12 Causes for Orthostatic Hypotension (Postural Hypotension)

causes for orthostatic hypotension

Low blood pressure is referred to as Hypotension. In contrast, Orthostatic Hypotension is called postural Hypotension, which happens due to a sudden drop in blood pressure on changing your posture (such as standing up quickly). Orthostatic Hypotension can be caused by various conditions such as dehydration, nervous system disorders, and many more, but you must know about the other factors that cause orthostatic hypotension. 

In many people, the orthostatic hypotension problem increases the risk of serious health problems that can be life-threatening. So there is a need to know exactly which thing causes orthostatic Hypotension. The symptoms of postural Hypotension are similar to Lower Blood Pressure Diastolic which is also a serious blood pressure problem.

The article contains all the information about the causes for orthostatic Hypotension, its symptoms, and prevention. Let’s have a brief introduction to Hypotension before exploring all its reasons.

What is Orthostatic Hypotension?

Orthostatic Hypotension also known as postural Hypotension that causes due to a sudden change in posture. Orthostasis means “to stand up,” and Hypotension is lower blood pressure. So, it means lowering blood pressure by standing up quickly. For example, you may experience orthostatic Hypotension when you stand up quickly with a sudden change in posture. Your blood is pulled by gravity in your legs when you stand up quickly, and the blood pressure starts getting low.

It is also defined as a systolic blood pressure fall of at least 20mmHg, 30mmHg in patients with hypertension, and a fall of diastolic blood pressure of at least 10mmHg within the time limit of three minutes of standing. Symptoms of cerebral hypoperfusion may be accompanied when orthostatic Hypotension becomes more significant clinically.

Usually, it is not required to treat low blood pressure, but it is necessary to see a doctor when you experience symptoms of orthostatic Hypotension regularly. Normally, people aged 65 or older experience postural Hypotension as the ability of the body to react to lower blood pressure can slow down.

What are the causes for Orthostatic Hypotension?

Usually, there are many causes for orthostatic Hypotension; it can be temporary and sometimes long-lasting. At times, it becomes difficult to identify the reason that causes orthostatic Hypotension, but often you can locate the direct causes, such as chronic bleeding and taking certain medications. Below are listed the few factors that cause orthostatic hypertension


Fever is a major cause of orthostatic Hypotension that should be taken seriously. You feel weakness and fatigue because your blood pressure drops due to a fever.

Heart Problems

Many heart problems, including congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and heart attack, can cause postural Hypotension. Cardiac pump failure plays a significant role in this matter.


Drinking water is essential to living a healthy life but can cause dehydration if you do not drink enough water. In addition, diarrhea and vomiting also cause dehydration, lowering your blood pressure.


Extreme intake of alcohol also lowers blood pressure and causes postural Hypotension.

Prolonged Bed Rest

Laying down on your bed is not healthy at all. It causes orthostatic Hypotension, which further increases the chances of falls and syncope.  


Although medicines cure diseases, a few medications can cause postural blood pressure as a side effect. The major factors are antihypertensive medications and diuretics.

Nervous System Problem

The nervous system disorder plays a key role in postural Hypotension as some diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, lead to lower blood pressure on changing the posture suddenly.

Shy Drager Syndrome

A degenerative brain and spinal cord disorder called Shy Drager Syndrome leads to lower blood pressure.

Noteworthy Blood Loss

A significant amount of blood loss is a direct reason for orthostatic Hypotension as blood loss decreases the number of red blood cells that lower the blood pressure.

Spinal Cord Problems

Spinal cord problems such as syringomyelia directly lead to cause orthostatic Hypotension.

Diabetes and Anemia

The other causes for Orthostatic Hypotension include diabetes, anemia, and adrenal insufficiency.


Age is a significant factor that increases the chances of orthostatic hypertension. People who are 65 or older than this has some degree of orthostatic Hypotension, and the factors that play a role in this regard include chronic sickness, standing for a long time, and digestion.

After learning the causes for Orthostatic Hypotension, you can check for the symptoms that are discussed below to know if you really are the victim of it.

What are the Symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension?

There are various exact symptoms of postural Hypotension. These symptoms disappear as you adjust your body to a certain position after lying down or sitting for a few minutes. But you must see a doctor for medical advice if the symptoms become more severe daily. The symptoms may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Mental health disorder
  • Light headache
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting

Prevention and Treatment

Orthostatic or postural Hypotension can be managed and treated in various ways without medications. Follow the instructions to prevent and treat such problems

  • Avoid doing energetic activities for a long time, especially in the hot weather
  • Keep your body hydrated and drink plenty of water and other fluids. The fluids that are lost due to vomiting or diarrhea are necessary to be replaced instantly. Otherwise, it may cause serious problems. But do not include your fluid intake, as it lowers your blood pressure.
  • Do not hurry to get out of bed. Take some time and sit on the bed for a minute or two before standing up.
  • Start using salty foods and add salt into your meals but do not use it to an excessive limit as it can cause the problem of high blood pressure.
  • Keep your head slightly elevated while you sleep
  • Take some medications as a treatment for lower blood pressure
  • Manage your diabetes and inject regular insulin injections


If you experience any of the symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension and know the causes of orthostatic Hypotension, you must go and see the doctor. He will further examine and look to medical history for further prescriptions. Still, few tests are used to diagnose this problem. The details are as follows

  • Blood test: to analyze the conditions like anemia and diabetes
  • Tilt Table Test: to measure the blood pressure, heart rhythm, and heart rate
  • Exercise stress test: to measure the heart rate during physical exertion
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): to test the changes in heart rhythm  
  • Echocardiogram (echo) to check the pumping action of the heart.
  • Portable EKG devices: devices such as Holter monitor to measure the rhythm of the heart


Orthostatic Hypotension occurs when the blood pressure suddenly drops while you stand up quickly after lying down or sitting. This is a serious problem that makes you faint or dizzy. The article has mentioned all the Causes for Orthostatic Hypotension that might be treated if you diagnose them timely. The tests mentioned above help diagnose this issue.

The postural hypotension cure includes taking proper medications, drinking plenty of fluids, wearing compression leggings, and eating meals in appropriate portions. Besides this, you should consult with your healthcare provider for the best recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common causes of orthostatic Hypotension?

One of the most common causes for Orthostatic Hypotension is the loss of fluids in your body. The loss of fluid can happen due to the use of few medications, constant vomiting, or diarrhea, which causes dehydration.

Does orthostatic Hypotension cause any complications?

Yes, it can cause various complications. It occurs more in people who are older adults. The complications include Falls, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. Falls happen due to fainting. A stroke can happen due to the limited supply of blood pressure to the brain.

How can you treat Orthostatic Hypotension?

It can be treated if you

  • Exercise
  • Get up slowly
  • Get more fluids
  • Increase salt in your diet
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat small meals
  • Wear compression leggings

Why should you visit your healthcare provider?

You should visit your healthcare provider if you feel constant dizziness when you stand up after getting up. It is a matter of concern if you experience this issue often or daily.

What range of blood pressure is orthostatic Hypotension?

Although there is no set number for postural or orthostatic Hypotension, you have this problem if the blood pressure limit drops more than 20 millimeters of mercury (systolic pressure) or 10 millimeters (diastolic pressure) within the time limit of three minutes. 


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