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What All Do You Need to Know About Orthostatic Hypotension

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What All Do You Need to Know About Orthostatic Hypotension

Neuro Sciences | by Dr. Mahendra Kumar Manocha | Published on 31/07/2023



Introduction

Are you experiencing lightheadedness or dizziness while you are standing? Well, you might be suffering from orthostatic hypotension. It is a condition also referred to as postural hypotension. In this condition, an individual begins to experience a sudden drop in blood pressure causing fainting or dizziness. Usually, symptoms improve with the right medication or moving into an upright position gradually. 

In this blog, we will involve the discussion on orthostatic hypotension, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. We will cover the intricacies around this condition and shed light on why it is important to gain information about this disease and address it properly. 

However, kindly note that we are not clinical professionals and provide information based on our research and in-depth analysis. If you suspect that you might have orthostatic hypotension, then book your appointment with the best neurologist doctor in Kolkata at the Calcutta Medical Research Institute healthcare professionals for the right diagnosis and treatment options.

What is orthostatic hypotension?

Orthostatic hypotension is a condition in which the patient often experiences an abrupt drop in blood pressure while he/she is standing from a lying down position or a seated position. The patient also experiences dizziness or fainting. Orthostatic refers to an upright posture whereas hypotension is referred to as low blood pressure. This condition usually is mild to moderate and lasts for not more than a few minutes after standing. However, in certain cases, it can cause consciousness loss or fainting in some people. 

What are orthostatic hypotension symptoms?

One of the most common orthostatic hypotension symptoms are lightheadedness and dizziness. These symptoms often go away but there are other symptoms that can be experienced by some people such as: 

  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Leg buckling
  • Confusion
  • Nausea 
  • Weakness 
  • Chest pain 
  • Fainting 
  • Neck and shoulder pain

What are orthostatic hypotension causes?

There are different reasons for why orthostatic hypotension occurs. However, the common orthostatic hypotension causes include: 

  • The heart is unable to pump sufficient blood as much as it should.
  • The autonomic nervous system is not functioning well. 
  • The patient has Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, or Lewy body dementia. 
  • The patient is lying down for long periods without a break 
  • The volume of blood is very low due to dehydration or blood loss due to any reason. 
  • An individual has problems with adrenal glands 
  • The body is reacting to certain medications an individual might be taking regularly 

How is orthostatic hypotension diagnosed?

The healthcare expert will begin orthostatic hypotension diagnosis by checking the blood pressure while the patient is seated, standing, and lying down. They will assess the symptoms and gain information by asking about the medical history. There are certain tests that might be ordered such as: 

  • Blood tests for evaluating the presence of conditions like anemia and diabetes.
  • Echocardiogram for checking the ability of the heart to pump sufficient blood. 
  • Electrocardiogram for testing the changes in heart rhythm. 
  • Exercise tests for measuring the heart rate while the patient is doing physical activity. 
  • Tilt table test for securely measuring the heart rate, rhythm, and blood pressure while the patient is lying on a table moving from horizontal to vertical.

What are the options for orthostatic hypotension treatment?

Orthostatic hypotension treatment depends on what is causing it. The options for treatment might include: 

  • Treatment of a condition or disease that is causing it
  • Medication dose changes causing orthostatic hypotension or replacing the drug 
  • Sitting up in bed while the patient is on bed rest
  • Recommend wearing elastic stockings on the legs

In rare cases, there is a need for treatment of orthostatic hypotension. However, few people might need medications for increasing blood volume and pressure. These medications are droxidopa, erythropoiesis, desmopressin, fludrocortisone, midodrine hydrochloride, octreotide, etc.

Lifestyle and home remedies

There are some tips recommended by a doctor linked to lifestyle changes and home remedies. Here are some of them: 

  • Increase the intake of water and fluid 
  • Limit consumption of alcohol 
  • Perform isometric exercises to increase the blood pressure 
  • Avoid hot baths 
  • Restrict long walks in hot weather 
  • Wear compression stocking as it helps with blood circulation in the legs 
  • Add salt to meals for retaining fluid

Conclusion

Orthostatic hypotension symptoms are very upsetting. They can be hazardous if the patient loses balance, passes out, or falls. Symptoms improve when the patient moves the way he/she is standing in a position. If you suspect orthostatic hypotension, then book your appointment with The Calcutta Medical Research Institute and tell your symptoms to the healthcare expert. They will assist you with medications for instance if there is a need for changing drugs to avert or reduce symptoms. In serious cases, the neurologist might recommend medicines for blood flow and blood pressure improvement.

FAQs

 

Is orthostatic hypotension hereditary?

Orthostatic hypotension is not an hereditary condition, however, if a close relative has this condition then it enhances the risk of developing this condition among coming generations. 

How common is orthostatic hypotension?

Orthostatic hypotension is a condition affecting around six percent of the population across the world and 10-30 percent of older adults.