Different Types of Hypotension

Hypotension, depending on cause and various other factors, is divided into orthostatic or postural hypotension, postprandial hypotension (low BP or blood pressure after eating), low BP due to faulty brain signal, low BP due to multiple system damage etc.

Postural hypotension:

This type of hypotension (also known as orthostatic hypotension) occurs when there is sudden drop in BP when a person stands up from sitting position or from lying down position.

Normally when a person stands up from sitting or lying down position, gravity tend to pull blood toward legs, but this is physiologically prevented by our body by increasing heart rate which increase blood flow and also by causing constriction of blood vessels, which ensures that BP does not fall abruptly and brain get adequate blood supply. However, in persons suffering from postural or orthostatic hypotension, this physiological compensatory mechanism fails and leads to fall in BP, this in turn lead to symptoms of hypotension such as dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision and even fainting.

The causes of postural hypotension are many such as dehydration, prolonged bed rest (those suffering from various disease), pregnancy, diabetes, heart problems, burns, excessive heat, large varicose veins, certain neurological disorders etc.

Postprandial hypotension:

There is sudden fall in BP in postprandial hypotension, which may occur among elderly individuals. This occurs, because large quantity of blood flows to GIT after eating. Normally physiological mechanism prevent sudden fall of BP after eating. However, for some individuals such as those suffering from autonomic nervous system disorder, hypertension etc. this physiological mechanism may not be able work properly and there is sudden fall in BP.

Hypotension due to faulty brain signal:

In this type of hypotension, BP may fall after standing for long duration and lead to symptoms of hypotension. Most commonly young adults suffer from this type of hypotension.

Hypotension due to multiple system damage:

In some rare medical conditions such as Shy-Drager syndrome, there is progressive damage to the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for maintaining blood pressure, heart rate, breathing etc. and damage to autonomic nervous system may cause lack of control of BP and lead to hypotension.

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