Falling Down or Dizzy When You Stand Up?
-- V
itamin D Can Help
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A Global Look at Hypertension-Where Is It Lowest?
September 8, 2018

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Orthostatic hypotension is a sudden fall in blood pressure
when you stand up. Many elderly suffer from this condition
which can be triggered by something as simple as being
dehydrated.  Orthostatic hypotension is a
leading cause of falls
among the elderly
, in fact.

Now scientists have zeroed in on another contributing cause
of orthostatic hypotension --- lack of Vitamin D.  

Most of us get all the Vitamin D we need from the sun. But
many people shun sun exposure, afraid of triggering cancer,
wrinkles or just darkening of the skin.

The problem with shunning Vitamin D is that this Vitamin
impacts your health in so many critical ways, from supporting
the health of your bones to helping yo sleep better to even
helping to regulate your blood pressure. In fact, low Vitamin D
status has been associated with higher risk for heart disease,
diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.

So powerful and general is Vitamin D's effect of you health
that many scientists consider it not a vitamin but a hormone.

What Exactly Is Orthostatic Hypotension?

Orthostatic hypotension is defined as a systolic blood pressure
drop of at least 20 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure
drop of at least 10 mmHg within 3 min of standing.

In 2014, a group of researchers led by Dr. C. Annweiler of
Angers University Hospital, Angers, France set out to discover
the relationship between your Vitamin D status and orthostatic
hypotension.  The researchers measured Vitamin D status and
history of falls for 32 people living in nursing homes in France.

What they discovered is that, among women, having diastolic
orthostatic hypotension is strongly linked to Vitamin D status.
More than 19 of women with low Vitamin d status had this
problem of sudden blood pressure drops, while only 10% of
women with normal Vitamin D levels saw their blood pressure
drop upon standing.

Looked at another way, having low Vitamin D levels almost
doubles a women's risk for orthostatic hypotension.

Other studies have confirmed this connection between your
Vitamin D status and your risk for experiencing sudden low
blood pressure when you stand.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

Scientists and doctors are not in agreement on what
constitutes a low Vitamin D status. However, a consensus
seems to be forming around an  optimal circulating Vitamin D
(25(OH)D) level of approximately 30 to 32 ng/mL or above,
according to a 2010 statement from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison's Osteoporosis Clinical Center and
Research Program.

You will need to have a blood test to learn your circulating
levels of Vitamin D.

Raising Your Vitamin D Levels

If you live in a sunny part of the world, then you can elevate
your Vitamin D levels throughout the year by just exposing
your skin to the sun for 20 minutes a day.

But if you live in a part of the world which experiences gray
winters, such as the Northeast region of the United States and
Northern Europe and Canada, you will need to take Vitamin D
supplements and/or eat foods rich in Vitamin D such as
salmon, to raise your levels of this important vitamin.

Here is an example of how critical the problem has become.
"Canadians’ vitamin D levels have fallen by 13% in just six
years. Approximately 14 million Canadians — 38% of the
population — do not meet Health Canada guidelines for
vitamin D levels of 50 nmol/", according to the Vitamin D


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