DefinitionOrthostatic hypotension is a condition of abnormal blood pressure regulation upon standing. The blood pressure quickly decreases, more than 20/10 mm Hg, when rising from a lying down or sitting position to a standing position.
|Measuring of Blood Pressure|
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CausesAs you stand, blood falls toward your lower body in response to gravity. To help keep blood in the upper body:
- Blood vessels in the lower body will tighten to help push blood back up.
- The muscles in the lower body contract, or squeeze, to help push blood to upper body.
- The heart will contract a little harder to pump blood up toward the brain.
- Excessive use of loop diuretic medications
- Vasodilator medications, such as nitrate preparations, calcium channel blockers, or ACE inhibitors
- Prolonged bedrest
- Addison’s disease with inadequate salt intake
- Diseases or conditions that impair nervous system or nerves that controls the widening or shrinking of blood vessels
- Decreased ability of the heart to contract or reaction of blood vessels
- Medications that can affect nervous system or cardiovascular system
- Alcohol—can slow the reaction of the nervous system
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