Orthostatic hypotension is also called postural hypotension. It is a form of low blood pressure that happens when standing up especially from sitting or lying down. It result to dizziness or lightheadedness and even lose consciousness. This condition can be mild and can last for a few minutes, but if it last for longer time can be a symptom of a serious condition. Dehydration and prolonged periods of rest can also cause this condition.
Persistent orthostatic hypotension in older people causes serious complications which includes falling down due to lose of consciousness or syncope; stroke caused by poor circulation of blood to the brain; and development of cardiovascular disease such as heart failure or heart rhythm problems and pain in the chest.
Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension
- Blurred vision
- Sensation of dizziness and lightheadedness after standing up
- Fainting or syncope
- Heart problems that includes severely low heart rate or bradycardia; heart attack and heart failure and heart valve problems.
- Dehydration due to vomiting, fever, insufficient fluid intake, performing strenuous exercise, excessive sweating and severe diarrhea.
- Endocrine problems such as adrenal insufficiency and hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
- Disorders of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, pure autonomic failure and amyloidosis.
- Low blood pressure after eating meals or postprandial hypotension
- Wear prescribed compression stockings and garments or abdominal binders to lessen the symptoms and the accumulation of blood in the legs. Waist-high compression stockings for proper flow of blood. Wear these stocking at day time and take them off when lying down.
- Take the prescribed medications to increase levels of fluid in the blood that will raise the blood pressure. Medications that reduce the expansion of the vessels of blood and result to elevated blood pressure.
- Seek medical help for some dietary changes such as consumption of salt in the body. Avoid consumption of excessive amounts of salt to prevent increase of blood pressure beyond the normal level and worsen the condition.
- Eat small and low contents of carbohydrates to prevent lowering of blood pressure.
- Prescribed vitamin B-12 supplement to increase circulation of blood in the body and for fast healing of the condition.
- Drink plenty of fluids before standing for longer times or performing any activities that increases the symptoms. It also prevents symptoms of low levels of blood pressure. Avoid drinking alcohol to prevent worsening of the condition.
- Perform regular cardiovascular and strengthening exercises with the help of the physical therapist to lessen the symptoms of orthostatic hypotension. Avoid performing exercises under very hot or humid weather.
- Get up slowly from lying position; sit for a few minutes on the edge of the bed and before standing up to lessen the dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Elevate slightly the head of the bed when sleeping to lessen the symptoms of orthostatic hypotension.