Gluten Intolerance and POTS
POTS Syndrome, or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder that affects the things that happen automatically in your body. Things like blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate are all affected. This condition primarily affects women of child rearing ages, but can also affect men as well.
Many people with POTS have sensitivities that can affect the way that they feel. Sensitivities to artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and dyes. Ingesting foods and drinks with these items can lead to flares or stomach problems like diarrhea and nausea. Going a step further, studies have suggested that people with POTS may also have a tendency to have gluten intolerances too.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found within products made with wheat, rye, and barley. Common food items with gluten are: cereal, pasta, bread, beers, soups, crackers, and more. (See a more complete list on WebMD’s website.)
If you are gluten intolerant you may experience a variety of symptoms when eating.
Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
If you suspect that you may have an intolerance to gluten you may want to consider the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
- Skin rashes
Some people with gluten intolerance also have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Is Gluten Intolerance the Same as Celiac Disease?
The short answer is; no, it’s not. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the lining of your gut when you ingest gluten as if it’s a virus in your body. People with celiac disease usually have antibodies in their blood or a genetic marker. People with gluten intolerance are missing those. However, the symptoms are usually the same for both groups of people.
POTS and Gluten Intolerance
A paper publushed in 2004 suggests that 2.6% of patients with autonomic dysfunction also had celiac disease. Two of the patients in the study also had a POTS diagnosis, but the correlation between POTS and gluten wasn’t studied again for some time.
It was in 2016 that a published study found that people who have POTS have a 4% higher likelihood than the average person of also having Celiac Disease. In 19% of their POTS patients, a gluten intolerance was found. It was the first time a study showed the relationship between the POTS and gluten intolerances.
What Does that Mean for You?
If you have POTS you may want to watch for the signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance. Not every person with POTS will develop the disorder, but it would be worth it to keep an eye on your symptoms.
If you suspect you have gluten intolerance, an elimination diet can help. Do some research on the products that you’re using and remove them from your diet for a period of about six weeks. If you notice some of your symptoms easing then you may want to talk to your doctor about how to treat and manage. Most the time an intolerance can be managed with a simple diet change.
Choosing the Right Electrolyte
Having POTS means you always have electrolyte powder nearby. Sports drinks don’t come close to measuring up. Coconut water, while trendy, is also lacking the needed amount of electrolytes you need to accurately manage symptoms of POTS. The first step is making sure your electrolyte is medical grade. The next step is ensuring your medical grade electrolyte won’t set off the symptoms of gluten intolerance.
NormaLyte, a medical grade electrolyte powder, is free of preservatives, dyes, colors, and artificial sweeteners. Plus, it’s gluten free. That means you can be confident when drinking it that you won’t experience the awful symptoms of gluten intolerance. Plus, NormaLyte’s PURE was made for people with POTS syndrome in mind; it contains no added flavors.