Blood pressure is a measurement of the pressure in your arteries during each heartbeat. What’s considered low blood pressure for you may be normal for someone else. Most doctors consider chronically low blood pressure too low only if it causes noticeable symptoms.
Blood pressure may fall when a person with Parkinson’s disease stands up or gets out of bed. This can result in a feeling of lightheadedness and faintness and can sometimes lead to the person actually passing out and falling. It is important to get up slowly, perhaps sitting at the bed for a few minutes before arising. Source: John Hopkins Medicine
To reduce symptoms like lightheadedness, also try using more salt and drink more water. Medication management under the supervision of a doctor can help control the symptoms.
35 Women with PD at Parkinson’s Women Support were polled on when or if they had experienced low blood pressure. 18 (48.57%) women polled didn’t have low blood pressure, and 17 do have low blood pressure.
Of the women who do have low blood pressure:
• 9 thought their low blood pressure started in their 20s-40s
• 8 thought they had always had low blood pressure
• Nearly all of the women polled take or have taken carbidopa/levodopa, have felt lightheaded, but do not take medication specifically for low blood pressure.
• A couple women changed their medications under the supervision of a doctor to lessen lightheadedness.
• None of the women polled experienced other possible low blood pressure symptoms such as blurred vision, fainting, cold, clammy pale skin, or rapid shallow breathing.
If you have Parkinson’s disease (PD), and get dizzy, lightheaded, or “feel that you are about to black out” when you stand up, you may have a condition called symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH). In Parkinson’s neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH) results from a failure of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) to regulate the blood pressure in response to postural changes such as standing up from a sitting or lying position. This failure is secondary to an insufficient release of norepinephrine and affects 40 to 60% of PD patients throughout the course of their disease. While symptomatic NOH is related to nervous system disorder, it is a condition that can be diagnosed and managed by your doctor.
About Parkinson’s Women Support: The mission of Parkinson’s Women Support is to offer moral support, encouragement and camaraderie for women who are Parkinson’s disease patients. Check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonswomen
Thank you to Susan Foster for her editing assistance on this blog post.