In today’s health-conscious society, we know that a high-sodium diet is bad for our bodies, especially the heart. But, did you know that there is one good reason to eat more salt? Yes, doctors will recommend a high-sodium diet if their patient has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). So, what is this medical condition? Aside from that, why is salt part of the treatment?
A Brief Description of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
The symptoms of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome may seem like a digestive or heart problem, but this condition is under the autonomic nervous system. As you know, this specific system works automatically to control bodily processes such as breathing, heartbeats, urination, digestion, and sexual arousal. When everything is normal, this system operates seamlessly. However, if something is wrong, you will suddenly feel that a simple task is quite troublesome – like in the case of POTS.
Have you ever experienced fainting or feeling dizzy when you suddenly stand up after lying down? This is the major characteristic of POTS. Basically, this occurs when there is a minimal amount of blood returning to your heart after standing up abruptly. Additionally, a rapid heart rate may also occur during this incident. Nonetheless, you will feel relieved once you lie down.
As of today, the specific cause of POTS is still a mystery. However, most patients experienced its symptoms after undergoing a major surgery, experiencing a traumatic or stressful event, and developing a viral infection. A lot of women may also experience POTS after giving birth, and the condition may get worse before their menstruation.
Although both men and women may experience this health problem, POTS is more prevalent in women. The main reason is that a lot of women will often experience low blood pressure and hormone fluctuations during pregnancy or their menstrual cycle.
The Common Symptoms of POTS
If you have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, you must seek professional help to get the appropriate treatment. But, how will you know that you have POTS?
As mentioned, feeling dizzy or lightheaded when you suddenly stand up is normal. But, if this occurs frequently, then there’s something wrong. Moreover, you have to look for other symptoms like tachycardia or a rapid heart rate (more than 100 beats per minute). Over time, you may also experience the following symptoms:
- Blurred Vision
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of Breath
- Stomach Aches
- Inability to Concentrate
- Low Libido
- Sleeping Disorders
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor specifically a cardiologist. They can do some tests to rule out major health issues like thyroid problems or heart diseases.
How to Treat POTS?
To treat postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, your doctor’s main goal is to improve your blood flow and treat any circulatory problems.
The simplest treatment approach is to eat more salt. Yes, a high-sodium diet may seem like an unusual health advice. However, consuming more fluids and salt can help increase your blood volume, easing your symptoms. Additionally, your doctor may also prescribe some medications such as beta blockers and fludrocortisone. Lastly, regular exercise is also necessary.
Although doctors will recommend consuming more salt to treat POTS, this doesn’t mean that you can indulge in a lot of salty products like chips, crackers, and other highly-processed products. Keep in mind that you still need to make sure that you’re eating nutritious foods. Thus, you have to pick products that can benefit your health and avoid foods that a nutritionist would never eat.
Nonetheless, always remember that postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is treatable. With the right treatment, you’ll definitely feel better.
All about Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome – https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/9597/postural-orthostatic-tachycardia-syndrome
Treatments for POTS – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390096/