Hypotension occurs when something reduces blood supply to the brain and the rest of the body, leading to dizziness and other effects. Causes include pressure drops from standing suddenly (orthostatic hypotension), the side effects of medications, heart conditions, and endocrine disorders such as adrenal insufficiency. The reduced supply of oxygen from hypotension can cause permanent damage to organs. Treatment usually addresses the underlying cause, so the first step is to understand why the blood pressure is low.
Hypotension can present as dizziness when standing or raising the head from a bent-over position, a reaction called orthostatic hypotension. Postprandial hypotension occurs as blood is diverted for digestion after a meal, usually after a few hours. This version mostly affects seniors. Neurally mediated hypotension can be caused by a low sodium diet or emotional stress. Severe cases can result in shock, which is quite serious. Hypotension may also have no symptoms.
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