Orthostatic hypotension is a phenomenon caused by a problem with the regulation of blood pressure. This regulating system, which manages blood circulation and blood pressure when a person goes from lying down to standing, is broken. The pressure drops resulting in headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances, loss of muscle tone in the legs and difficulty maintaining balance. In the most serious cases, the subject loses consciousness: this is called syncope.
What Is The Prognosis For Orthostatic Hypotension?
The prognosis of orthostatic hypotension pathology depends on the cause of its appearance. By itself, a decrease in blood pressure can cause falls and injuries. It is also associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and strokes. (3)
Lifestyle Changes For Orthostatic Hypotension
Simple ways to prevent orthostatic hypotension when changing the position of the body:
Use More Salt In Your Diet. This can only be done after the doctor’s recommendations. Too much can cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of other illnesses.
Eat Smaller Portions. If your blood pressure drops after a meal, the doctor may recommend eating foods that are low in carbohydrates and small portions.
Drink Lots Of Fluids. Maintaining fluid balance helps prevent a decrease in blood pressure. This advice is particularly important for patients suffering from vomiting, diarrhea or fever.
Limit Or Avoid Alcohol as alcohol can worsen orthostatic hypotension.
Exercise. Before you sit down, do exercises for the leg muscles. Regular exercise can help reduce symptoms of orthostatic hypotension.
Do Not Bend In The Lower Back. If you drop something on the floor, squat down, bend your knees to lift the object.
Wear A Compression Knit. It helps reduce the amount of blood that accumulates in the legs when you get up and relieves the symptoms of orthostatic hypotension.
Get Up Slowly. You can reduce dizziness and feel sick by slowly changing your body position when you get up. Instead of jumping out of bed in the morning, take a deep breath for a few minutes, then sit down slowly. Before getting up, sit on the edge of the bed for at least a few minutes.
Lift The Head Of The Bed. Sleeping in this position can help combat the effects of gravity. (4)
Orthostatic differs from usual hypotension in that the blood pressure decreases only with a sharp increase in the sitting or lying position, after which, in most cases, it normalizes relatively quickly. In normal hypotension, arterial hypotension is observed almost constantly, regardless of the position of the body.
The duration of postural hypotension more than a few minutes after getting up can be a sign of serious illness. People with this problem should, therefore, consult a doctor or cardiologist. Only the identification of the causes of the lowering of blood pressure and their elimination can allow a complete recovery. (1)
Symptoms Of Orthostatic Hypotension
Symptoms of the pathology orthostatic hypotension include a fall in blood pressure with a rapid change in the position of the body.
- Feeling dizziness while getting up fast from a sitting/lying position
- Blurred vision
- Tremors and gait instability
These symptoms can quickly go away as the body adjusts to the standing position. However, there are times when a person squats or lies down quickly to avoid falling or fainting.
Mild orthostatic hypotension worries a person occasionally and has little effect on their life. But severe cases may affect the quality of life considerably hampering daily activities.
In rare cases of orthostatic hypotension can be explained by work or exercise in hot weather, see a doctor for more frequent episodes. (2)
Treatment For Orthostatic Hypotension
The treatment of orthostatic hypotension depends on the root cause. Doctors are still trying to influence the underlying disease and not the reduction in blood pressure itself.
If you have mild orthostatic hypotension, you can simply sit or lie down immediately after the onset of dizziness. When taking medication, low blood pressure involves changing their dosage or completely stopping their use.
Several drugs can be used to treat the reduction of orthostatic pressure.
Fludrocortisone helps to increase the amount of fluid in the blood, thereby increasing blood pressure.
Doctors often prescribe the drug midodrine, which limits the ability of blood vessels to dilate, thereby increasing blood pressure.
Droxidopa can be used for orthostatic hypotension associated with Parkinson’s disease.
With effective lifestyle changes, these drugs are sometimes used: pyridostigmine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, caffeine, and epoetin. (3)
- Hanada M, Tawara Y, Miyazaki T, et al. Incidence of orthostatic hypotension and cardiovascular response to postoperative early mobilization in patients undergoing cardiothoracic and abdominal surgery. BMC surgery. 2017;17(1):111.
- Gibbons CH, Schmidt P, Biaggioni I, et al. The recommendations of a consensus panel for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension and associated supine hypertension. Journal of neurology. 2017;264(8):1567-1582.
- Hale GM, Valdes J, Brenner M. The treatment of primary orthostatic hypotension. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2017;51(5):417-428.
- Palma JA, Kaufmann H. Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension. Movement disorders clinical practice. 2017;4(3):298-308.
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