Orthostatic, Postural Hypotension Causes Stand Up Dizzy, Faint, Lightheaded Symptoms for Treatment

Orthostatic hypotension, aka postural hypotension, is a health condition featuring a dizzy, faint or lightheaded feeling when standing up. The cause is momentary inadequate blood supply to your brain due to an abnormal drop in blood pressure.

Gravity is an ever present force pulling down, that includes blood. When you take a stand your body has a couple natural processes to combat gravity’s drawing of blood into your legs. One is increasing heart’s pumping action and the other is blood vessel constriction. Normally, this response is done almost instantaneously and without much notice.

However, if the response to your up position change is slow or absent, then blood pressure drops causing orthostatic hypotension symptoms. Aside from the “post stand up” dizzyfaint or lightheaded sensation symptoms, othrostatic hypotension may also cause:

A dramatic drop in blood pressure can cause you to experience a temporary loss of consciousness, or syncope.

An occasional occurrence of postural hypotension happens to just about everybody, especially if dehydrated. Some common causes for an isolated episode of standing dizzy, faint feeling, many of which cause mild dehydration, are:

Infrequent instances of orthostatic hypotension is usually not a health concern, but more of a nuisance.

Alternatively, if your standing up hypotension happens frequently or lasts a long time, then a serious health condition may be causing your low blood pressure. Postural hypotension can be caused by:

Often orthostatic hypotension occurs as your body ages because some physical changes make it more difficult to naturally compensate.

Repetitive episodes of orthostatic hypotension can be a risk factor for stroke. And some research has indicated this may increase the risk of some forms of dementia and other brain disorders as well. So, inform your health care provider if you are having repetitive stand up dizzy, faint or lightheaded symptoms.

The first thing you should do for mild postural hypotension is to immediately sit back down if you feel lightheaded until your dizzying faint symptoms disappear. Then stand up slowly and go get something to drink.

Recurring orthostatic hypotension treatment may depend on its cause. Treating the basis of this health problem can bring a resolution.

Sometimes, treating the low blood pressure itself might be necessary. Some of the options and suggestions include:

  • avoid alcohol
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • compression stockings
  • strengthen your calf muscles
  • don’t exercise in hot conditions
  • increase salt intake ~ only if you don’t have high blood pressure
  • medications ~ fludrocortisone, midodrine, pyridostigmine, NSAIDscaffeine, epoetin
  • before standing up ~ work your calf muscles, cross your thighs & squeeze thigh muscle, put one foot on a ledge of chair and lean forward

When the cause of orthostatic hypotension is your medication, your health care provider may reduce the dose or change the prescription.

And postural hypotension symptoms might be allayed if you just stand up slower.