Anyone with a chronic illness will agree that there are some really weird things that can set off flares. Things that are seemingly innocent or even things that are just plain unexpectedly wild can put you into a whirlwind of symptoms that you thought you had under control.
Living with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) can be a challenging journey, with individuals navigating a myriad of symptoms that can be triggered by various factors. While common triggers like standing up too quickly or prolonged periods of sitting are well-known, there's a surprising and sometimes humorous aspect to POTS triggers.
In this blog, we'll explore the unexpected: random things people have said that have triggered flares of POTS.
Hands over your head.
In fairness, this is a fairly common problem with people who have POTS. Many potsies have this happen when it comes to the shower. We even put together a blog that talks about how to shower when you have POTS. You may not consider other times your hands could be above your head:
- Blow drying your hair
- Washing your hair
- Shaving your armpits (or anywhere else)
- Getting dressed
- Getting things out of the cabinet or fridge
Sitting in a noisy restaurant.
One person says, "At least for me, I don't think it's POTS specifically but rather than noisy, crowded places that trigger my nervous system to become more dysregulated (possibly from autism). Anything that increases inflammation or messes with my nervous system can flare up POTS symptoms."
Another person talked about the environment itself. Things like fireplaces that can cause you to get overheated, shared benches with people scooting in/out, and harsh lights were all mentioned. Is this something that is POTS related? Maybe, but maybe not. However, it's good to be aware if this is something that seems to trigger your POTS.
Noises, in general, also seem to trigger people with POTS. Loud volume in a car, stereos too loud, banging noises, and more.
Something to consider is that some people with POTS also have forms of autism. These triggers could be unique to them if they don't seem to bother you, but it's interesting and sometimes a quirky trigger for some.
Okay, so this is a taboo topic for sure, and if you're not comfortable with it, please scroll on by to the next heading.
Maturbation is a normal part of life for many people. The Cleveland Clinic talks about how masturbation can relieve stress, improve sleep, increase self esteem, and many other benefits.
One person said, "But why isn't this talked about more? I shouldn't nearly throw up or pass out; it's madness."
So, why does it trigger a POTS flare? Many people have agreed that not only does masturbation cause flares for them, but sex can too. Unfortunately, it's not researched as to why this happens to people with POTS. If someone with POTS experiences symptoms during or after, it could be related to a variety of factors, including changes in blood flow, hormonal fluctuations, or the overall physiological response to sexual activity.
Hydrating with an oral rehydration salt (an ORS) could potentially keep your blood volume up and help with symptoms. NormaLyte is a good tool for that.
Getting up to pee at night
We've all been there. You wake up from rolling over, and boom... you gotta pee. If you have POTS, this could be a problem. Often groggy and not fully awake, moving from a laying position to a standing position is something that will almost certainly trigger a flare.
It could have been one of those TikTok videos that have you tearing up over strangers on the internet that you don't even know. Or, maybe it's something more sinister like a break up. Or, maybe life just sucks right now (but you're keeping your head up because you know it's worth it). Sometimes we just need a good cry.
Crying can be exhausting for everyone, chronic illness or not. Plus, you're literally dehydrating yourself with every tear.
I mean, since we are addressing taboo topics, maybe we should talk about this one too. There is no direct scientific evidence or widely accepted medical explanation indicating that pooping itself causes POTS flares. However, some individuals with POTS may experience symptoms related to changes in posture, blood flow, or autonomic function during bowel movements. The act of straining during a bowel movement can potentially lead to changes in blood pressure and heart rate. Additionally, the shift in body position from sitting or lying down to a standing position after using the bathroom might trigger symptoms in some individuals with POTS.
Managing The Flares
Individuals with POTS often develop strategies to cope with these unexpected triggers, emphasizing the importance of understanding and support from those around them. By raising awareness about the diverse range of triggers, we can contribute to a more empathetic and accommodating environment for those living with POTS.
It's important to note that NormaLyte's oral rehydration salt sticks are clinically proven to help manage symptoms of POTS. If you think you may be triggering your illness, NormaLyte can help.