What causes blood pressure to drop when you stand up?


Quick Answer

A drop in blood pressure occurs when the heart does not automatically beat faster to pump sufficient blood for the vessels to constrict and counter the gravitational pull of blood into the legs when the patient stands up. This sudden fall in blood pressure is known as orthostatic hypotension, states Healthline.

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Full Answer

People with orthostatic hypotension do not have the compensating mechanism to ensure that sufficient blood returns to the brain when they stand up after sitting or lying down. This causes dizziness and blurred vision, and can cause patients to faint, notes Mayo Clinic.

There are many causes for orthostatic hypotension, including anemia, dehydration, heart conditions and pregnancy, Mayo Clinic explains. In most cases, it is cured by treating the underlying condition.

Treatment options for orthostatic hypotension include lifestyle changes and prescription drugs in severe cases to increase blood volume and constrict blood vessels. Recommended lifestyle changes include increasing fluid and water intake to avoid dehydration, standing up slowly when getting out of a chair or bed, and wearing compression stockings to help with circulation in the legs, states Healthline.

Orthostatic hypotension is most common in older adults, but it can also affect young, healthy people who stand up suddenly after sitting with their legs crossed for long periods of time, according to Mayo Clinic.

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