What is Orthostatic Hypotension? Orthostatic hypotension (also known as Postural hypotension and Bradbury-Eggleston Syndrome)is a sudden fall in blood pressure that occurs when a person assumes a standing position.
Ordinarily, blood rushes towards your legs whenever you stand due to gravity, but your body compensates by constricting your blood vessels and increasing your heart rate. This in turn ensures that enough blood gets to your brain. In Orthostatic hypotension, this compensation mechanism fails for some reason and blood pressure falls.
Orthostatic hypotension be caused by hypovolemia (a decreased amount of blood in the body), resulting from the excessive use of diuretics, vasodilators, or other types of drugs, dehydration, or prolonged bed rest. The disorder may be associated with Addison's disease, atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries), diabetes, and certain neurological disorders including Shy-Drager syndrome and other dysautonomias. Symptoms, which generally occur after sudden standing, include dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, and syncope (temporary loss of consciousness).
A decrease in standing systolic blood pressure >10 mmHg, when associated with dizziness or fainting, is more frequent in older patients with systolic hypertension, diabetes, and those taking diuretics, venodilators (e.g., nitrates, alpha-blockers, and sildenafillike drugs), and some psychotropic drugs. blood pressure in these individuals should also be monitored in the upright position.
Is there any treatment?
When orthostatic hypotension is caused by hypovolemia due to medications, the disorder may be reversed by adjusting the dosage or by discontinuing the medication. When the condition is caused by prolonged bed rest, improvement may occur by sitting up with increasing frequency each day. In some cases, physical counter pressure such as elastic hose or whole-body inflatable suits may be required. Dehydration is treated with salt and fluids.
What is the prognosis?
The prognosis for individuals with orthostatic hypotension depends on the underlying cause of the condition.