Causes of Orthostatic Hypotension
When there is an excessive decrease in the blood pressure when a person stands
up or changes his posture, then he is suffering from orthostatic hypotension. It occurs because
when a person stands up, gravity pools blood in his veins in the legs and lower body. As a result,
the amount of blood sent to the heart and pumped from there is less. The blood flow to the brain
also decreases and the person feels dizzy. It is not a specific disease but an inability to
compensate quickly for changes in blood pressure.
This problem is usually faced by people of older ages. However, young people can
also experience this when their bodies do not adjust quickly enough to the postural change, an
adjustment that requires the heart to beat faster and with more force to increase its blood
Other causes of orthostatic hypotension include abnormal heart rate, heart valve
disorders, decrease of blood pressure due to bleeding and excessive loss of fluids due to vomiting,
sweating, diarrhoea or urination. A common cause of orthostatic hypotension in older people is
dehydration during an illness.
Certain drugs can also cause this type of hypotension for instance, diuretics or
medicines that dilate arterioles. They include nitrates, calcium channel blockers, angiotensin and
antidepressants. This form of low blood pressure can also result if the person is suffering from
diabetes, spinal cord injuries in which the nerves that regulate blood vessel diameter are damaged,
or amyloidosis. Heavy exercising, eating a heavy meal or tiredness can also lead to orthostatic
Curing this condition is not very difficult. Usually doctors recommend dietary
changes. They would also treat the underlying causes of this type of hypotension. A regular
checking of blood pressure is also advised.