In most people, postprandial hypotension stems from aging-related changes that interfere with the body's ability to respond quickly to sudden changes in blood pressure.
While this sensitivity issue accounts for the lion's share of postprandial hypotensiveness, some people are genetically predisposed to postprandial hypotension. In others, it comes on after a stroke, accident, or other trauma.
Postprandial hypotension mostly occurs in patients with hypertension or impaired autonomic nervous system function caused by diabetes, Parkinson's disease, or other disorders.
Shibao explained that because insulin is a known vasodilator, and because high amounts of enteric glucose may be a factor in postprandial hypotension, she reasoned that acarbose (Precose) might have clinical utility for the condition.
There are a number of published articles demonstrating that postprandial hypotension is prevalent in elderly nondialysis patients, and this prevalence increases with age.
Commentary: This article evaluated the effects of caffeine on postprandial hypotension in dialysis patients.