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Orthostatic Hypotension

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Orthostatic hypotension facts

  • The autonomic nervous system makes changes in blood pressure and heart rate to allow the body to provide adequate blood supply to the brain when the body changes position.
  • Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension include lightheadedness, weakness, blurred vision, and syncope or passing out.
  • Dehydration, blood loss, and anemia are the most common reasons to develop low blood pressure when standing.
  • Beta blockers, other high blood pressure medications, and medications such as sildenafil (Viagra) may all cause orthostatic hypotension.
  • Vasovagal syncope may cause symptoms of fainting when the vagus nerve is stimulated by a noxious stimulus, either physical (pain) or emotional.
  • Diagnosis is often made by history and physical examination. Injury from falling is the main complication of this entity.
  • Maintaining adequate hydration is the best way to prevent orthostatic hypotension if the hypotension is caused by dehydration. However, overhydration can exacerbate congestive heart failure. Patients with CHF and orthostatic hypotension need to closely monitor fluid intake and make changes only with physician supervision.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/orthostatic_hypotension/article.htm

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