Q:

What are the dietary recommendations for patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome?

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Quick Answer

Dietary recommendations for patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, include increasing their fluid and sodium intake, eating smaller meals, avoiding alcohol, increasing their healthy proteins and decreasing their simple carbohydrates intake, according to Dysautonomia International. Additionally, patients need to examine their reactions to gluten, caffeine and dairy, the consumption of which may be aggravating their gastrointestinal symptoms. Lifestyle recommendations such as wearing compression garments, exercise, maintaining an even temperature and avoiding prolonged standing help to reduce symptoms.

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Full Answer

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a form of dysautonomia covering a cluster of disorders with similar manifestations and many causes, explains Dysautonomia International. When standing, patients experience an abnormal heart rate, low blood volume and may have a drop in blood pressure. Symptoms of POTS include fatigue, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, shaking and exercise intolerance. While the root cause of POTS is unknown, some underlying conditions such as diabetes, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, genetic disorder and autoimmune disease are associated with POTS and may cause it. While POTS is indiscriminate of age, gender and race, women of childbearing age are the ones most affected as they make up 80 percent of the patients.

As of 2012, there is no cure for POTS, although sufferers get some relief from their symptoms with medication and diet and lifestyle changes, notes Dysautonomia International.

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