Is Orthostatic Hypotension A Progressive Disease?
Yes, orthostatic hypotension is a progressive disease and the progressive orthostatic hypotension characterizes a slow yet progressive reduction in the systolic blood pressure combined with a compensatory increase in the heart rate while a person is in standing position. Initially, such patients stay asymptomatic after they stand and later on, develop hypotensive symptoms to suffer from the problem of orthostatic intolerance after some time they stand.
Progressive orthostatic hypotension is different from any of the neurally mediated reflex syncopes, as in this situation vagal bradycardia remains absent and it often characterizes the problem of vasovagal reflex. Progressive orthostatic hypotension is common in elderlies, as they suffer from baroreflex mediated vasoconstriction because of impairment related to age.
Also, the person experiences chronotropic heart responses and deterioration of the heart’s diastolic filling. Patients suffering from impaired compensatory reflexes the increase in the downward pool of the blood near veins. This leads to the reduction in cardiac output and exaggeration in the orthostatic blood pressure failure.(1)
Alternative Treatments For Orthostatic Hypotension
Other than over the counter and prescribed medications, you should follow simple and easy steps to help in the prevention and management of orthostatic hypotension by the recommendations of your doctor.
Increase Your Salt Intake In The Diet: You should do this carefully and only after you have your consultation with your doctor. This is because; excessive intake of salt may cause an increase in the blood pressure level beyond the mentioned healthy level and turn, creates many new risks.
Have Small Meals: If the blood pressure drops after you have food, your doctor may recommend you have low-carbohydrate and small meals.
Look For Vitamin Supplements: Both vitamin B12 deficiency and anemia problems may affect the flow of blood and make the symptoms related to orthostatic hypotension worse. In this situation, you should have certain vitamin supplements and foods, rich in iron if you experience any type of deficiency.
Increase The Consumption Of Fluids: You must make sure to keep yourself well hydrated to avoid any symptoms related to low blood pressure. Especially, you must drink enough water in enough amounts before standing for many hours or doing any activity that may trigger your symptoms.
Strictly Avoid The Intake Of Alcohol: Alcohol may make your symptoms related to orthostatic hypotension worse. Hence, you should either put a limit or strictly avoid alcohol intake completely.
Involve In Cardiac And Strengthening Exercises: Regular strengthening and cardiovascular exercises may help you in reducing the symptoms related to orthostatic hypotension. However, you should avoid any type of exercise in humid and hot weather. Moreover, you should flex and stretch the calf muscles before sitting. In the case you experience any of the striking symptoms, you should squeeze your abdomen, thigh and buttock muscles. Besides, you should rise onto the tiptoes, march or perform squats for a while.
Strictly Avoid Bending At Your Waist: If you drop anything over the floor, you should make sure squatting your knees to achieve easy recovery as possible.
Wear Specially Designed High-Waist Compression Stockings: Specially designed high-waist type of compression stockings may help you to improve the blood flow and reduce many symptoms related to orthostatic hypotension. You should make a habit to wear such stockings during the daytime and remove them off while you lie down or go to bed.
Move Slowly To Reach The Standing Position: You may reduce the problem of light-headedness and dizziness associated with orthostatic hypotension by simply moving slowly from your lying position to standing one. Besides, you should sit on the bed edge at least for one minute while you get out of your bed before you stand.
Elevate The Head In Your Bed: Sleeping with a slight elevation of your head on the bed may help you in fighting with the adverse gravitational effects.(2)
To conclude, we should say that orthostatic hypotension may sometimes become a progressive one. However, one can easily manage the underlying symptoms by choosing alternative treatment options based on the consultation given by the doctor.
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