Brazilian Natural Medicine

Postural (orthostatic) hypotension: what it is, causes and treatment

Postural hypotension, also known as orthostatic hypotension, is a situation characterized by a rapid decrease in blood pressure, which leads to the appearance of some symptoms, such as dizziness, fainting and weakness.

This situation mainly happens when the person goes from the lying or sitting position to the standing position quickly, but it can also be a consequence of the use of some medications, prolonged bed rest or dehydration, and it is important to investigate the cause and start the appropriate treatment.

What Can Cause Postural Hypotension?

Postural hypotension occurs mainly when the person stands up quickly, not having enough time for the blood to circulate correctly, accumulating in the veins of the legs and chest, resulting in symptoms. Other causes of orthostatic hypotension are:

  • Use of some medications;
  • Dehydration, in which there is a decrease in blood volume;
  • Sitting or lying down for a long time;
  • Changes in blood pressure due to age;
  • After intense physical activity;
  • Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus;
  • Parkinson’s disease.

There is also postprandial hypotension, which is more common in the elderly and is characterized by a sudden and sudden drop in blood pressure a few hours after a meal, which can pose a risk to the person, as it increases the risk of falling, heart failure and postprandial stroke.

Postural hypotension is characterized by a drop in pressure, so that the systolic pressure is less than 20 mmHg and the diastolic pressure is less than 10 mmHg. Thus, in the presence of signs and symptoms indicative of a drop in pressure, it is important to go to the cardiologist or general practitioner for the diagnosis to be made.

The diagnosis of this type of hypotension is made by checking blood pressure in different positions, so that the doctor can assess the variation in blood pressure. In addition, the doctor evaluates the person’s signs and symptoms, as well as the history. Some tests may be recommended, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), glucose and electrolyte measurement, such as calcium, potassium and magnesium, for example, however the results of these tests are inconclusive for postural hypotension.

main symptoms

The main signs and symptoms related to orthostatic hypotension are fainting sensation, dimming of vision, dizziness, palpitation, mental confusion, loss of balance, tremors, headache and falling, and it is important to consult a doctor in case of frequent hypotension.

The occurrence of postural hypotension increases with age, being more frequent in the elderly, and symptoms may appear seconds or minutes after the person stands up, for example.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment is established by the doctor according to the cause of orthostatic hypotension, so it may be recommended to change the dose of a particular medication that is being used, increase fluid consumption and practice regular, light to moderate intensity exercise. . In addition, it is important to spend a lot of time lying down, and it is recommended to sit or stand up regularly.

In some cases, the doctor may also recommend the use of some medications that promote sodium retention and relieve symptoms, such as Fludrocortisone, for example, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that also promote the improvement of postural hypotension.

Always consult a doctor.

Verified by RJ985 – Brazilian natural medicine

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