PARKINSON’S DISEASE MAY NOT BE THE REASON YOU’RE DIZZY WHEN STANDINGCategory:
A condition called neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) may be the culprit, and there are ways to manage it.
When Jody, of Woodstock, Georgia, gets out of bed in the morning, she is mindful to take her time, knowing that she sometimes gets dizzy or lightheaded when she stands up. Jody has Parkinson’s disease and had assumed that this dizziness was yet another symptom of her condition. “I also got this foggy brain when I would stand or sit up, like I couldn’t think clearly in those moments,” Jody said. “I was sure it was part of my Parkinson’s and I would just have to live with it.”
One out of five people with Parkinson’s disease may also have symptoms of nOH.
“People with Parkinson’s disease may develop symptoms of neurogenic orthostatic hypotension, or nOH,” neurologist Dr. Brent Goodman explained. “For various reasons, patients might ignore or not talk about their symptoms. However, reporting these symptoms is important because nOH is a separate condition that can be managed.”
“Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider, ‘Could I have nOH?’”
nOH is a low blood pressure condition associated with nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple system atrophy.
People with nOH experience symptoms like dizziness, blurred vision, or feeling lightheaded after standing. Other common symptoms of nOH, which tend to occur after standing or when standing for long periods of time, include passing out, falling down, tunnel vision, fatigue, and neck and shoulder pain.
What You Can Do? – “A typical screening for nOH includes taking the patient’s blood pressure while standing, sitting, and lying down to see if there is a pattern to the low blood pressure,” Dr. Goodman added. “If you have Parkinson’s disease and experience dizziness or feel faint when you stand or change positions, don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider, ‘Could I have nOH?’”
There are steps you can take to manage nOH, including some day-to-day lifestyle changes. Your healthcare provider might recommend such things as drinking more water, adjusting the salt in your diet, getting regular exercise, and rising slowly when standing. Your healthcare provider may also suggest options like avoiding meals heavy in carbohydrates, not standing still for long periods of time, and elevating the head of your bed.
“Getting the diagnosis of nOH has made a world of difference for me,” Jody said. “I didn’t want to be held back, and now that I know what I’m dealing with, I’m not as worried about getting up and getting out as I was before.”
nOH is a product of and ©2017 Lundbeck. All rights reserved. UBR-D-100029v3. Register online and please join PRO’s virtual “Village Meeting” on June 22, 2020 on ZOOM to hear Bela (Amrita) Singha, PhD, Sr. Medical Science Liaison MSL Neurology — West Region as she discusses Orthostatic Hypertension. Get your questions prepared for her Q & A.