How To Keep Blood Pressure From Dropping When Standing Up
There have been certain times in my life when this has happened and made me question, how do I keep blood pressure from dropping when I stand up? Keep blood pressure from dropping when standing up by following these tips:
- Stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day.
- Dont drink excess alcohol.
- Avoid heat exposure which can cause sweating and dehydration.
- When rising from a sitting or lying position, stand up slower than faster.
If youre dehydrated, this may cause the drop in pressure when standing up 3. Dehydration can decrease blood volume and cause these symptoms. This is why you may have noticed the lightheaded feeling more on hot days.
For other people, the drop in blood pressure when standing up may occur more often. If so, its possible they have a condition called orthostatic hypotension 4.
Low blood pressure while standing up is just one of ten topics discussed in my article, The Low Blood Pressure Range Everything You Need To Know. Find out the causes, symptoms, treatments, when its an emergency and more.
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What Do Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers:
The first number, called systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats.
The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.
If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say, 120 over 80, or write, 120/80 mmHg.
Reasons Why You May Take Blood Pressure Lying Down
Postural Hypotension: This occurs when blood pressure is abnormally low when a person stands up from a lying down or sitting position. The decrease may recover closer back to the persons normal pressure or remain lower. Its also known as orthostatic hypotension 5. To help diagnose and treat the condition, blood pressure will be measured while lying down and standing up. Orthostatic Hypotension can be caused by the following:
- Old age
- People who dont experience a drop in BP when sleeping.
- Supine hypertension
Orthostatic Hypertension: This is the opposite of postural hypotension. This condition is when a persons blood pressure increases while standing up 6. This can occur for the following reasons:
- Elderly people
- Fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate.
- An increase in the heart rate and change in blood pressure when standing up.
- When an artery in the back gets compressed.
- Conditions that cause the autonomic nervous system not to work properly.
Supine Hypertension: A condition when someones pressure increases while lying down. This can occur while awake or sleeping. A common cause is autonomic failure which is a disease that affects the nervous system that regulates involuntary functions like BP 7.
The Patient is Hospitalized: In a hospital, its very possible your blood pressure will be measured while lying down. Depending on your medical condition, during and after surgery are reasons why you may be confined to the bed.
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How High Is Too High For Blood Pressure
Although the term labile hypertension means blood pressure that fluctuates more than usual, the term actually has no official definition. Theres no line that must be crossed no minimum blood pressure reading or number of spikes necessary to make the diagnosis.
The term simply indicates a situation where blood pressure is rising beyond whats considered normal and acceptable for an individual.
Most times, these people have reasonable blood pressure control, says Dr. Lioudis. Yet they have periods when they may experience facial flushing, tension headaches, sweating or feelings of unease. When they check their blood pressure, its high.
Why Does Your Blood Pressure Increase When Standing
Did you know that the position of your body can decrease and increase blood pressure ? Its perfectly normal to have blood pressure fluctuation. This occurs to respond what you are doing and what your body needs. For instance, during exercise your blood pressure increases to rapidly distribute more oxygen and nutrients to the cells of muscles. After exercise, it will naturally return to its normal level.
However, to avoid the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the resting BP shouldnt be higher than 120 /80 mm Hg.
What causes hypertension?
Hypertension is a medical term to describe high blood pressure. Generally, its categorized into 3 major phases pre-hypertension, stage I hypertension, and stage II hypertension.
Although hypertension may cause certain symptoms, many times it doesnt have signs and symptoms. Thats why people often call it as a silent killer). Most cases of hypertension come with unknown reason. It usually occurs due to different factors /conditions.
In some cases, the underlying cause is identifiable. For example, it may be caused by certain medical conditions such as kidneys failure and overactive thyroid. This kind of hypertension is called as secondary hypertension.
And when the exact cause of your high blood pressure is unknown, its usually called as primary hypertension. In such case, poor diet & other lifestyle factors may be the main culprits.
In general, here are some common risk factors of hypertension:
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Known As Orthostatic Hypotension This Condition Can Leave People Dizzy And Lightheaded For Some It May Also Be A Harbinger Of Heart Disease
Have you ever felt a bit woozy just after standing up? When you transition from sitting to standing, gravity causes blood to pool in your legs. Sometimes especially if you’re dehydrated or overheated it takes your body a moment to push blood upward, causing a brief delay in blood flow to the brain.
For most people, this phenomenon occurs just once in a while and usually isn’t a serious problem. But age, some medications, and certain medical conditions can interfere with the body’s normal mechanism for regulating blood pressure . If that happens, your blood pressure may drop dramatically when you stand up. Known as orthostatic hypotension , the problem affects about 5% of people younger than 50. But up to 20% of people ages 70 and older may have OH.
Several diseases, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer, can contribute to the problem, which is also known as postural hypotension. Now, new research adds to the suspected connection between OH and cardiovascular disease.
What Can I Do To Prevent Or Manage High Blood Pressure
Many people with high blood pressure can lower their blood pressure into a healthy range or keep their numbers in a healthy range by making lifestyle changes. Talk with your health care team about
- Getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week
- Not smoking
- Managing stress
Learn more about ways to manage and prevent high blood pressure.
In addition to making positive lifestyle changes, some people with high blood pressure need to take medicine to manage their blood pressure. Learn more about medicines for high blood pressure.
Talk with your health care team right away if you think you have high blood pressure or if youve been told you have high blood pressure but do not have it under control.
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Treatments For Orthostatic Hypotension
Possible treatments for orthostatic hypotension may include the following:
- A review of prescribed medication.
- Avoiding alcohol.
- Drinking more water throughout the day.
- Compression stockings. They squeeze the lower legs and helps send blood to the rest of the body instead of pooling in the legs 8.
- Treating another condition which may be causing the low blood pressure.
- Avoiding exposure to heat.
- Standing up more slower from a sitting position.
- When lying down, stand up in three stages. First, elevate the head. Second, sit up. Third, stand up.
- Avoid sitting with crossed legs.
- Eating smaller meals and more sodium.
- Avoid standing for long lengths of time.
- Monitor blood pressure at home and keep a record of your readings.
What Are The Symptoms Of Orthostatic Hypotension
Orthostatic hypotension happens more frequently and with more severe symptoms in the mornings. Thats because blood pressure is at its lowest in the morning.
Some people dont experience any symptoms from orthostatic hypotension. Others find that hot temperatures make symptoms worse.
The main sign of orthostatic hypotension is dizziness or lightheadedness when you stand. You should feel better when you sit or lie down. Some people faint .
Other signs include:
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Symptoms Of Orthostatic Hypotension
Ever feel lightheaded or woozy when you get out of bed or up from a chair?
Sometimes, it may take a moment to bring your blood pressure back to normal, and you might feel dizzy, confused, queasy, or have blurry vision until your body adjusts and catches up. Some people may even faint.
The biggest concern is that you might fall and hurt yourself if you faint. Large swings in blood pressure could also lead to a stroke if the blood flow to your brain gets interrupted often.
What Causes Labile Hypertension
When labile hypertension is suspected, a 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor may be used to confirm the diagnosis. Then the work of pinpointing the underlying cause begins. Serious detective work often is required. We look at the patients overall health, lifestyle and medications, says Dr. Lioudis.
When a medication or lifestyle choice is the precipitating factor, making appropriate changes can cause labile hypertension to disappear.
Underlying medical conditions are a bigger concern, since they may be harder to treat.
We look for sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease or a problem with the adrenal glands, as any of these can cause blood pressure to fluctuate,says Dr. Lioudis.
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Rising Blood Pressure Upon Standing May Increase Risk For Later Heart Problems
For young and middle-aged adults with high blood pressure, a substantial rise upon standing could mean they are at greater risk for heart attacks, strokes or other heart-related problems down the road, new research shows.
The study, published Thursday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, focused on changes in systolic blood pressure the top number in the measurement that indicates the pressure exerted against artery walls when the heart beats. Typically, systolic readings fall slightly when a person stands up. The new research suggests an opposite reaction could signal future heart issues.
“This finding may warrant starting blood pressure-lowering treatment, including medicines, earlier in patients with exaggerated blood pressure response to standing,” study author Dr. Paolo Palatini said in a news release. He is a professor of internal medicine at the University of Padova in Italy.
Roughly half of all U.S. adults and 40% across the globe have high blood pressure, also called hypertension. It is considered the world’s most preventable cause of death. Middle-aged people with high blood pressure are five times more likely to experience impaired cognitive function and twice as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, according to AHA statistics.
Initially, blood pressure measurements were taken three times, while participants were lying down and then three times while standing. The same procedure was repeated two weeks later.
Blood Pressure Differences Between Arms
Finding blood pressure differences between arms can be a sign of atherosclerosis, which is basically plaque buildup in arteries. Finding a difference in pressure between sides of the body tells doctors that they need to investigate further to see if atherosclerosis is in the main blood vessel leaving the heart or in other parts of the body.
One study published in the medical journal The Lancet stated that a blood pressure difference of 10 to 15 points between arms increases the risk of dying from heart disease or a stroke.
A small difference in blood pressure between arms is nothing to panic about. A large difference could signal health problems that include not only plaque buildup, but also kidney disease, diabetes, and heart defects.
Related: Fluctuating blood pressure: Causes and treatments
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American Heart Association News Stories
American Heart Association News covers heart disease, stroke and related health issues. Not all views expressed in American Heart Association News stories reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. Statements, conclusions, accuracy and reliability of studies published in American Heart Association scientific journals or presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the American Heart Associations official guidance, policies or positions.
Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, for individuals, media outlets, and non-commercial education and awareness efforts to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to American Heart Association News.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure often has no symptoms, but can sometimes mean that not enough blood is flowing to your brain or organs. This can cause symptoms such as:
- feeling dizzy, faint or light-headed
- feeling unsteady
- suddenly noticing your heartbeat
If you have these symptoms, stop what youre doing and sit down or lie down in case you fall, and drink some water.
Speak to your doctor or nurse if you experience these symptoms. As well as being unpleasant, they could mean youre at risk of having a fall. They could also be a sign of another health problem.
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Why Does My Blood Pressure Go Up When I Stand
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Blood Pressure Can Jump By An Alarming Rate When Standing
During the study, the researchers looked at health records on 1,207 Italians who took part in the HARVEST study, which began in 1990. This group included adults between 18 and 45 years-old with untreated stage one hypertension which is systolic pressure of between 140 and 159 mmHg or a diastolic pressure of 90 to 100 mmHg.
None of them took blood pressure-lowering medication before entering the study. Doctors also deemed each person to be at low risk of heart attack and stroke. Additionally, no one had diabetes, kidney impairment, or any other cardiovascular diseases.
Study authors took six blood pressure measurements from each participant in various physical positions, including while lying down and after standing up. The 120 participants with the highest rise in blood pressure upon standing averaged an 11.4 mmHg increase and everyone in this group had a jump of at least 6.5 mmHg.
The remaining participants averaged a 3.8 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure upon standing.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get orthostatic hypotension?
- What is the best treatment for orthostatic hypotension?
- Could medications be causing my symptoms? Should I change medications?
- What changes should I make to manage symptoms?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Orthostatic hypotension symptoms can be unsettling. They may even be dangerous if you lose your balance, fall or pass out. Symptoms often improve when you change how you move into a standing position. Tell your healthcare provider about your symptoms. You may need to change your medications to reduce or prevent symptoms. In more severe cases, your provider may prescribe medicine to improve blood flow and pressure.
Is It Normal For Blood Pressure To Fluctuate
It’s normal for blood pressure to vary somewhat throughout the day. Stress, exercise, and sleep can all make a difference. But if your blood pressure often changes significantly from one healthcare visit to another, there may a problem.
Studies have found that visit-to-visit changes in blood pressure are sometimes linked to a higher risk of heart disease and early death.
This article explains why your blood pressure numbers may be high sometimes and normal other times. It also offers advice about when to see a healthcare provider.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
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Treatment For High Pulse
Treatment for high pulse will vary according to a range of factors.
It is helpful to try to identify when the pulse first began to rise. Some episodes of a high pulse may be temporary. For example, if a person develops a high pulse after moving from a prone to a standing position too quickly, the heart might beat more quickly to compensate for gravitys effects.
People who experience bouts of low blood pressure or high pulse while moving from a prone to standing position could try to slow down these movements to help avoid the issue.
Exercising may also lead to a high heart rate, especially if a person is not very fit. This is because the heart may start beating faster even after a person attempts minor exercise.
If a person notices that their heart is beating faster, finding ways to calm the body and brain may help. A person can try slowing down their breathing rate or practicing guided meditations to help them relax and reduce heart rate.
If the heart rate does not go back to normal or if a person is worried, contact a doctor for a full diagnosis.