Some variations in blood pressure may occur when you change your posture. These variations may occur in two forms:
- Orthostatic hypertension: it’s a sudden increase in blood pressure when standing up from the supine positions.
- Orthostatic hypotension: it’s a decrease in blood pressure when standing up from the supine position.
Both conditions have medical significance, need to focus on them, and increase public awareness about them. We will discuss both conditions from different aspects; we will discuss the mechanism, symptoms, dangers, diagnosis, and treatment of each.
First, orthostatic hypertension:
Orthostatic hypertension refers to the sudden elevation of blood pressure when standing up. It consists of two components:
- Orthostatic systolic hypertension: it occurs if systolic blood pressure increases by ≥ 20 mmHg when standing.
- Orthostatic diastolic hypertension: it occurs if the diastolic blood pressure becomes more than 98 mmHg when standing.
This definition isn’t standard; it’s just the result of a few studies. Orthostatic hypertension is unfamiliar to many doctors, even those who are highly specialized. Its actual etiology and the underlying mechanism are still unclear. Some doctors think that it occurs due to the overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system. Some doctors observed an association between orthostatic hypertension and other conditions such as autonomic nervous system dysfunction, essential hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. It makes the affected person unable to keep an upright position. The risk of orthostatic hypertension increases with age -due to the weakness of blood pressure-regulating mechanisms-. It affects 16.3% of elderly hypertensive patients.
Orthostatic hypertension needs more focus on it to understand it better. We need to understand its etiology, mechanism, and possible treatments better.
We will discuss it from several aspects and try to cover it.
Now, we will discuss how your body regulates blood pressure in different positions.