Managing POTS: Staying Healthy in The Summer Heat!

lifestyle medicine Jun 04, 2024

If you have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), staying properly hydrated is crucial for managing your symptoms, especially during the hotter summer months. POTS is a condition that causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate when standing up, often leading to symptoms like dizziness, fainting, headaches, nausea, sweating, and more. It can be traced back to low blood volume, and typically accompanies Dysautonomia, an autonomic nervous system disorder. When trying to manage POTS, it is important to seek individualized care from a team who takes the time to listen and gather information about your story and medical history. There are several lifestyle changes that can be made to ease and eliminate symptoms. 

One of the most important lifestyle habits to improve POTS symptoms is hydration. Dehydration can exacerbate POTS symptoms by reducing blood volume and making it harder for your body to regulate blood pressure when shifting positions. Proper hydration helps support healthy blood volume and circulation. Here are some tips for those with POTS to stay hydrated:

Drink Plenty of Fluids Aim for at least 2-3 liters (68-101 oz) of water or other fluids per day. Carry a refillable water bottle and sip frequently throughout the day. Limit diuretics like caffeine that can promote fluid loss.

Replace Electrolytes:
In addition to water, it's important to replenish electrolytes like sodium and potassium that are lost through sweat. Sports drinks, oral rehydration solutions, or adding salt to foods and beverages can help replace electrolytes.

Consider Increasing Sodium: Some POTS patients benefit from increasing sodium intake to help expand blood volume and stabilize blood pressure upon standing. Talk to your doctor about whether supplementing with sodium tablets or having a higher sodium diet could help your symptoms.

Stay Cool: Hot weather increases fluid loss through sweat. During summer months, take extra care to hydrate frequently, limit time outdoors during peak heat, and consider using cooling vests or other accessories.

With proper hydration and electrolyte balance, many POTS patients find their symptoms improve and their quality of life increases. Speak with your doctor about developing a customized hydration and lifestyle intervention plan that works best for managing your POTS.


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