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Orthostatic Hypotension

This is defined as an abnormal decrease in blood pressure when a person stands up. While not, strictly speaking, a disease, it affects many people quite severely, possibly leading to fainting. When standing up this is commonly experienced as a "head rush".
The most likely cause of your 'blackouts' is a condition called postural hypotension. When you go from lying down to standing up, your blood pressure drops very low, probably because your nervous system is a bit slow in telling your heart and blood vessels to work harder in order to pump your blood around against the effects of gravity.
When your blood pressure is low, not enough blood reaches your brain and you then feel faint and or collapse. This is usually harmless, although if you fall down there is the risk that you may hurt yourself, and older people sometimes break their bones this way.
In the rest of Europe, a low blood pressure is taken seriously. There it's often linked to a variety of symptoms, and is frequently treated with drugs. But in the UK, we tend to think that generally it is healthy to have a low blood pressure - and it's rarely treated.
However, you must see your doctor because very occasionally there are other causes for blackouts, although these are rare in young people. It's important that your doctor checks your blood pressure and makes sure of the diagnosis.
Beating postural hypotension:
• Get up very slowly, going from lying down to sitting to standing.
• Make sure you're well-hydrated. If your body fluid levels are low, then your blood pressure may be on the low side. Make sure you drink at least 3 litres of fluid a day, including plenty in the evenings.
• Make sure you have a healthy evening meal with plenty of carbohydrate to provide sustained energy release throughout the night. Waking up with a low blood sugar can aggravate hypotension, and may be the actual cause of your blackouts.
• Older people with postural hypotension are often recommended to wear support stockings on their legs at night. This ensures that their blood stays in circulation rather than forming pools in the veins of the legs. It may not be the bedroom fashion of your dreams but it's worth a try!

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