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POTS & Meals

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Hi everyone!

I am a 19 y/o female who was diagnosed with POTS about two years ago. It is all somewhat new to me as I am still learning a lot about this syndrome and my symptoms. My POTS has been somewhat manageable with plenty of fluid intake and increased salt but sometimes I experience rough episodes. My heart rate is my biggest issue with my resting HR at about 110. When I have POTS episodes it can shoot up to 160-180 and can feel quite scary. There are some questions I have for this forum to see if anyone else struggles with the same things because these are my biggest obstacles.

Is anyones anxiety a big contributor to POTS? I notice my anxiety has been getting worse which increases my heart rate even more. I get very nervous when I can feel my heart racing that fast. I try to manage it with vagal maneuvers and calming techniques which usually helps but once a POTS episode kicks in my anxiety does as well. They pretty much go hand and hand for me.

Also, my biggest question is do any of you find your POTS to be worse after you eat? Soon after I eat a decent size meal, my heart feels like its working SO hard as well as my stomach just feels bloated. I feel this fullness, fast heart rate for a good 1-2 hours after my meal. I know that us POTSY's should eat small meals and I do for the most part but it even happens when I just eat a good portion size dinner. I also should mention that I do drink at least one glass of water with every meal. Just wondering if any of you feel like your heart is working so hard after eating and you have that increased HR.


Thank you all so much this forum has been so helpful for me!



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One last thing, 

Do any of you POTSY's think of stairs as a huge obstacle? I can barely go up one flight of stairs without stopping. Once I get to the top, I struggle to catch my breath and can feel my heart practically jumping out of my chest. It is accompanied with dizziness and shakiness. Stairs are such a weakness for me! 

Just wondering if there is anyone else feeling what I feel. It can be very difficult 


Thanks again :)

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Yes my pots symptoms get worse if I eat a big meal . My hr goes way up for about an hour. I have learned to eat smaller meals and it helps a lot. Also highly processed foods seem to affect me also ,so I try to eat more natural foods and it helps . Doing these things has also caused weight loss for me which isn't good ,I'm male. So it's been hard to take in the same amount of calories as I used to when I was healthy and eating as much as I wanted to ....

yes stairs are a problem for me as well , I hate my stairs now ....

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Welcome to the forum.

Yes I have had both of these problems as well.  Particularly when I was more unwell due to POTS. 

I found small meals with more fluids, salt and fat and protein helped.  Foods with a high glycemic index would particularly bother me:


Although I was never found to have any blood glucose problem.

I think anything that requires lifting our arms or legs can be really difficult when we have significant POTS.

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Welcome, Jlp54!

You could also look into Postprandial Hypotension (Experiencing low blood pressure and symptoms after 30-60 minutes within a meal) http://www.dinet.org/get-involved/donate/

My POTS symptoms cause anxiety, especially tachycardia and dizziness. I've read here that some excess adrenaline when blood volume is low is correlated.   


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Absolutely yes to the increase in symptoms after meals.  For the first 4 years prior to diagnosis, I believed my problem was somehow related to my stomach.  Within 1-2 hours after eating, my symptoms would significantly increase.  A simple sandwich would be too much. While I am definitely able to control my symptoms more now, eating is still a major trigger for me at times (I don't even attempt to eat at a summer picnic - heat and food don't mix for me)

And I don't like steps either!

Be well.

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1 hour ago, Always hoping said:

Absolutely yes to the increase in symptoms after meals.  For the first 4 years prior to diagnosis, I believed my problem was somehow related to my stomach.  Within 1-2 hours after eating, my symptoms would significantly increase.

Same here, been to GI doctors in the start, thought it had to be something related to the GI tract since I got so severely fatigued after meals.

My method to cope with this is eating ZERO fat. Wether this is healthy/sustainable I do not know, but it reduces my postprandial fatigue/crash by about 70%+

I notice reading online that people with these problems have mixed results with different approaches, some seem to do better on a bit more fat and lower carb, others the other way around. Only way to figure out is to experiment.

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