Neurally Mediated Hypotension
Most people are aware of blood pressure problems, like hypertension and
hypotension. However, there would be very few people who know about neurally mediated hypotension
which occurs due to unnatural reflex action between the brain and the heart, even though they are
structurally normal. This type of hypotension is also called fainting reflex, vasodepresser syncope
(fainting), neurocardiogenic syncope, autonomic dysfunction or vas0-vagal reflex.
The condition is caused when a person:
1. remains in an upright position for too long, such as
standing or sitting straight
2. undergoes a stressful situation
4. remains in a hot environment caused either by weather and a hot shower or
5. eats a meal. This happens in rare cases and due to the flow of blood being
shifted to the intestinal circulation.
6. is genetically susceptible to this.
Dietary habits, acute triggering factors like allergy or infection and
psychological make up of a person are also important reasons for a person suffering from neurally
It is commonly indicated by light headedness or fainting. Other symptoms include
mental confusion, headaches, chronic fatigue and muscle aches or fibromyalgia. This condition can
not be diagnosed by the ordinary blood pressure tests or heart rate screenings. The diagnosis is
based on the ‘tilt table test’.
Once a person has been diagnosed with neurally mediated hypotension, he is
recommended to increase the amount of water and salt intake. Certain drugs are also prescribed to
regulate the blood pressure. Moreover, there are certain drugs that allow the kidneys to retain
sodium while other help by blocking the body’s response to adrenaline, which is most often
responsible for blood pressure abnormalities. Some medicines that have a good success rate for this
condition are theophylline, pseudoephedrine, midodrine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), fludrocortisone
(Florinef), disopyramide (Norpace), beta-blockers (e.g., atenolol), sertraline (Zoloft), ephedrine
and fluoxetine (Prozac). It must always be remembered that before using medicine, make it sure that
it does not contain any drugs or vitamins that may be harmful for the condition rather than