Have you ever stood up too quickly from a seated position and suddenly felt like you were going to faint? Don't worry, it's not just you. This is actually a common phenomenon that many people experience at some point in their lives.
In this article, we're going to delve into the scientific explanation of what causes this uncomfortable sensation known as orthostatic hypotension. So hold onto your seats – or don't, because sitting down for too long could be contributing to the problem.
The Anatomical Explanation
Orthostatic hypotension occurs when standing up or changing positions causes blood pressure to drop rapidly. When we stand upright, gravity pulls blood downwards towards our feet. To counteract this effect and keep enough blood flowing upwards to reach vital organs like our brain, heart and lungs, our autonomic nervous system springs into action.
This complex network of nerves controls automatic bodily functions such as breathing,temperature regulation and digestion.The autonomic nervous system begins by constricting (squeezing) veins located in our legs.This constriction forces more blood upwards into circulation.Our heart rate also increases slightly.Lastly,the autonomic nervous system signals for vasoconstriction- tightening-up arteries which raise resistance against incoming blood.So if everything goes wrong regarding these systems,dizziness,fainting spell/tilting will occur sooner than later.
However,numerous factors can throw off these finely-tuned mechanisms,resultingin orthostatic hypotension.Here are several possible triggers:
When we fail drink water or any fluid before physical exertion/before returning on foot/having heavy tea without drinking water after.But unfortunately,the lackof fluids lowersthe volume of circulatingblood therefore makingit difficultfor vascularsystem tomaintaina healthypressureat all times,knees begin wobbling,hands start suffocating,mind starts wonderingthe edge of exhaustion.
Low Blood Sugar
Are you the king of junk food,prefer to have big dinners in a single bite instead of small portions?Too much sugar intake doesn't necessarily leave room for your body to produce glucose steadily,this imbalance could clear off blood sugars and cause long term damage.
Aging is just a number they say,but it sure takes lots more effort out of our veins,the becoming less flexible while age increases.It causes difficulty for them to expand/contractas needed during swift movements,thus forcing dizziness or fainting spells whenever pressure fluctuates
Other Possible Triggers.
In additiontothe above mentioned(trigger points),there areothers factorsthat could lead orthostatichypotension:
Some medications,such as those usedtoreducehighbloodpressure/bloodthinners (like aspirin) can enhancehypotension symptoms or evenmakeit worse.This means,its importantfor anyone who has experience these few moments to consult their doctor about whethertheir medicationcouldbe the culprit behind mild-tomodenate fainty feeling episodes.
Prolongedsitting/standingcancausesmoothmuscles(insidethearteries)to losecapacityof constricting,due,to lack of movement-theytake longerthan usual to respondwhenbody is standingup.Thisis most recognisable when someone stands up quickly after sitting ona couch/reclinerfor hours.No wonderour grandfathers,hadzero problemwithlong hours spent outside without having severe spikes in their blood flow-butthatsmaybe because back then,they never had reasonsto lieback home&binge-watchsomethingall day.Truly,a good excuse henceforth,toavoid goingout was being busy with no leisure time whatsoever!
Preventionmethodsareessentialnot only to avoid orthostatic hypotension butalso to maintain good overall health.Doctorshave suggested the following actions:
Start your day with a glass of water,and keep it by your side throughout.At least,eight glassesofwater are necessary per day-this not only helps in preppingthe body's irrigation systemso proper bloodpressure is maintained through out,but also keeps our bodies from getting exhausted.You might argue,well water tastes bland/not my type,it doesn't matter however-add dehydrating drinks like soda/pop,coffee/redbull/tea for extra kick-in.Instead,throw in some lemon or cucumber slices,to give taste.
Eat Smaller Meals Frequently
Insteadoftryingtosqueezeall the foodfor entire month insingle meal-for example,kids who are on Summervacation andoften gobblehot dogs/pizzas everyday,pay price later.By making yourself eat smaller meals frequently,your sugar levels balance offduring the course of the day.The advantage is simple-youreduceyour chancesof having lowsugarlevelsin betweenmeals ortargetinglarge amounts of insulin when you consume carbohydrates quickly.
The prospect ofsweating outsounds utterly painful.Anyoneexperienced atleisure-time have other thingsto channel energy toward.Still,something as low intensity as stretching,jogging,lungesis enough to oxygenatebrain/getthose veins working.Youdon’t have totakepartin heavy weightlifting&run marathons. Just get up&move-maybe even dance after age restrictsheavy duty exercises.Itseffectively increasesblood flow,&body will thank you years down theroad!
Iforthostatic hypotensionoccursregularly(you'renot feelingbedazzledupon waking upfromsleep every morning),it couldbe developinginto a serious conditionratherthan being framedas somethingcute.A doctorcan diagnose orthostatic hypotension by performing asimplestanding-upandbloodtest,if you’re already prone to havingfainting episodes.
In certaincases,your doctor may be ableto prescribe medications that can helpstabilize your blood pressure.In additiontothat,some patientsare recommendedlargewaterintake/or adding anincreased amount ofsodiumin their dietary intake.Though it may sound disastrous,staying ontop ofit will result in decreasedhypotensionepisodes–&feweropportunitiesto faint during the course of regular day-to-day activities.
Wearing Compression Stockings.
To increase resistance against gravity whether you're actively moving or sitting down,a nurse/doctor could possibly suggest putting on compression stockings/tights,which work by compressingveins and muscles located in lowerbody/sometimes abdomen area.This assistsin maintaining healthy circulationthereby preventing hypotension-related spells.
Orthostatic hypotension can be a symptomof other health issues-it shouldn'tbe ignored.Triggers from dehydration/too much sugar/fasting/excessive physical activityshouldnot become daily habit because they hurt more thangive –mostlyphysically.When all is said&done,the bodyhasits limitations-andsometimes,it's tellingus what we don’twant to hear.Therefore,final advice-drink up,eat smaller,give yourself rest-plain and simple. Remember, ifthe symptoms persistevenafter implementingabove changes,to consultyour physician.So move slow,breath deep,&take care ofyourself!