Basic Information About Orthostatic Intolerance

This section addresses the major questions about orthostatic intolerance and its causes.

What is orthostatic intolerance? People know about high blood pressure and how important it is, but people can have high BP and it doesn't affect their daily life. People who have orthostatic problems know they have it - sometimes every day, every hour. But the people around them don't usually understand what it is or how it affects everything you do.   Learn more...

Do I have orthostatic intolerance?  People often come to the doctor to be evaluated for exercise intolerance, lightheadedness, decreased concentration or a feeling of 'mental fog', tremulousness (shakiness), nausea or repeated fainting spells1. Their symptoms have been incorrectly been labeled as panic disorder or chronic anxiety2. Learn more...

The symptoms of orthostatic intolerance:  There are a number of symptoms that occur with orthostatic intolerance. Some start right after standing up. Some develop after a person has been standing for 3-10 minutes. Some don't develop until a person has been up more than 30 minutes. There are also symptoms due to the underlying problem that can last for hours to days and weeks. The orthostatic symptoms can have a major effect on simple daily activities. It can be triggered by daily activities like eating, showering, low-intensity exercise even walking up stairs1.   Learn more..

How the Body Works and What Happens with OI That Will Help You Understand What's HappeningA big part of being able to take better care and prevent OI is understanding what the problem is. It is important to understand. How the body keeps from fainting every time a person stands up is a complex process. It involves the heart, the arteries, veins, the brain, the autonomic nervous system, the adrenal glands, and the hormone system. We have broken it down into parts to make it easier to understand. Learn more.

Author: Kay E. Jewell, MD
Page Last Updated: September 4, 2012