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Why electrolytes are causing this? Any ideas or experience with this?


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Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with POTS a few years ago and back then my blood pressure was usually low. I wasn't eating enough due to slow digestion, and so I wasn't consuming enough salt in meals alone. My doctor told me to take electrolytes.

Lately I've had a flare up of POTS with all the same symptoms. I haven't been drinking much electrolytes. So I was told to increase electrolytes again.

I have tried 8 ounces of Relyte (about 430mg sodium). But it's been many weeks and I don't feel a significant improvement like I did when I first was diagnosed with POTS. When I have tried to increase electrolytes (even like 2 ounces), I feel something awful. It's like an adrenaline surge and trouble thinking clearly and a lot of thirst (I do drink a lot of water during the day, though I don't know how much or if it's actually enough).

I don't believe I'm consuming enough salt in foods because I don't eat much (slow digestion) and I don't want that small amount of food to taste too salty.

My doctor had told me that I should just increase magnesium and potassium along with that increase of electrolytes or salt.

However I'm already taking 350mg of magnesium (the upper limit) and 200mg potassium. And I have no deficiencies.

Could it be hyperadrenergic POTS? I'm still not too familiar with the specific types of POTS. Is a salt increase needed with this type of POTS?

Any ideas on this are appreciated!

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I wonder if you could get blood tests to check your electrolytes, one when you are doing your normal regime of 8 ounces, and one when you increase above that and feel worse.

(Are magnesium and potassium tested in that panel? I can’t remember. I think potassium is.)

You mention that your blood pressure used to be low when you were first diagnosed with POTS. How is it now?

It is possible that symptoms can change over time and between episodes and flare ups. Sometimes people aren’t helped by increasing fluid and salt intake. Even if electrolyte intake helped in the past, maybe it isn’t going to now.

Have you tried anything else, like compression tights or medications? What are your main symptoms?

(Sorry for all the questions – so many variables!)


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@Jademoon7 it is possible that you ONLY need to increase your salt intake, not electrolytes like Mg, Ca, Potassium etc. You can do so by either 

- salt supplements

- sodium rich foods or drinks ( broth or sodium rich water etc )

- IV fluids of NACL solution

I personally am unable to tolerate salt tablets or too much fluids, I tolerate salty foods ( pickles, pretzels etc ) but cannot tolerate a lot of fluids, I either cannot keep them down ( slow digestion, build up of volume in stomach ) or I pee them all out. So I get IV fluids twice weekly, and it has enormously improved my quality of life!

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