress and prolonged standing out in the sun during daytime. Sometimes high blood pressure too can cause fainting spells.

Cardiac causes of blacking out when standing can include cardiac syncope. Irregularity heart rhythm, slow pulse rate and valvular problems, resulting in palpitations can cause blacking out when standing while standing.

How to Prevent Blacking Out When Standing Up?

  • Avoid suddenly getting out from bed. The best thing is to sit for a few minutes breathe in and relax and then stand up. This will prevent the blood from rushing up to lower legs and sudden drop in blood pressure thus help to prevent blacking out standing up.
  • People who suffer from low blood pressure should keep a track of their salt intake, as reduced salt consumption can reduce blood pressure dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Stress is another factor that can trigger of vasovagal response leading to a sudden fluctuation in blood pressure and other changes hence, try to avoid your stress by practicing yoga and meditation.
  • For people involved in physical work, exercises or sports must watch out for fluid and salt intake. Drinking fruit juice, glucose, health drinks and sufficient water will avoid dehydration and prevent blacking out when standing up.
  • Drink juice or any energy drink in order to load up fluid in the body to prevent dehydration and to prevent blacking out when standing up.
  • Sitting on reclining chair which allows raising the legs can prevent the pooling of blood in legs.
  • Steady rhythmic or breathing exercises can help to regulate breath and regulate oxygen supply to the brain, to prevent chances of blacking out. Regular full body exercises that include stretches and other movements also help to improve blood circulation and prevent blacking out standing up.

Treatment of Blacking Out When Standing Up

Treatment for lightheadedness mainly depends on the causes of blacking out when standing up and some home remedies can also help. Proper examination and necessary investigations can help to confirm the condition causing blacking out when standing.

Home Remedies to Prevent Blacking out When Standing Up

  • Lemon: Lemon, a storehouse of vitamin C has the power to keep you hydrated and refreshed and can help to prevent blacking out when standing up.
  • Amla: Amla or Indian Gooseberry, is one of the healthiest fruit can be eaten raw or in the form of juice to prevent sudden blackout or dizziness when standing up.
  • Ginger: Studies have revealed that ginger is very effective in improving the blood circulation and helps to prevent blacking out when standing.
  • Massage: A good body and head massage is an instant relief from stress at the same time its keeps a good balance of body circulation thereby reducing the chances of dehydration and can prevent blacking out when standing up.
  • Yogurt: This is a powerhouse ingredient, which can help to prevent lightheadedness and is beneficial for digestion and general health as well.

While blacking out when standing up mostly occurs due to causes, which can be managed well, it is important to know the underlying condition and begin treatment in time. Sometimes, in older people, it can be a warning sign of a serious health problem and seeking medical opinion is essential.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 6, 2017

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