Problems with the way the heart functions due to things like anemia, changes in rhythm, and heart failure
Endocrine problems, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism
This problem is more common in people who are over 55 years of age, especially those with poorly controlled high blood pressure. Other things that may raise the risk are:
Longer periods of standing, mainly in heat
Long term or regular use of some medicines, such as diuretics and blood vessel dilators
Having certain heart or endocrine problems
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Your blood pressure will be measured going from lying down or sitting to standing. This may also be done using a tilt-table. This is all that is needed to make the diagnosis.
The goal of treatment is to ease or manage symptoms. This may include treating underlying health problems and:
Changing or stopping medicines that cause problems
Drinking plenty of water to treat or avoid dehydration
Eating smaller meals more often
Limiting or not drinking alcohol
Increasing salt in people who do not have high blood pressure
Slowly rising from a seated position and not standing for long periods of time
There are no guidelines to prevent this problem. Older adults should talk to their doctors about the medicines they take.
Orthostatic hypotension information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Orthostatic-Hypotension-Information-Page. Updated March 27, 2019. Accessed December 10, 2019.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 8/7/2020
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