Chronic illness flares are inevitable. There’s times where you know you’ll have a bad day simply because you overdid it the previous day. Usually it’s the day after an outing of some kind: a family get together, a holiday, meeting friends to shop, etc. Whatever the day looked like, you already knew that you were likely going to suffer from a flare the next day.
Then there are times when you feel like a POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) flare comes out of nowhere. You were doing everything “right”. You’ve been resting, getting your medicines on time, and you haven’t been overdoing it at all. So, what’s the deal?
It’s unfair, but flare days when you have POTS are inevitable.
THINGS THAT CAUSE POTS FLARES
Let’s look at a few things that are likely causing flares for you. Knowing your triggers can make it easier for you to manage POTS flare that may happen. Though, admittedly, sometimes those triggers are not avoidable. Let’s look at some:
Shortness of breath is a common symptom that people with POTS indicate they have experienced. Unfortunately, there is little knowledge on what causes breathlessness in POTS. Couple that with a coughing fit, and the next time you know you are picking yourself off the floor after losing consciousness.
When we eat, blood diverts so that your body can focus on digestion. POTS can affect your GI tract sometimes causing rapid motility which can lead to diarrhea or delayed motility leading to constipation. When blood volume is low and gets diverted for digestion, you can experience a POTS flare.
The act of raising your legs and arms repeatedly in a short space of time can easily cause a flare. Most people with POTS will tell you that stairs are to be avoided at all costs because of their tendency to lose consciousness.
You’re fixing/washing your hair, putting makeup on, cleaning/cooking or putting away dishes, etc. There’s a million reasons someone might have their hands above their heads. Raising your arms will cause blood to pool into the extremities. This will likely put you into a POTS flare.
Hello dizziness! Bending over at the hips is an almost guaranteed way to cause a flare. Especially if you’re doing it repeatedly. Train your body to bend at the knees if you need to pick something up off the floor.
We’ve practically gone on and on about showers. You know that hot showers feel amazing. There’s just something about a hot shower that relieves your body, but when you have POTS a hot shower is not your friend. The heat will drain you. See some tips on taking a shower when you have POTS here.
The chores have to be done. It’s up to you. While you’ve been doing grocery pickup for a while (if not, we highly recommend it!), you still have to bring those groceries into your home. Carrying grocery bags can put a strain on you. You’re likely bending over to pick them up, plus the weight of the bags themselves can be a lot.
Some things may be within your control, but it’s likely that not everything is. Find ways to work around your known flare triggers and you’ll be able to avoid the fall out from these POTS triggers.
When you do find yourself in a flare, know that an ORS like NormaLyte can help manage your symptoms. It was made for people with dysautonomia in mind. Grab your free samples here.