If you notice you’re constantly fatigued, often lightheaded, or regularly experience confusion, you may suffer from a blood circulation disorder such as Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Easily diagnosed using a physical exam, POTS causes a wide range of symptoms, including chest pain, dizziness, and brain fog.
POTS symptoms can become worse with dehydration. In fact, increasing fluid and salt intake are among the most standard treatments for this disorder. Here, we’ll show you the most common POTS symptoms and discuss their connection to dehydration. Plus, we’ll show you how drinking an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS can help you manage dehydration.
What Is POTS?
Known by its acronym POTS, this disorder is a type of dysautonomia — a condition that affects the normal functions of the autonomic nervous system. Through this system, your body controls unconscious functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, and regulation of body temperature. This autonomic dysfunction disorder, also known as orthostatic intolerance, occurs when your body can’t regulate blood pressure as you move to an upright position.
The causes of POTS are unknown, though there seems to be an increased risk of the disease following major surgery and after traumatic events. It’s also been linked to hormone changes, including those experienced during pregnancy and menstrual periods.
POTS patients suffer from an inability to properly control blood flow and blood volume. As a result, POTS symptoms occur, particularly when standing up. That’s because gravity causes blood pooling in the lower half of your body, starving the higher organs of oxygenated blood. In response, your body releases hormones like epinephrine that tighten blood vessels, thus increasing your heart rate. Combined with a lack of blood reaching your brain, the result is dizziness, confusion, and sometimes fainting.
There are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of POTS. These include Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, joint hypermobility disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and mast cell disorders. Autoimmune diseases including Lyme disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome can also increase the risk of POTS. Physical deconditioning — inactivity that causes a decrease in your physical performance — can also lead to POTS.
The diagnosis of POTS is mainly done by neurologists and cardiologists. They diagnose POTS using a tilt-table test or a standing test that lasts about 10 minutes. During the standing test, you’ll move from a seated or lying down position to standing upright. For the tilt-table test, you’ll lie down on a table, and the doctor will adjust the table from horizontal to vertical positions.
If you have POTS, you’ll display an abnormal heart rate response when standing up or being raised into the vertical position. The doctor may also draw blood for tests, perform a physical exam, and ask about your medical family history and any underlying conditions.
The Connection Between POTS Symptoms and Dehydration
Postural tachycardia syndrome can worsen with dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, you lose more fluid and electrolytes than you can replace. As a result, you can suffer from symptoms like headaches, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and fainting. All of these dehydration symptoms can make POTS symptoms worse.
In addition, one of the main POTS symptoms is excessive sweating. Sweating is a healthy process that enables us to cool down and regulate our core temperature. However, when we sweat too much and don’t drink enough fluids and electrolytes, we can develop dehydration.
Here’s how it works. Your body pushes electrolytes and water to the surface of your skin where it evaporates, creating a cooling effect. Without electrolyte-rich drinks like DripDrop ORS, you’ll more likely suffer from an electrolyte imbalance, which causes dehydration.
With dehydration, your blood volume decreases since you don’t have enough fluid and electrolytes to carry oxygen-rich blood to your cells. As a result, your heart rate increases and your blood pressure drops, causing POTS symptoms such as dizziness to worsen.
If your doctor diagnoses you with POTS, one of the first treatment options will be to focus on hydration. That’s because fluid intake can help support the autonomic nervous system and ease symptoms such as dizziness.
However, you don’t just need to increase your water intake. You also need to increase the number of electrolytes you consume. That’s because both fluid and sodium can help raise low blood volume, a common cause of POTS symptoms.
In addition, many POTS patients struggle to retain sodium, meaning it’s even more important for people with POTS to stay hydrated using an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop ORS. This can help patients increase their fluid and salt intake, helping to minimize dehydration and build blood volume.
If you have POTS, your symptoms will be most pronounced when you move to a standing position. These symptoms will typically develop when standing for more than three minutes at a time.
Common symptoms of pots include:
- Heart palpitations
- Low blood pressure
- Tremors or shaking
- Heart rate increase
- Lightheadedness and fainting
- Chronic fatigue
- Chest pain
- Exercise intolerance
- Brain fog or difficulty thinking
- Excessive sweating
- Pain in the extremities (known as fiber neuropathy, which mainly occurs in patients with neuropathic POTS)
There are two main types of POTS: neuropathic and hyperadrenergic. With neuropathic POTS, your nerves in the lower part of your body don’t function properly, causing blood to pool. People with hyperadrenergic POTS suffer from high levels of adrenaline, causing increased heart rate and low blood pressure. Both types cause the above POTS symptoms, though some symptoms are more prevalent in certain individuals regardless of the type of POTS.
The treatment of POTS varies depending on the specific type of POTS the patient has and the severity of the condition. Medications such as beta-blockers, Fludrocortisone, Midodrine, SSRIs, and benzodiazepines are common POTS treatments.
Your doctor may recommend compression stockings to help promote better blood flow in your upper body. Additionally, they might suggest exercises designed to support healthy blood flow. You may also need to make certain lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and incorporating exercises such as recumbent biking, swimming, or rowing.
One of the best ways to improve your quality of life with POTS is to stay hydrated. Most treatment plans will focus on getting the proper amount of electrolytes and fluid to avoid dehydration, which can worsen symptoms.
The best option for your dehydration protocol is DripDrop ORS. It’s medically balanced in accordance with the WHO’s oral rehydration solution recommendations and contains vitamins like zinc that benefit your overall health. It also tastes great, with flavors ranging from berry and lemon to spiced apple cider and honey lemon ginger. It’s a better choice than plain water — which doesn’t contain many electrolytes — and sports drinks that have too much sugar and don’t contain a precise ratio of electrolytes.
Managing Dehydration With DripDrop ORS
If you suffer from POTS, avoiding dehydration is likely among your top concerns. Dehydration can make your symptoms worse and contribute to dizzy spells and confusion. In addition, it decreases your blood volume so your heart rate increases and your blood pressure drops, leading to symptoms including fainting, brain fog, and fatigue.
When you're in a state of dehydration, no amount of water is enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio of DripDrop ORS, you're able to replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus, it contains vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which support your overall health.
DripDrop ORS was developed by a doctor on a mission to defeat life-threatening dehydration. The patented formula provides medically relevant electrolyte levels, improving on the World Health Organization’s Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) standards — and what's more, it tastes great. By comparison, sports drinks contain about one-third the electrolytes of DripDrop ORS and two times as much sugar.For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop ORS is a fast, effective, and great tasting remedy. With convenient packaging that allows you to have DripDrop ORS when you need it, where you need it. Get started with a trial or our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast.