Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS is a chronic condition that the medical community is still learning about. There is no surefire cure for POTS. However, there are definitely measures that can be taken to help reduce symptoms as much as possible. In this guide, you will learn three simple ways to help someone suffering from POTS.
What is POTS?
POTS is a condition which is based in dysautonomia. With dysautonomia, a person’s central nervous system is negatively affected. POTS is dysautonomia but with how one’s blood flows. While the passing of blood through our bodies is typically handled by the automatic nervous system, POTS puts a strain between our nervous system and our blood. The heart cannot pump blood in the smooth, automatic fashion it usually does. Instead, the heart rate increases rapidly, which can cause a great of pain and disorientation for patients.
Symptoms of POTS
There are multiple symptoms to look out for when diagnosing POTS. While dizziness is one of the most common symptoms(thanks to the uneven blood flow), it’s by no means the only one. There are also headaches, heart troubles, and intense fatigue. When someone with POTS tries to get up, they might find it to be an incredibly daunting experience which can make them faint. Standing up in general for be very difficult for people with POTS. The symptoms don’t stop there. Just about every part of the body can be affected by this condition.
Who is Affected by POTS?
Women make up the majority of POTS victims. The general age range for POTS is teenagers to women in their thirties. However, POTS can still affect people of any gender or age.
What Causes POTS?
One of the most frustrating things about this very frustrating condition is that causes are difficult to determine. It has been suggested that it is linked to changes in the body, such as going through puberty or suffering from a head injury. It’s crucial to be aware of the symptoms of POTS in order to make a diagnosis as early as possible.
How To Help
If you are caring for someone who is suffering from POTS, you might not be able to cure them. However, you can ease their suffering by following these tips.
1. Proper Diet
What we put into our bodies is so very important, especially with a condition like POTS. Patients need to be given the best in terms of food and drink. In order to maintain a healthy body, patients need to have plenty of fluids (emphasis on water, alcohol should be avoided). They also need to be nourishing themselves consistently. Skipping on meals or essential nutrients means that they’ll be more prone towards fainting. Salt is also something that those with POTS should be ingesting as much as possible. They might need to take salt supplements in order to increase the amount of blood they have.
There’s a catch-22 when it comes to POTS. The symptoms can be alleviated through exercise. However, it can make sufferers so fatigued that it’s impossible to get up, let alone exercise. It’s crucial to work the body to increase blood flow and overall well-being. Therefore, it’s best to start slowly. Those with POTS should do exercise in moderately increasing intervals. It should start off as lightly as possible, no longer than ten minutes. Once they’re used to that amount, they can add to their time. Being able to push their bodies reasonably can make a big difference for POTS sufferers.
While no medication can cure POTS (yet), there are ones which make it easier to manage. Prescription medication such as Midodrine is specifically designed for people with low blood pressure. Anyone with POTS who is taking medication should take as much as they need to feel well. Consult with their doctor about things like dosages and side effects. Used in tandem with exercise and proper diet, medication can really help.
As we continue to learn about POTS, we can find better and better treatments. Should you know anyone who has this condition, you want to do everything you can to lessen their suffering. With this guide, you can do your part for them.