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12 Products People With POTS Swear By

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Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a form of dysautonomia, or a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. POTS specifically is characterized by an excessively high heart rate upon standing, but can involve a range of other symptoms including fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, exercise intolerance, fainting, and shortness of breath. It is estimated to affect between one and three million Americans.

Struggling daily with the symptoms of POTS can be frustrating and exhausting — especially since there is no cure. Finding a product or technique to help ease your symptoms is often an ongoing process of trial and error that usually involves a combination of treatments rather than one single “fix.” But there is a community of people who have been there and have found some products (or a combination of products) that help them push through even their toughest flare days.

To help you find some relief from your symptoms, we asked our Mighty community which products they find helpful for managing their POTS. Here are their recommendations.

1. Fan

left image: handheld portable fan. right image: 15-inch tabletop honeywell fan

Heat causes blood vessels to widen, so for those with POTS, this can exacerbate tachycardia and accompanying symptoms by forcing the heart to work harder and faster to pump blood throughout the body. A fan may be necessary to keep you cool so you don’t overheat and can try to keep your symptoms under control.

“Fan, due to temperature issues,” said Emma L.

Angela A. told us, “I overheat easily, so having a fan that I can move anywhere in the house with me is great. If I’m too hot in the summer or I overdid it on a walk it really helps. I also sleep with it on next to my bed; it prevents me from overheating while I sleep.”

Buy a portable, handheld fan.

Buy a 15-inch tabletop fan.

2. Electrolyte Drinks

propel 12-pack

Drinks packed with electrolytes can be very helpful for those with POTS, as increasing water and electrolyte intake increases blood pressure by increasing blood volume — which then decreases tachycardia and relieves accompanying symptoms, such as lightheadedness or chest pain.

“Not only do these help me stay hydrated, but they also supply extra electrolytes that are so important for us,” Angela A. said. “I’ve recently started drinking Propel, as it’s a sugar and calorie-free alternative to my usual Gatorade!”

“Liquid I.V. powdered electrolytes — best tasting, best working electrolyte drink and the individual packs are so easy to throw in purses, backpacks, and luggage if you travel!” Sarah H. added.

Buy the Liquid I.V. powdered electrolytes drink.

3. Cold Packs

gel ice packs

When your body is overheating due to dysautonomia, sending your symptoms spiraling out of control, ice packs may be a quick way to help cool you down and get your heart rate back to a manageable level.

“When my body is having issues regulating its temperature and I’m starting to overheat, throwing an ice pack on my back or stomach helps immensely,” Angela A. said. “Sometimes I’ll just lay on the floor with an ice pack for a few minutes after going for a walk or to the store. It helps me cool down and feel better quickly.”

Buy these gel packs.

For more recommendations from our community, check out these 18 cooling products that can help relieve pain.

4. Pulse Oximeter

fingertip pulse oximeter for POTS

The pulse oximeter above can measure your pulse rate, pulse strength, and blood oxygen saturation levels in 10 seconds and display it on an LED screen for you to read. This can help POTS patients monitor their heart rate, especially when they’re transitioning between sitting and standing.

Emma L. recommended, “Oximeter to monitor heart rate.”

Buy the pulse oximeter.

5. Compression Stockings

compression socks to help with dysautonomia symptoms

Those with POTS may experience poor circulation and blood pooling in the extremities. Compression garments can help increase blood flow and reduce symptoms such as lightheadedness, fainting, low blood pressure, tachycardia, fatigue, brain fog, and muscle pain. You can find them in nude, black, and gray, but they come in lots of fun colors and patterns, too!

“Crazy Compression compression socks!” Sarah B. said. “They have frequent sales and are the most comfortable (and colorful) compression socks I’ve ever tried (and trust me, I’ve tried a lot)!”

“My compression stockings help with blood pooling problems,” Laura F. said.

Buy the compression socks.

For more recommendations from our community, check out these 20 brands of compression wear people with chronic illness recommend.

6. Peppermint Essential Oil

peppermint essential oil

Peppermint is known to help combat nausea, so keeping some peppermint essential oil on hand to smell, dab on your skin, or put a drop under your tongue may help reduce your symptoms.

“One drop under my tongue helps keep nausea at bay,” Sarah H. said.

Buy the peppermint essential oil.

For more recommendations from our community, check out 14 products that help people manage nausea.

7. White Noise Sound Machine

white noise sound machine

If POTS makes sleeping difficult, a white noise machine might help lull you into getting some zzz’s.

“I tend to have a lot of trouble staying asleep, and sleep is so important to POTS,” Angela A. said. “This device lets out a low whoosh sound that is constant and blocks other noises. I sleep longer and deeper with it, and that makes a huge difference to my sleep quality and health.”

Buy a white noise sound machine.

For more recommendations from our community, check out 16 products to use when painsomnia keeps you up at night.

8. Smart Watches

left image: fitbit charge 2. right image: apple watch series 4

Smart watches, like the FitBit or Apple Watch, have a number of different functions that may be helpful, such as monitoring your heart rate and daily activity.

“I use a FitBit to monitor my heart rate,” Laura F. said.

“Apple Watch,” Sarah H. said. “Reliable way to track my heart rate data: it helps me know when I need more fluids, or even when I need to call my doctor!”

Buy a FitBit.

Buy the Apple Watch.

9. Pill Organizer

pill organizer

When you live with a chronic illness like POTS, you may need to take a variety of medication, vitamins, supplements, etc. A large pill organizer can help you keep your meds sorted by day as well as time of day.

“As a POTSie, there are a lot of things I have to think about in terms of managing my symptoms. I take a lot of meds, so it can get difficult to keep track of what I’ve taken and also to bring them with me when I’m out. My fiancé got me this great pill organizer that has a different one for each day of the week, with boxes for morning, afternoon, evening, and night. It helps me keep track and bring them on the go,” Angela A. said.

Buy the pill organizer.

For more recommendations from our community, check out these 14 pill organizers that can help you keep track of your medications.

10. Water Bottle

blue 40 oz. hydro flask

Hydration is really important for those with POTS, as keeping their blood volume up helps improve blood pressure and decrease tachycardia. Carrying a bottle with you that keeps your water cold can be essential, especially during the warmer months.

“Hydro Flask,” Sarah H. said. “Keeps my water ice cold even in the Arizona summers, so I have cold fluids on me at all times if I feel like I’m going downhill quick!”

Buy the 40-oz. Hydro Flask.

11. Electrolyte Tablets

nuun electrolyte tablets

As an alternative to electrolyte drinks, consuming electrolyte tablets can also help you manage symptoms of your POTS.

“I know that a lot of people with POTS swear by Nuuns, but they can be quite pricey in the UK. Recently, I’ve been using High 5 Zero Hydration Tablets which are a fraction of the price in the UK and have the same effect as using Nuuns,” Katherine W. explained.

Buy the Nuun hydration tablets.

12. V-Shaped Pillow

v-shaped pillow

If you need a comfortable yet supportive pillow to help prop you up in bed, this V-shaped pillow may be for you.

“Like many people with POTS, I spend a lot of time lying down,” Katherine W. said. “I’ve recently started using a V-shaped pillow when sitting up in bed or on the sofa and it has been a game changer for me in terms of posture.”

Buy a V-shaped pillow.

For more pillow recommendations from our community, check out these 27 pillows and 14 alternative pillows that help people with chronic pain sleep better.

Originally published: September 24, 2018
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