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Diet And Exercise


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For dysautonomia conditions, I've been told that exercise is very helpful. Is there a specific type that you all do which you notice helps? Cardio, weight training, squats/calf exercises, etc? Also, if I can barely stand and function a lot of times, haha, how am I suppose to exercise?!

Also, I have not read this or heard this anywhere but is there specific foods which you should and should not eat? Maybe some foods are not good for the autonomic nervous system or some foods irritate the pre-syncope troubles. Dairy? Gluten?

Thank you for your advice!!

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If you research Gluten, it can be a problem for the nervous system and no way to test, unless you have Celiac. I stopped eating it just to be safe in case I am sensitive.

When you cannot even walk, just flex your feet to exercise your calves and promote circulation. Point your toes and flex, just a few then more later. I do toe raises, several a day for my calves.

While sitting you can use bands or little weights for your arms. Just a few. While in bed you can carefully pull a leg up, knee bent, hold to stretch, then do the other. Just move....moving is what we were made to do and now it is so hard. But just move anyway you can.

I also do leg lifts from the chair. Front leg lifts. On good days I can do a lot. Eliptical machine, leg lifts while holding the wall, push ups against a desk etc also. The "push ups" are great for the core!

Circulation is important for our nerves. Flexing is the main exercise my Doctor told me to always do. That is back when I could not even move or be too dizzy.

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Thank you for the information! I know you're right, that circulation is key, so just keep moving. As far as gluten goes, can you tell a difference from the time you stopped as opposed to when you stil ate it? Thank you for the tips and suggestions.

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I started my supplements and felt better as I kept adding what I needed for symptoms. In August, I stopped gluten. I think I notice a difference but it is hard to tell what helped or if it was mostly supplements. I have read a lot about gluten and the nervous system so I just think it cannot hurt. I have improved so much. I just try to do all I can for my nervous system in every way.

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Swimming, recumbent biking, pilates (done supine), and walking (as you are able) are good exercises for dysautonomia. I find that yoga helps me to gain strength. (Easy Yoga by Suzanne Deason is very good for POTS aside from a few standing/bending positions.) If you are bed-bound, there are also yoga DVDs for bed-top yoga.

As for diet, I have had a lot of success by eliminating refined sugar and reducing dairy, gluten, and high-carb meals. I try to drink decaf green tea for antioxidants, and I eat ground flax, walnuts, and salmon for omega-3s. Probiotics can also be beneficial. I like WholeSoy plain yogurt, but there is a new kind out now called Amande which is made from cultured almond milk. It's quite tasty (without the dairy).

Hope this helps!

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Me too, misstraci! I never thought I'd make it on this new diet since I lived off of bread, cereal, noodles, and desserts. However, I felt such a noticeable improvement after a few weeks of changing to eating more protein/vegetables that it gave me the motivation to keep going. I wish I had known earlier how much better I'd feel avoiding sugar and grains. Hope you feel better!

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I've heard of cutting back on carbs helping people. As far as exercise goes, I like to do yoga and pilates. Most of it is just lying down, and if I can't do certain parts, I just skip it and do what I can. Squats and things like that are good for building leg muscles. :)

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the diet thing is based on very little research. I found that cutting out some foods seemed to help a little. dairy was the main one.

Autoimmune illnesses generally seem to do better on diets that are low gluten, lactose or more often low starch. Some people may have POTS as an autoimmune issue.

According to researchers cardio exercises and exercises that boost muscle mass on your legs and arms may help. Ive found just general fitness and running helped me somewhat. Didnt cure me but helped a lot - but it took a fair but of pushing through. Im now pretty good most days bar a flare up.

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Thank you all for your responses.

ramakentesh... I think i'm going to try eliminating the dairy as well as gluten and just give it a try. if you don't mind, could you explain to me what the difference betweem low and high pots flow are?

redoctober... maybe someone else could help answer about carbs potentially boosting seratonin which leads to vasoconstiction, i'd love to know but i'm not sure myself.

nikki, thank you, i need to combine squats and leg stregnthing work to some cardio, hopefully i will have no problems with this!

JaneEyre9, that gives me motivation to want to try and feel better with eliminating some things.

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