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Pots Newbie Confused About Salt Intake


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Hello,

I've been reading the DINET website and different medical articles about POTS, and I'm STILL confused about the amount of salt that I should be aiming for. My dysautonomia specialist didn't tell me any value.

The DINET 'What Helps' section refers to two articles, one of which suggests 3-5 g per day, and another that suggests 10-15g per day. I wonder if someone could help me out? I realise that there is in no way specific guidelines for POTS meds or approaches that work across the board, but these values differ by quite a lot, and I've read that some people eat even more! I'm also worried that I could eat too much.

Some info that might be relevant:

I'm male, 6 ft tall, 68kg. My blood pressure tends to be around 100/60 - 110/65. My HR response to lying to standing is on the order of 60-90. POTS secondary to JHS.

Thanks,

nm

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For POTSy folks most of the time, you can't go wrong by starting small with one new thing, be it medication, salt or exercise, and then increasing a little at a time, while monitoring how your body responds across maybe a few days or even weeks at a certain level. Some of us here excrete the salt out of our body very fast, and that changes how much is needed just to "maintain."

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MM has it right. With everything we start small, see how it feels and adjust accordingly. Personally, I haven?t got a clue how much extra salt I?m taking, I just know it?s a lot, but I check my blood pressure daily (as advised by my PotsDoc) to make sure it doesn?t get too high. I?m also male, 5?10?, 160lb. (72kg), with classic 30+ POTS and blood pooling, with possible O-Hypo.

After a while I?ve learned to recognize the signs that my body needs extra salt ? I can feel the difference in how quickly the blood drops into my feet when I stand, depending on my activities and how recently I took my meds. Some people just munch on salty snacks throughout the day, others add tons of salt to their food, some take salt tablets and still others (like myself) literally pour a salt shaker or salt packets directly into our mouths. Either way, remember to always include lots of water. The combination of both is what boosts blood volume.

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Just to confuse you more, I was told by a doctor at the Mayo Clinic that I needed to take in 7-10 grams of salt a day. In my humble opinion, you should try to get in 5-10 grams a day, depending on your BP and how you feel. And tons o' water. Lots & lots....also, drinks with electrolytes, like Gatorade or supplements you can put into your water. My cardio yells at me if I'm not always carrying a water bottle with me.

Cheers!

Jana

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correct me if I'm wrong. I have to take 10 rams a day. I thought my doc said: 2 table spoons = 1 gram when measuring salt.

Bellamia~

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Well I've been going on this site:

http://convert-to.com/table-salt-amounts-converter.html

which says that 5g salt is nearly one teaspoon, and that a tablespoon is 17g. I'm assuming this applies to regular fine-grained table salt, none of the chunky stuff.

I wonder if POTS patients noticed a rapid change in their symptoms when they first started taking extra salt and fluid (without medication) ? It's been a month for me now, and there has been no difference...

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Well I've been going on this site:

http://convert-to.com/table-salt-amounts-converter.html

which says that 5g salt is nearly one teaspoon, and that a tablespoon is 17g. I'm assuming this applies to regular fine-grained table salt, none of the chunky stuff.

I wonder if POTS patients noticed a rapid change in their symptoms when they first started taking extra salt and fluid (without medication) ? It's been a month for me now, and there has been no difference...

hey that was way cool.... thanks nooldemaster. It was 1tbs = 2 grams. I was told to use sea salt as it is better for you. I have to get out of this bed it is so beautiful out here.

Bellamia~

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Hi toddm,

I was interested in your post. My BP goes up when I stand (diastolic by around 20, and systolic by around 10 - to around 120/75). I was wondering if you have any more information on the orthostatic hypertensive group of people with POTS? I'm not sure if my increase matches this.

Thanks,

nm

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Hey noodle, we are a minority in this group of fainters......lol. The thing to remember about dysautonomia (POTS in this case) is one treatment that helps half of our fun group actualy hurts the other half of us. This could be a good poll topic, is it 50/50 between hypotensive and hypertensive in this forum? Increasing sodium also increases our fuild retention and helps with our low blood volume, but in my case it also increased my overall BP, both supine and standing. So I stay away from the large doses, but I don't worry about using the salt shaker and do drink my share of Gatorade.

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I think the distintion may be between salt and sodium. 1 tsp salt is about 6 grams and has about 2400 mg of sodium. So when you see higher numbers, it may be referring to salt and not sodium. I totally agree with Nina. Start small and build up. I've found that I don't need to max out - but having extra salt every day through a couple of cups of chicken broth makes a huge difference.

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POTS is defined as having an increase of at least 30 points in HR between lying down and standing. Usually the BP will stay close to the same, maybe varying by 10-15 points or so. I always thought that most of the forum folk were hypertensive. If your BP goes down when you stand up to a point where you faint or feel like you're going to, then you probably have orthostatic hypotension/OI/HMH, which is still a form of dysautonomia. That's what I have, and my readings are similar to this:

Lying: 105/65 and HR 60

Standing: 75/60, HR 120-130

So, while the HR would qualify me for POTS, the major decrease in my BP indicates a diagnosis of the above (OH, etc.)

We should survey to see how many POTS people there are versus other dysautonomias...If I can remember how to do a poll.

Cheers,

Jana

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We should survey to see how many POTS people there are versus other dysautonomias...If I can remember how to do a poll.
That would be great, I asked the question when I first joined because it seems POTS is a lot more prevelant than many of the other conditions associated with dysautonomia.

I'm a mix of confusion - at first I was dx with NCS, OI/OH cardioinhibitoray? and vasodepressor mix. but noticed without meds the past 2 months my bp rises really fast in a blink but then it crashes even faster sometimes.

Is it possible to have POTS and NCS, OI/OH at the same time?

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I do not know exactly how much salt/sodium I take in, but I find Gatorade helps me the most. I used to drink about 64ounces a day, but tried to reduce it some because of the calories and did not like the low cal version. Now I can get by on about 32 ounces a day and supplement my fluid intake with water or herbal tea. I also drink some coffee and find that the caffine does not bother me as long as I space it out and drink maybe 1-3 cups a day. When I tried to go to just water and try salting my foods, and found I was too dizzy, chugged a gatorade, and felt better within an hour or so. My bp never goes too high and stays low to norm, so it seems I do not get "too much" sodium. When I was in the hospital for a pots tachycardia attack, they were not very familiar eveidently with the importance of sodium for pots and had me on a heart healthy low sodium diet, so I had my family bring in my gatorade. Play around with your sodium intake, and fluids and you will probably find what feels right for you.

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I always thought that most of the forum folk were hypertensive. If your BP goes down when you stand up to a point where you faint or feel like you're going to, then you probably have orthostatic hypotension/OI/HMH, which is still a form of dysautonomia. That's what I have, and my readings are similar to this:

We should survey to see how many POTS people there are versus other dysautonomias...If I can remember how to do a poll.

Cheers,

Jana

I think most people with dysautonomia have low BP or at least on the low side of normal. Some people with POTS have normal BP. A few have high BP, but it is not very common. I don't know the numbers, but pretty sure that POTS is the most common form of dysautonomia.

Some drs disagree, but it is possible to have bot POTS and NCS/NMH/OH. There are a few on the forum with both diagnoses.

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