Harvard Heart Letter

When blood pressure dips too low

People who feel dizzy or lightheaded when they stand up may have orthostatic hypotension, a condition in which blood pressure drops dramatically upon standing. As many as 30% of emergency room visits for fainting may be due to orthostatic hypotension. The problem is more common in older people, who are more likely to have conditions that increase the risk, including having high blood pressure and taking certain medications. Strategies to help prevent blood pressure drops include drinking plenty of water throughout the day and wearing compression stockings or an abdominal binder. 
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