Orthostatic Hypotension: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

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Orthostatic Hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension, or postural hypotension, happens when blood pressure suddenly drops as you stand up. This can cause dizziness, feeling faint, and more. It’s more common in older people, but anyone can get it.

This article will dive into orthostatic hypotension. We’ll look at its causes, symptoms, and how to treat it. It’s important to spot and treat this condition early to help those affected and improve their lives.

orthostatic hypotension

Key Takeaways

  • Orthostatic hypotension is characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure when standing up, leading to dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • While it can affect people of all ages, orthostatic hypotension is more common in older adults.
  • Understanding the causes of orthostatic hypotension is crucial for effective management and treatment.
  • Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life.
  • Timely diagnosis and appropriate interventions are essential for managing postural hypotension effectively.

Understanding Orthostatic Hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension, or postural hypotension, impacts many people, especially older adults. It shows as a large blood pressure drop when we stand up from sitting or lying down. Now, let’s examine what it is and how it affects people.

What is Orthostatic Hypotension?

This condition means blood pressure suddenly drops after standing up. This drop has to be at least 20 mmHg for systolic blood or 10 mmHg for diastolic blood in three minutes of standing. It causes feelings like dizzinesslightheadedness, and sometimes even fainting.

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness
  • Nausea

Our body has to work harder to get blood to the brain when we stand up. Gravity pulls blood to our legs, making it tough. People with orthostatic hypotension can’t adjust like they should, causing blood pressure to drop.

How common is postural hypotension?

Orthostatic hypotension happens quite often and affects many people. It’s more seen in the elderly, with about 30% experiencing it. This might be due to changes in their heart and blood vessels related to age, certain health issues, and medications.

Age Group Prevalence of postural hypotension
Young adults (18–44 years) 5-10%
Middle-aged adults (45–64 years)   10-20%
Older adults (65+ years) 20-30%

There are many reasons, besides age, for developing orthostatic hypotension. Dehydration, some medications, nerve and heart conditions, and diseases like diabetes and thyroid can all play a part.

Knowing about orthostatic hypotension is key in helping others. With the right knowledge, we can spot its signs and get help when needed. Doctors are crucial in informing us about its causes and treatment.

Causes of Orthostatic Hypotension

There are many reasons people can develop orthostatic hypotension. Temporary dips and chronic health problems can both contribute. Knowing these reasons is key to treating and handling this type of low blood pressure when standing.

Let’s look at some of the of the main causes of orthostatic hypotension.

Dehydration and Its Role in Orthostatic Hypotension

Not drinking enough water is a big issue for orthostatic hypotension. When your body is missing fluids, the amount of blood drops. This makes it hard for blood to reach the brain and other important body parts. Drinking enough water daily is critical to avoiding this condition.

Medications That Can Cause Orthostatic Hypotension

Some drugs might lead to orthostatic hypotension. These include:

  • Diuretics (water pills) decrease blood volume
  • Antidepressants, like tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs
  • Blood pressure meds, such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s, like levodopa and dopamine agonists
  • Alpha-blockers used for prostate problems or high blood pressure

If these drugs are causing you issues, talk to your doctor. They can change your dose or suggest different drugs. This helps deal with the condition while treating what you’re taking the medicine for.

Neurological Conditions and Orthostatic Hypotension

Some brain disorders can mess with how your body handles blood pressure, leading to orthostatic hypotension. These disorders are:

Neurological Condition How It Affects Blood Pressure Regulation
Parkinson’s disease Harms the autonomic nervous system that controls things like blood pressure
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) Causes nerve cell loss in the brain and spine, which hurts blood pressure control
Autonomic neuropathy Harms nerves controlling things like blood pressure

It’s vital to manage these neurological issues. This helps control orthostatic hypotension and makes life better. Treatment can include medications, changes in how you live, and working closely with doctors on a plan made just for you.

Symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension

Orthostatic hypotension has symptoms that can really affect your everyday life. The most common signs are:

These issues often appear immediately after you change your sitting or lying position. When your blood pressure suddenly drops as you stand, it causes these symptoms.

The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on age and health. Some might feel a little dizzy now and then, while others might faint often, putting them at risk of injury.

Symptom Description
Dizziness A feeling of unsteadiness or loss of balance upon standing
Lightheadedness  A sensation of being about to faint or pass out
Fainting A sudden loss of consciousness due to reduced blood flow to the brain
Blurred vision Difficulty focusing or seeing clearly when standing up
Weakness A feeling of fatigue or lack of strength in the legs or overall body

It’s key to know the signs of orthostatic hypotension. Understanding this can help you get medical help early. If you often have these symptoms, talk to a doctor. They can figure out what’s happening and plan to help.

Diagnosing Orthostatic Hypotension

Diagnosing orthostatic hypotension is key to good care. Doctors use exams and tests to determine whether it’s present and why. They also examine blood pressure changes and how the autonomic nervous system works. Then, they can make a plan to help the patient feel better and live well.

Physical examination for postural hypotension

First, doctors perform a full physical test for orthostatic hypotension. They check blood pressure while the patient lies, sits, and stands. If blood pressure drops significantly when standing, it might mean orthostatic hypotension.

They also check heart and breathing rates. Learning about a patient’s health, medications, and lifestyle helps, and it can help explain why they might have postural hypotension.

Tests to Diagnose Orthostatic Hypotension

Sometimes, more tests are needed. The tilt table test is one. It checks how the body handles standing up. Doctors watch blood pressure and heart rate as the table moves. This test helps spot issues in blood pressure control.

Autonomic tests are also done. These check the system that controls blood pressure. Tests include the Valsalva maneuver, sweat checks, and heart rate checks. They give a full view of the autonomic system’s health.

     Test              Purpose              Procedure
Tilt Table Test Evaluates the body’s response to postural changes The patient lies on a table, slowly tilted upright, while blood pressure and heart rate are monitored.
Valsalva Maneuver Assesses the autonomic nervous system’s response to changes in intrathoracic pressure The patient forcefully exhales against a closed airway
Sweat Tests Evaluates the function of the sweat glands controlled by the autonomic nervous system Assesses sweating patterns to detect abnormalities
Heart Rate Variability Tests Measures the variation in time between heartbeats to assess autonomic nervous system balance Records and analyzes the patient’s heart rate over a specified period

Doctors can determine orthostatic hypotension by looking at physical signs and test results. This helps in making specific plans to treat and care for patients. They aim to manage symptoms and boost health.

Treatment Options for Orthostatic Hypotension

Each person needs a combination of changes to treat orthostatic hypotension, depending on what causes the low blood pressure. Treatment plans combine lifestyle changes with medicines to ease symptoms and boost life quality.

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Orthostatic Hypotension

To fight postural hypotension first, lifestyle changes are key. They can cut symptoms and stop blood pressure drops. Helpful changes include:

  • Increasing fluid and salt intake to maintain adequate blood volume
  • Wearing compression stockings to promote blood flow from the legs to the heart
  • Rising slowly from sitting or lying positions to allow the body time to adjust
  • Avoiding prolonged standing or exposure to hot environments
  • Engaging in regular, low-impact exercises to improve circulation

Doing these changes daily can lower how often and how bad orthostatic hypotension affects you.

Medications for Treating Orthostatic Hypotension

If lifestyle changes don’t do enough, doctors might add medicines. These help control blood pressure and reduce symptoms. The right medicine depends on what caused your orthostatic hypotension and how healthy you are.

  Medication                              Mechanism of Action
Fludrocortisone  Increases blood volume by promoting sodium and water retention
Midodrine Constricts blood vessels, helping to maintain blood pressure upon standing
Pyridostigmine Improves nerve signaling and promotes blood vessel constriction
Droxidopa Increases norepinephrine levels, helping to regulate blood pressure

You must team up with your doctor to pick the right medicine and dose for you. You might need regular checkups and changes to get the best control over orthostatic hypotension.

Patients and their health teams need to work together for a good outcome. By making lifestyle changes and taking the right medicines, people with orthostatic hypotension can manage their symptoms well and enjoy life.

Natural Remedies for Orthostatic Hypotension

Looking for ways to help with orthostatic hypotension? Natural remedies like herbs and acupuncture could be helpful. They aim to boost blood flow and ease symptoms. Yet, always talk to your doctor before trying them. They can ensure these natural ways won’t harm you, especially if you’re already taking medicine.

Herbal Supplements for Orthostatic Hypotension

Some herbs are noted for helping with blood flow and might lessen orthostatic hypotension signs. Ginkgo biloba and butcher’s broom are two such plants.

  • Ginkgo biloba is known for increasing blood flow and thinking skills. It might also steady blood pressure and reduce feeling dizzy when standing.
  • Butcher’s broom comes from the Mediterranean and is helpful for the veins. It uses ruscogenins to tighten blood vessels and enhance blood flow, possibly easing postural hypotension.

These herbs could be promising for orthostatic hypotension but must be used carefully. It’s vital to have a doctor guide you so that these supplements work well and don’t cause any issues with your medications.

Acupuncture for Managing Orthostatic Hypotension Symptoms

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method using thin needles to heal. It might work well alongside other treatments for orthostatic hypotension.

Research suggests that acupuncture can help control blood pressure and boost blood flow. This is because it triggers the release of substances like endorphins. These help open up blood vessels and improve blood movement, which could lessen feelings of dizziness and faintness.

Acupuncture Point Location Potential Benefits
Zusanli (ST36) Below the knee, on the outer side of the shinbone Regulates blood pressure, improves circulation
Quchi (LI11) Outer elbow crease, halfway between the elbow and the end of the crease Promotes blood circulation, relieves dizziness
Neiguan (PC6) Inner wrist, three fingers below the wrist crease  Regulates heart function, reduces lightheadedness

Acupuncture is showing good results as a way to manage orthostatic hypotension. Make sure to see a certified and experienced acupuncturist. They can create a treatment plan that’s just right for you.

Remember, natural remedies are best when used with traditional medical treatments. Working closely with your doctor to combine these treatments safely is key. It will help tailor a plan that fits your health needs and best choices.

Homeopathic treatment for postural hypotension

A secure, all-natural way to manage low blood pressure is with homeopathy. It is a useful treatment with no negative side effects or impacts. “Symptomatic” alleviation is the initial benefit of homeopathic treatments. It relieves dizziness, nausea, and exhaustion, enabling the patient to resume daily activities. The body’s blood circulation must then be restored to normal, which entails improving heart and pulse rate functioning. The goal of doing this is to keep blood pressure within normal limits.

The cause of postural low blood pressure must be identified before homeopathic remedies can be used. This includes a thorough examination and assessment of the patient’s medical background. Low blood pressure affects people of all ages and has many causes. As a result, prescription drugs are written appropriately.

See the following list of low blood pressure home remedies that are effective and cause no negative effects:

  • Patients with significant nausea and vertigo are typically prescribed homeopathic drugs Gelsemium and Viscum Album, which are excellent for treating low blood pressure. The patients occasionally experience stress and a persistent, dull, hurting head. Usually weak and slow to pulse, this leads to chronic weariness.
  • Effective homeopathic treatments like Glonoine and Natrum muriaticum can help sustain low blood pressure when blood pressure suddenly drops after prolonged sun exposure. In these situations, dizziness, nausea, and fainting episodes are frequently experienced.
  • China and Carbo Vegetabilis are two extremely effective homeopathic remedies for an irregular drop in blood pressure associated with severe diarrhea. The pulse is frequently so faint as undetectable, and the body exhibits obvious signs of weariness.
  • China and Ferrum Metallicum: This homeopathic remedy is recommended when significant blood loss causes anemia and postural hypotension. Anemia, weariness, and an irregular, weak pulse are typical signs.

It is crucial to incorporate minerals and dairy products and increase the consumption of foods high in iron. In addition, homeopathic medication can control low blood pressure and promote overall health. If you have any concerns or inquiries, you can always speak with an expert to receive answers to your questions!

Living with Orthostatic Hypotension

Coping with orthostatic hypotension daily can be tough. But there are ways to make life better. Lifestyle changes are key. This means not standing too long, getting up slowly, and drinking plenty of water. By doing this, the symptoms can get better.

Easy exercises like swimming or slow biking also help a lot. They improve blood flow and keep your heart healthy. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise.

Lifestyle Adjustment Benefit
Avoid prolonged standing Reduces the likelihood of sudden blood pressure drops
Rise slowly from seated or lying positions Allows the body to adjust gradually to postural changes
Stay hydrated Maintains blood volume and helps regulate blood pressure
Engage in low-impact exercise Improves circulation and overall cardiovascular health

Also, joining support groups or chatting online can be a game-changer. You get helpful tips and emotional support from people who get it. Talking with others can make you feel less alone and boost your mood.

  • Join local support groups for people with orthostatic hypotension
  • Participate in online forums and discussion boards focused on postural hypotension
  • Share your experiences and learn from others who have successfully managed their symptoms
  • Access educational resources and practical tips for coping with orthostatic hypotension

When to Seek Medical Attention for Orthostatic Hypotension

Many people can deal with orthostatic hypotension at home. But, some situations need quick medical help. It’s important to know the signs of a serious issue. This way, you can prevent any problems from worsening or causing other health issues.

Severe Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Care

If any of these symptoms happen, you should see a doctor right away:

  • Prolonged or severe dizziness that does not improve with lifestyle changes
  • Confusion or disorientation upon standing
  • Loss of consciousness or fainting, especially if it occurs frequently or without warning
  • Chest pain or palpitations accompanying dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Slurred speech or difficulty speaking when standing up
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs that worsens with postural changes

These symptoms might indicate a serious issue. Your doctor can determine what’s wrong and suggest the best way to help.

Long-term Complications of Untreated Orthostatic Hypotension

If left uncontrolled, orthostatic hypotension can cause big health problems. They can change your life a lot. Some problems may include:

Complication Description
Falls and fractures Feeling dizzy often can make you fall. This might cause breaks in your bones or other injuries.
Syncope Passing out suddenly can lead to dangerous situations. Like if it happens while you’re driving or using heavy machines.
Cardiovascular events It might also increase your chances of having serious heart or stroke issues. This is more risky for older folks or those with heart problems.
Cognitive decline Not enough blood flow to the brain can hurt your thinking and memory over time.

To avoid these troubles, it’s vital to manage orthostatic hypotension well. Work with your doctor closely and follow their treatment plans. This will lower your risk of having worse health problems later.


What is orthostatic

Orthostatic hypotension is common. It can cause people to feel dizzy or faint when they stand up. Understanding what causes it, the signs to watch for, and how it can be treated is key.

Help for orthostatic hypotension comes in many forms. It might involve changes in daily habits, medicines, or natural steps. The best path forward is shaped by what’s causing the issue and its severity. Working closely with doctors to pick the right steps is very important.

A lot of us need to know about postural hypotension. This helps get folks the care they need quicker. By sharing what we know and learning more about it, we give people with the condition the power to manage their symptoms. This could help them live better and potentially avoid other health problems. Knowing and acting on this information improves life for those with orthostatic hypotension.


What is the difference between orthostatic hypotension and postural hypotension?

Both terms mean the same thing. They talk about a sudden drop in blood pressure. This drop happens when you get up from sitting or lying down.

What are the most common symptoms of orthostatic hypotension?

Common signs include feeling dizzylightheaded, or even fainting when standing. You might also have trouble seeing clearly, feel weak, get sick to your stomach, or have a headache.

Who is at risk for developing orthostatic hypotension?

It’s more common in older people. Those with health issues like Parkinson’s, diabetes, or heart conditions are at risk. Medications like diuretics or anti-depressants can also increase the risk.

How is orthostatic postural hypotension?

Doctors find it through exams and measuring your blood pressure. They do this while you’re in different positions. Extra tests like a tilt table test might be needed sometimes.

What are the treatment options for orthostatic hypotension?

Doctors may recommend small lifestyle changes, such as drinking more fluids, adding salt to your diet, and standing up slowly. For some, medicines like fludrocortisone or midodrine can be helpful.

Can natural remedies help manage postural hypotension?

Certain natural approaches might ease symptoms for some. For example, supplements such as ginkgo biloba or treatments like acupuncture might help. But always check with your doctor before trying anything new. This is to make sure it’s safe and won’t interfere with any other treatments you’re on.

What complications can arise from untreated orthostatic hypotension?

If not treated, orthostatic hypotension can cause serious issues. These include falling often, breaking bones, head injuries, or heart problems. So, getting the right diagnosis and care is very important for your health.

Natural Postural Hypotension Treatment in Philadelphia

While Western medicine doesn’t have a success rate in orthostatic hypotension treatment, we at the Philadelphia Holistic Clinic treat this condition using a combination of acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, reiki, and ayurvedic herbal medicines. Our success rate is way above average in the industry.

To schedule an appointment for an evaluation and discuss the optimal treatment plan for you with Dr. Tsan, contact our clinic at (267) 403-3085 or use our automatic online.