Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a medical condition; a form of Dysautonomia that mainly affects the circulation of our blood flow. It involves the autonomic nervous system, the one of which is responsible for automatically controlling and regulating vital bodily functions; as well as the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for activating fight or flight response.
POTS is a form of orthostatic intolerance; which comprises symptoms that occur when standing up from a reclining pose, and will find relief as soon as it goes back to lying back down and sitting. The main symptom of it is lightheadedness; fainting and having to deal with an uncomfortable and rapid increase of heart rate.
With all the symptoms of the information listed above, it is, therefore; valid to conclude how hard it is for those who are suffering from POTS to live a normal life, just as how healthy individuals live theirs. It can interfere with how they function, work, study, and do daily normal activities. Fortunately, POTS can be treated and managed with a great holistic medical treatment plan; as well as lifestyle changes to help those who are suffering from POTS, to provide further help and life enhancement.
Here are the Top Ten Lifestyle Changes for POTS diagnosed, that will greatly improve their symptoms and overall quality of life.
Increase Fluid and Salt Intake
It is greatly encouraged by doctors to increase both fluid and salt intake because it aids in increasing blood volume; which is what is typically low with those suffering from POTS. It aids in blood pooling, hypotension, and hypovolemia. Fluid intake should be two to four liters, and salt should be five grams. It is encouraged to abide by these two recommendations, as too little water and salt can result in dehydration and hyponatremia; and too much water and salt result in water intoxication and kidney stones.
Eat in Smaller Meals
When we are eating a large meal, much of our blood will go redirected; and aid in the digestion process, and since we have established that the blood volume of POTS patients is low; in result their symptoms will arise. Eating several smaller meals throughout the day will minimize the occurrence of symptoms.
Stick to Low Carb and High Lean Protein Diet
Carbohydrates, which are mainly made with refined sugars and flour; can worsen the occurrence of POTS symptoms, thus it is better to skip or minimize them. To supplement, shift to having a high protein diet instead; not only are they healthier, but they can keep you full for long periods.
Do Not Consume Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol can worsen the symptoms of POTS; as it is very dehydrating and can also lead to increased hypotension that is due to dilation of the veins.
Exercise is considered to be a non-negotiable activity to people; regardless of whether you have a medical condition or are completely healthy. This is highly beneficial and healing and with POTS; it can regulate blood flow, increase energy, attentiveness, and be lively throughout the day. Moreover, it helps in strengthening the abdomen and legs. There exists an exercise program that is unique on POTS patients, some of which are reclined aerobic exercise; recumbent bicycling, and swimming.
Elevating the Head When Sleeping
This is highly encouraged as it can recondition the patient’s body to its orthostatic stress, moreover aids in gastric motility problems. This can be done by placing a few bricks or large books. It should look like having the whole body elevated and having the feet lower than the hip area to secure the intended benefit.
Having a Schedule
POTS patients know how difficult their mornings are because it is a battle of symptoms arising and managing. Having a schedule will allow you to manage firstly; their treatment and medication schedule for the day, followed by all the errands, activities, and workload. Time management is crucial; because POTS patients have to prioritize resting in between and sleeping adequately, so having a realistic schedule and healthy work and life balance is a must to keep those symptoms; and exhaustion at a minimum.
As Much as Possible, Maintain an Even Temperature
Extreme heat is known to massively trigger symptoms of POTS. Having in an environment where there is air conditioning, or wearing body cooling vests; quick-drying clothing are all equally beneficial in maintaining an even temperature.
Making a Go Bag
POTS patients are constantly expected to be mindful and ready for the numerous symptoms they are ought to experience, and if you are diagnosed with one; you know how many tools are needed to manage those symptoms one by one. Go bags are intended to save you from stressing yourself on finding the right medicines, the water, your salty snacks; your fan when you are out running an errand or at work, or in bonding with friends.
Regular Doctor Consultations and Adhering to Healing
This is self-explanatory, as a POTS patient, you have to abide by regular doctor consultations; and wanting to heal and be better, to live your life as normal as you want it to.
POTS is surely a tough condition a person can experience; but it is always possible to be treated and managed and with the ten lifestyle changes, together with a great medical treatment and medical plan? The road to healing and a better, seemingly normal life sure is possible.