Blood pressure is the force of blood flow against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure changes throughout the day, typically beginning to rise a few hours before one wakes up, until the middle of the afternoon when it peaks. In the late afternoon, blood pressure begins to fall once again. Postprandial hypotension is a drop in blood pressure after food consumption and is actually fairly common, affecting approximately one-third of older men and women.
The most common symptoms of postprandial hypotension include lightheadedness, dizziness, and syncope (fainting as a result of low blood pressure), People with postprandial hypotension may also experience angina (chest pain), nausea, and visual disturbances. If a person experiences low blood pressure at other times during the day, not just after eating, she may have another condition such as dehydration, vitamin B12 deficiency, heart valve disease, pregnancy, or thyroid disease.
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