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butterflyaway

Can you wear a chest binder if you have POTS?

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Hello! I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. I was wondering if any of you know whether or not wearing a chest binder would negatively affect POTS? I would really like to buy a binder and start binding, but I do not know if it would negatively affect my POTS. I know compression affects blood flow, so I don't want to start using a chest binder if it will just make me more dizzy. Do any of you know whether it is safe for people with POTS to bind? Thank you so much for reading this and helping :)

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Hey there, 

I think the only way is to try. But certainly, do be careful. I have heard of a few folks with POTS finding it very difficult, because, as you said - the compression limits blood flow and this can really make things a lot worse. Could add to syncope and so on. 

If you do - just make sure to go a size up and take it carefully.

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I use an abdominal binder when needed, which is very helpful. I don't have any experience with chest binders. Hope this helps!

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Can you talk to a doctor about this question?  Binding can cause health problems and having POTS is another factor.  As Corina notes, many members do find abdominal binding helpful as well as compression hose.

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Probably not a good idea...since fluid is gravity dependent, the idea is to encourage blood/lymphatic flow away from the distal extremities (especially legs and feet), and toward the heart and brain.  Compression to the chest would restrict bloodflow in the upward direction, causing it to pool in the lower half of the body, which is counter to what needs to be accomplished in a POTs patient.

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I am not necessarily sure it would affect POTS one way or the other and a trial wouldn't do any harm, you could always take it off. The main thoracic vessels are very deep so I cannot see them being compressed any by an external binder. 

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I am not familiar with a chest binder. Compression of my stomach/abdomen has been helpful to my POTS, though it bothers my stomach. The goal is to get more bold to the brain, so compression often helps.  But a lot of it is also trial and error. Try it and see how you feel. 

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