8 Shower Tips When You Have POTS

8 Shower Tips When You Have POTS | NormaLyte ORS Oral Rehydration Salt Electrolyte Powder

8 Shower Tips When You Have POTS

8 Shower Tips When You Have POTS | NormaLyte ORS Oral Rehydration Salt Electrolyte Powder

For some people, a hot shower relieves stress and washes away the day.  It’s something you might look forward to.  But, when you have a chronic illness like POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), a hot shower is something to be dreaded.  Avoided, even.

Why is Showering With POTS So Hard?

POTS is a chronic illness that affects the way blood pools in your body causing a myriad of symptoms.  One of the worst symptoms of POTS is syncope (or fainting) episodes that happen when blood pools in your lower extremities.  Fainting in the bathroom is something to be avoided, but is something people with POTS rightfully worry over.  

Exposure to warm water for a prolonged period of time during a shower or a bath will temporarily open up and widen blood vessels.  POTS patients will experience this as dizzy spells and may experience more blood pooling in their extremities and ultimately a tachy heart rate.  Hot showers can also soften skin and relax muscles which can potentially further increase blood pooling without the natural compression and constriction that regulates blood flow.

Showering with POTS is harder because it can send a person’s symptoms into overdrive making that person feel worse rather than better after showering.

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Tips for Showering With POTS

It’s possible to shower when you have POTS.  You just may need to adjust the way you do it.  Here’s some tips on how to shower when you have POTS

  1. Lukewarm or cold showers.  Steaming hot showers can really set off the symptoms of POTS.  The biggest way to offset that is to cool down your shower or bath.  If you can shower in cold water, we recommend that.  The cooler the water the better for someone with POTS.  Bonus:  cold showers have been proven to lower cortisol levels.
  2. Shower stools.  It’s not just for the elderly.  Stools in the shower should be less taboo.  It’s an aid that will save you, albeit not a sexy aid.  Sit instead of standing when you shower.  This will reduce the amount of times you bend your head down and it will physically reduce the strain of gravity on your arms as you clean.
  3. Hydrate before showering.  Using a medical grade electrolyte like NormaLyte before you take a shower can help keep your blood pressure up and it will lessen the symptoms you feel after showering.  It’s important that your electrolyte is medical grade as not all electrolytes are created equal (don’t be fooled by sports drinks).
  4. Turn the water off.  The water doesn’t have to run the entire time you’re in the shower.  Turning off the water in between washing body parts can save you from exposure to heat.  Especially if it’s harder for you to use cold water.
  5. Multi-task.  Some people with chronic illness stress the importance of doing as much as you can in a short period of time.  Some people brush their teeth in the shower too!  
  6. Shower in the evening.  This is maybe one of my favorite tips!  Shower before bed.  Get in, use some of the tips we shared above, and go straight to your bed to recuperate from the strain showering had on you.
  7. Rest after showering.  If showering in the evening isn’t a good option for you then consider budgeting time to rest after a shower.  Some people have a cozy robe and lay their bath towel down on their bed so that they can go straight from the shower to the bed.  Make sure you budget some time for rest after you take a shower to give your heart time to calm down from the strain.
  8. Skip the shower.  As long as your hygiene is cared for, you can skip the daily shower.  Use a hand towel (or disposable body wipes) to wipe down your body, apply some fresh deodorant, and consider using a good dry shampoo between showering.  Use your shower stool to do all this as needed through the week.  Doing this can help you avoid showering for a week or more.

Overall, living with a chronic illness like POTS or other forms of dysautonomia doesn’t mean the end of everything you love.  With some easy modifications for how you do things you will find it easier on your body.  It’s possible to shower safely.  Just know the limits and boundaries your body has set.  

What modifications have you made to make showering or bathing with POTS easier for you?  Let us know in the comments below.


  • Chris

    Part2: I need to add some corrections, sorry: “salt to facilitate stomach mild …” the correct word is ‘mild gastroparesis’ (specifically stomach, when dysautonomia slow down the digestion). And I forgot to mention some more tricks: to drink/sips warm water for esophagus triggered ‘cough’ or mild problems to swallow (before and after a meal, if the symptom is bad I just stop eating until the ANS balance is recovered – if its really Bad I can’t drink anything, even water! for some hours); and to drink/sips warm water with 1/2 lemon juice or less for hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) or when “vinegar craving” is up (it’s a warning signal of hypochlorhydria and/or mineral/electrolytes imbalance) I drink the warm water with lemon juice before and after a meal, or as a “lemon tea” (without sugar! that will counteract the benefits of the lemon acidity) – all these tricks I use according to symptoms. Always listening to your ANS and mitochondrial “messages” to facilitate the recovery of this dynamic system equilibrium/homeostasis the best your body can do – along time the use of a bit higher dose of Thiamine every day minimized the great amplitude of my dysautonomia, changing the symptoms to less grave and shorter in duration, but since Thiamine Hydrochloride is “water based” metabolized, one day or few hours without it is enough to worsen the ANS imbalance – but it’s always worth it to invest in supplements. Unfortunately I could not solve the sunlight trigger, as it’s a looping cycle between mitochondria and dysautonomia through NOS/ROS. I could solve until some point the muscle weakness, ET, and exhaustion with Thiamine+ Riboflavin + Carnitine + CoQ10. And Magnesium Citrate controls uric acid cycle (that is imbalanced by mitochondrial dysfunction). Please see Robert Naviaux (CDR) naviauxlab.ucsd.edu and YouTube, it can clarify some symptoms of dysautonomia, since the “Director” of the ANS is the mitochondria! (that is much more than “just” an ATP/energy source, mt directs immune system, ANS, CNS, hormones, neurotransmitters, efficient function of organs, enzymes, it determines epigenetic/control in human aging – to EVERYONE, not only for people with mtDisease) and I use vitBs separately according to their interactions, a few examples (this information are freely available online): Hydroxocobalamin (B12) needs Biotin to be metabolized, which by its way, needs L-lysine; B6 impairs the absorption of B12, Biotin, and Folic Acid; B12 impairs the absorption of B2; VitC impairs the absorption of B12; thus I take vitBs as: Kit1: B1 (Thiamine) + B2 (Riboflavin) + B6 (Pyridoxal 5 phosphate, P5P) the energetic VitBs, by day in 3x micro-doses, up to 5x when in crisis (except P5P that in excess can present neurotoxicity); Kit2: B12 (Hydroxocobalamin) + Biotin + L-lysine + Folic Acid*, at night in 1x dose, and Cholecalciferol (D3). (*natural Folates are best, and obtained by eating dark leaf vegetables) I have added supplements slowly one by one, keeping a journal, methodically noted, since I could not find any doctor specialized in supplementation protocols for dysautonomia + hEDS + mtDisease, (Izabella Wentz thyroidpharmacist has useful information about supplements, because supporting thyroid also is a bonus to mt and the whole health – unlike pharmaceuticals, supplements as vitamin, amino acids, mineral are “multitasking”, and your body will direct the use of it, and the Linus Pauling Institute is also helpful, lpi.oregonstate.edu) along years many MDs told me that “I don’t believe in supplements” (WoW, it’s the same as saying ‘I don’t believe in biochemistry’!) and recommended that I should “deal with it” [dysautonomia, hEDS and energetic exhaustion] (don’t take that as an answer!) and one Doctor said “you know more about it than me” (all right! this is worrisome) – until the symptomatology of mtDisease (I’ve never imagined that!) became clear to an MD Internist after the 6th Adverse Reaction to Antibiotic (be careful of Fluoroquinolones/FQAD and Metronidazole/calcium ion channels/Thalamocortical Dysrhythmia), now I’ll go to a Rare Disease Specialist, and probably after a genetic exam, I’m hopeful that there will be a supplementation tailored for me. If not, I’ve spent 5 years slowly studying supplements and my diseases in scientific articles for the best of my health! Some day hopefully I’ll be capable to help others in similar conditions. Wish you luck and happy moments!

  • Chris

    Tip from a person who has dysautonomia + mitochondrial disease, what works for me, at least to some extent: I take supplements 40min before the shower: to stabilize dysautonomia (B1) and boost the mt energy (CoQ10, Carnitine and/or Creatine monohydrate (CrM)); rest at least 30min before the shower; hydration 20min before and after the shower, rest; split the shower in 2 or 3 tasks/days alternating with 1 day of ‘pause", such as: day1 washing the hair + quickly washing the body, day2 pause and dry hygiene; day3 protect the hair and wash thoroughly the body, day4 pause and dry hygiene, if feeling ok (seating on a chair) I put my feet on a basin with tepid water and wash the feet with equipment and soap to remove dry skin and calluses, after that I use a non-greasy moisturizing gel to not obstruct the skin pores (luckily, rarely the dysautonomia can work an healthy sweat, even though minimal); day5 protecting the hair, wash quickly the body, focus your energy on legs and feet, day6 pause and dry hygiene, and day7 pause and dry hygiene. To cook I’ve had adopted the Electric pressure cooker, no oven, no unnecessary heat blow, and the minimum time required to stir the ingredients with a spoon in the electric pressure cooker, I do it seated in a bench, since the cooker is on top of a low furniture of 50cm height. I can’t be under the sunlight anymore due to dysautonomia plus Nitrosative Stress (that is activated by UVB), so I’m avoiding sunlight even in cloudy days, but use Cholecalciferol!, and can’t walk beyond 25m without the need to sit down, thus I became a caricature of a person walking with a cane, an aluminum folding beach chair, a reflective hand parasol, and a light shoulder bag with 500ml bottle water and supplements for the next hours – honestly, I don’t waste time and energy bothering with other people’s thoughts, or waste energy “discussing” or fighting with my body (I did that in the past and the disease just worsened), the adaptation of life objectives and constant adaptation daily planning is the rule, if there’s any sudden metabolic/energetic or autonomic change my partner and I already have a backup, adaptive and/or pre-established planning to continue somehow going on. Think like water, it goes around obstacles, think of what you can do, still can do, and new things or ways to do, create your day – your body can pressure a intense dynamic repertoire of symptoms, but it have essential causes and triggers that you can learn to identify, and I use supplements (splitting a dose in micro-doses up to 5x day), tricks (drinking water to raise BP, salt to facilitate stomach mild parenthesis, herbal tea such as bay leaf to support hepatic function, but not using it to exaggeration, rotating and alternating herbs every 2 days, healthy micro-meals, no-gluten, no-Monosodium glutamate (MSG), no-artificial colorants, or plasticizers, demoulding/release agents, additives, etc, use just simple ingredients “pre-industrial” “great-grandma cuisine” style and nothing “too much”, varying meals every 2 days (avoiding built up of histamines), avoiding great variation of ambient temperature, using the PC maximum for 2hs and pausing it for 2 days) and new ways to minimize symptoms (respecting metabolic “crisis”/mitochondrial time of recuperation, and resting when and by the time that is necessary, increase or decrease use of “water based” supplements* according to the causes of symptoms (*such as Thiamine, Riboflavin, Hydroxocobalamin, within the standard doses recommended by medical protocols) and monitoring cramps and spasms, with basic minerals, blood vein dilatation with k2mk7 at minimum dosage – must study it). I always remember Stephen Hawking, he proved by extreme that we are/can be more than an illness.

  • Brenda

    I really appreciate this information. I am already showering with all of your recommendations but it really really helps me to see that I’m doing everything right and that not showing very often isn’t to be ashamed of and that someone actually understands what I’m going through. But there has to be more that we can do to feel better and be able to have a more normal life. I can’t even cook a meal for my family or go anywhere but the doctor. I can’t go for a walk or exercise. My blood pressure is out of control. There has to be more we can do or I feel defeated and useless. Ok I’m done. Any suggestions would be a blessing and very appreciated. Thank you for this opportunity.

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