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What Happens To Untreated Orthostatic Hypotension & When To Go To Doctor?

Orthostatic hypotension, also known as postural hypotension is an ailment where an individual’s blood pressure sinks when they stand up from lying or sitting down. It can make one feel giddy or lightheaded, or sometimes even faint. This condition is moderate and lasts for fewer minutes. However, lifelong orthostatic hypotension could indicate critical problems. Thus, it is essential to consult expert help to ensure that you are alright.  

Some of the most common symptoms include dizziness or light-headedness. Other signs comprise of nausea, confusion, fainting, weakness, and blurry vision. Occasional orthostatic hypotension normally occurs due to dehydration or lying in bed for a lengthy time and then standing up. Such conditions are easily treated. Chronic orthostatic hypotension signals other risky health problems and requires proper treatment.

What Happens To Untreated Orthostatic Hypotension?

Prolonged slumps in blood pressure due to orthostatic hypotension flags critical health risks and can be a significant factor in rising mortality and morbidity. If you experience hypotension regularly, it could be a sign of neurological or endocrine condition or a serious heart condition. If left untreated, your brain and other vital organs won’t get oxygen and other necessary nutrients they need. In extreme cases, this condition can cause a life-threatening disease. 

If you suffer from orthostatic hypotension, seek professional help. Your doctor will do the diagnosis and prescribe the treatment.(1)

When To See A Doctor For Orthostatic Hypotension?

Occasional dizziness and lightheadedness could be minor and don’t call for urgency. These may be a result of overheating, low blood sugar or mild dehydration. This condition usually occurs to individuals over 65 years of age. However, if you ever experience the symptoms, there is likely some cause for concern. 

Consult your doctor right away if the symptoms are frequent. It is even more serious if you faint, even for a few seconds. Record your symptoms – their frequency and timing, duration, and what you were doing at the time. Such symptoms are perilous if they happen during driving or while doing any adventurous activity. 

If your doctor speculates that you have orthostatic hypotension, he will probably check your blood pressure when you are standing, sitting and laying down. He might also check your heart rate, conduct a physical exam, and order certain tests. 

Outlook For Orthostatic Hypotension

The majority of people can mitigate and prevent hypotension by doing a few lifestyle changes. Understand your triggers and attempt to avoid them. If you are on any medication for the same, take it as instructed to keep away from potential complications. And kindly note that you have to inform your doctor immediately if your blood pressure drips often.

What Are The Causes Of Orthostatic Hypotension?

  • Aging: This condition is prevalent in older people
  • Dehydration: Lack of fluids in the body can affect blood pressure.
  • Immobility: Staying on a bed for a longer period
  • Pregnancy
  • Cardiovascular disease including abnormal heart rhythm and valve disease
  • Anemia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Endocrine diseases such as thyroid conditions, adrenal insufficiency, and diabetes.
  • Medicines for depression, anxiety, erectile dysfunction or other drugs such as angiotensin II blockers, nitrates, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and beta-blockers
  • Barbiturates and alcohol
  • Hot weather

How Can Orthostatic Hypotension Be Prevented?

This condition mostly occurs because of postural change and thus it is crucial to keep your posture correct. Move slowly when you stand up after lying down. The next common cause is dehydration and drinking loads of fluids will work wonders. Another way you can prevent this condition is by not working out in warm weather. 

There are a few medications that result in orthostatic hypotension as they affect the autonomic nervous system. If you encounter any symptoms and aren’t able to determine the cause, it might be because of the pills you might be taking. Connect with your doctor right away and get yourself examined.(2)


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 1, 2020

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