Orthostatic hypotension is an abnormal drop in blood pressure that occurs when
someone goes from sitting or lying down to standing up. This reduction in blood flow
causes an oxygen shortage in the brain,
leading to lightheadedness, dizziness, and sometimes fainting.
More to Know
The body has natural systems in place to quickly regulate blood pressure when changes
in blood flow occur. With orthostatic hypotension, however, these natural systems
Certain medications can cause orthostatic hypotension, as can dehydration
due to vomiting, diarrhea, untreated diabetes,
or excessive sweating. Severe bleeding, heart problems, nervous system disorders,
and other factors can also trigger the condition.
Besides feeling faint, someone experiencing orthostatic hypotension might have
blurry vision or feel nauseated, weak, and confused. After standing, symptoms usually
last for only a few seconds to a few minutes. If they continue longer or there is
loss of consciousness, an underlying condition might be involved that requires treatment.
Treatment for orthostatic hypotension may include medications or increasing fluids
and salt in the diet. Standing up slowly, wearing elastic stockings, and sleeping
with the head slightly elevated also can help ease the effects of orthostatic hypotension.
Keep in Mind
While orthostatic hypotension can sometimes indicate a more serious problem, most
cases can be successfully treated.
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