Tips for Living with POTS

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome affects between one and three million people. It’s not a life-threatening syndrome, and the prognosis is generally good. Nevertheless, the symptoms can drastically change the lifestyles of those who suffer from it. Here are some tips to manage life with this syndrome.

General Lifestyle Changes

POTS affects the way the nervous system regulates the heart rate when going from lying to standing. Some doctors may recommend taking a beta-blocker to stop the heartrate from rising, but there are other ways to retrain the body to regulate itself.

  • Sleep with your head slightly elevated to more evenly distribute blood-flow.
  • Do cardio for 30 minutes a day to strengthen the heart and vascular system.
  • Consume more salt to increase the blood volume.
  • Drink 64 ounces of water or electrolyte fluid.
  • Eliminate common allergens from your diet like gluten and dairy.
  • Take enzymes before or after you eat to help with digestion.
  • Eliminate caffeine and alcohol to give your nervous system and cardiovascular system a break.

At Home, Work, and in Public

People with POTS need a full night’s sleep and regular rest in the day. When you’re at home, ask for help with chores from friends or family. At work, communicate your situation to your boss and let him or her know that you will need extra time in the day for breaks. In public, make sure you wear medical ID jewelry; the last thing you need is an expensive trip to the ER that you know is unnecessary. If you do end up at the doctor, having a digital medical id bracelet is a useful time-saver because the doctor can access your information directly from the bracelet.

The severity of POTS can range from an annoyance to stays in the hospital. Always go the emergency if your heart rate doesn’t drop back to normal after several minutes. Otherwise, employ these life changes, have patience, and expect a good prognosis.