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CharissaM

POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

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So I just got a diagnosis for POTS this week.  I've been doing "Paleo" since April - did a Whole20 in July - vacation threw me off on my Whole 30 - and I just started a Whole30 today (Aug 1).  Prior to the POTS diagnosis, I had a full endocrine system work up and everything looks pretty good.  High T3 (which is weird) and moderately low aldosterone, but my adrenals responded correctly to stim tests and in general everything looks good.

I have treatment options that include steroids to raise my blood pressure and stop/reduce the near fainting episodes I have multiple times each week, but I really really want to avoid the medications if at all possible.

 

Does anyone have any experience with Whole30/Paleo and how it impacts POTS or dysautonomic syndromes in general?  I've been told to up my fluid and salt intake - but I already salt my food to taste - which is more than most would use likely because I crave salt (likely bc of the POTS), so I'm at a loss how to up my sodium without having to resort to drinks like gatorade - which I REALLY do not want to consume, ick!

My blood sodium is the minimum of the "normal" range, but I didn't realize that until after my visit with my endocrinologist so I didn't get to ask her about that in relationship to the POTS.  So I'm not completely uncomfortable with the idea of getting more sodium, I just don't know how to do it.

I do know I feel better when I eat Whole30, but I do still have the lightheaded episodes even when I did it "perfectly" for the 20 days in July.

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I don't know anything about POTS. I am sorry you are dealing with this. I can say that when you are not eating processed foods and just eating fresh meat and vegetables as when doing a Whole30, you can and should salt your food generously. There is no danger of eating too much salt when you are not consuming processed foods. We often have to encourage people to use salt more generously because they come from a background where everything they ate was heavily salted and they were trained not to add more.

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Charissa - in a completely non-food related post, may I recommend the lovely Jackie from Lethargis Smiles (http://lethargicsmiles.wordpress.com/) as someone worth reading? She's a fellow POTS-ie and writes really well about her condition, her abilities and restrictions, and is so well adjusted and at peace with her diagnosis. I also have a rare medical condition, and for me knowing there are others out there like me is a huge part of accepting my condition. I hope you like her stuff, and get some clarity over your treatment. Best wishes.

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I've added a good pinch of salt to my drinking water before...it's not that bad! Add plenty to your cooking, and salt after you've cooked...you do use a good quality salt with minerals don't you? (Like Celtic or Himalayan?)

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I have ME and part of that is orthostatic intolerance. I get lightheaded, dizzy and can pass out if I stand or even sit upright for too long. I was told to try to increase my fluid intake which should help increase blood volume. Coupled with this add salt to my drinking water. I use himalayan salt, it makes the water taste so much better to me. My nutritionist said this is a sign I need it. Apparantly if the body needs salt, then salt water tastes good, if it doesn't need it, it tastes gross.

 

Also when i have to stand or sit upright, I keep trying to wiggle my toes and flex my feet, this is supposed to stimulate the leg muscles to pump the blood back up to the heart. It hasn't gone a way but i do feel it's better with the salt and the W30 way of eating.

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I also often don't get enough salt, I don't like added salt in lots of foods, so Franks Hot Sauce (original, read your label to be sure) is how I get in some extra salt. Great with chicken cooked in ghee.

 

You may want to check your magnesium levels, they're often out of whack when salt is too.

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I do use Himalayan salt - such good stuff.  I'll try a pinch in my drinking water to see how it tastes.  The thought of drinking salt water is kinda odd, but I have a feeling it will taste good!  Thank you for all of the ideas!

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