Certain people may feel dizzy or light-headedness when they stand up. Their blood pressure dropping excessively when they stand up is known as orthostatic or postural hypotension. Some of the symptoms include faintness, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion or blurred vision.
What are the causes for feeling dizzy when standing up that occurs in some people? One of the most common causes are the decreased in blood volume resulted from dehydration or blood loss. Dehydration will happen when your body loses more fluid than the amount of water you drink. The suggested amount of water to drink daily is about eight glasses for a non-active person whereas for an active person like athletes, it is advisable to increase water intake to avoid dehydration. A drop in blood volume can also be caused by certain drugs such as thiazide diuretics and loop diuretics. A diuretic is any substance that promotes dieresis in order to increase production of urine.
Diseases can be the cause for feeling dizzy when standing up. Heart conditions like heart attack or valve disease and Parkinson’s disease can cause this dizziness. Prolonged bed rest or immobility can be one major cause of feeling dizziness too. Sudden standing up can definitely cause them to feel dizzy. Other than that, pregnancy can cause a woman to feel dizzy when standing up. This is due to hormonal changes during this period of time.
How can this orthostastic or postural hypotension be diagnosed? First of all, when you come across the mentioned symptoms, do consult your doctor. The number one thing that your doctor will do is check your blood pressure while you are sitting, lying down and standing. This is to confirm whether you have orthostastic or postural hypotension when your systolic blood pressure drops by 20 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or your diastolic blood pressure drops by 10 mm Hg within three minutes of standing up. In order to futher find out the underlying cause, your doctor might need to conduct a physical examination, check your heart rate and other certain tests. For examples, you will be required to do a complete blood count to check for anemia, electrocardiogram to check the rhythm of your heart, echocardiogram to check on how your heart and heart valves are functioning as well as exercise stress test to measure your heart rate during exercise.
If you are confirmed to have orthostastic or postural hypotension, it can be treated but highly depends on the cause. Some of the recommendations that your doctor might give you include some lifestyle changes practices. For examples, you may be advised to increase your fluid and water intake and limit or reduce your alcohol intake. As you may feel dizzy standing up, you are encouraged to stand up slowly when getting out of a chair or bed. This small action has a big influence on your health. Other advices for you include adjusting the dose or switch to another medication of medication is the cause for this dizziness, avoiding crossing your legs or standing up for too long, avoiding having to walk in hot weather, reducing intake of large carbohydrate-rich meals and adding additional salt to your daily meals to retain fluid. In more severe cases, doctor may prescribe drugs like fludrocortisones, midodrine, erythropoietin and pyridostigmine to increase your blood volume or to constrict your blood vessels depending on your exact condition.
In most cases, orthostastic or postural hypotension can be cured by treating its underlying cause. With the right treatment, the symptoms can be eliminated.