|Measuring of Blood Pressure|
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- Blood vessels in the lower body will tighten to help push blood back up.
- The muscles in the lower body contract, or squeeze, to help push blood to upper body.
- The heart will contract a little harder to pump blood up toward the brain.
- Excessive use of loop diuretic medications
- Vasodilator medications, such as nitrate preparations, calcium channel blockers, or ACE inhibitors
- Prolonged bedrest
- Addison’s disease with inadequate salt intake
- Diseases or conditions that impair nervous system or nerves that controls the widening or shrinking of blood vessels
- Decreased ability of the heart to contract or reaction of blood vessels
- Medications that can affect nervous system or cardiovascular system
- Alcohol—can slow the reaction of the nervous system
- Increased age
Use of certain drugs such as:
- Loop diuretics
- MAO inhibitors
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Tetracyclic antidepressants
- Phenothiazine antipsychotic drugs
- Inadequate fluid intake
- Prolonged bedrest
- Certain diseases or conditions:
Mild to moderate reduction in brain blood flow:
- Visual blurring
Severe reduction in brain blood flow:
- Fainting (syncope) or brief loss of consciousness
- Adjusting or stopping medications that cause problems.
- Avoiding prolonged bed rest. Make sure to sit up each day. Start slowly and increase the time and frequency.
- Preventing dehydration by increasing fluid and electrolyte intake.
- Increasing salt intake.
- Eating smaller, more frequent meals with fewer carbohydrates. May help to avoid low blood pressure after eating.
- Limiting or eliminating alcohol.
- Using fitted elastic stockings that go up to the waist.
- Learning to slowly move from a lying or sitting position to a sitting or standing position.
- Avoiding sitting or standing still for prolonged periods of time.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
National Organization for Rare Disorders http://www.rarediseases.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation http://www.heartandstroke.ca
Berkow R, Beers MH, eds. The Merck Manual of Medical Information—Home Edition. 2nd ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2003.
Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. 8th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby; 2006.
Goldman L. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004.
Gupta V, Lipsitz LA. Orthostatic hypotension in the elderly: Diagnosis and treatment. Am J Med. 2007;120:841-847.
Lenders JW, Eisenhofer G, et al. Phaeochromocytoma. Lancet. 2005;366:665-675.
NINDS orthostatic hypotension information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/orthostatic%5Fhypotension/orthostatic%5Fhypotension.htm. Updated September 30, 2011. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Orthostatic syncope. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Shibao C, Grijalva CG, et al. Orthostatic hypotension-related hospitalizations in the United States. Am J Med. 2007;120:975-980.
3/24/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills PB, Fung CK, et al. Nonpharmacologic management of orthostatic hypotension: A systematic review. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 2015;96(20):366-375.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/24/2015 -