An Idiot's Guide To Pots, By An Idiot

This is a general guide to POTS. I've found that medications like beta blockers, antidepressants, and so on have very different affects on different people. Just because you hear one success story with a type of medication, does not mean you should jump into it. Test your body's reaction to a medication before going to heavy doses. That said, there are certain things that are constants with POTS. Concerning water, if you see even a hint of yellow in your urine, then you are not drinking enough. Food should be eaten in small portions scattered throughout the day. Ideally, one should eat something small every two waking hours. Something like an apple would be perfect, but it is necessary to keep a well balanced diet. Concerning sleep, it is important to maintain a schedule. It doesn't matter if you sleep eight hours or eighteen, but you should wake up at the same time every day. This is more a stress relief tool than anything else, but with POTS, stress is a major factor. Concerning bowel movements, eat yogurt or use laxatives. It is important to keep regular bowel movements, enough said. Concerning medication proscribed before your diagnosis, it is important to examine their affects on POTS. !!!!!IMPORTANT!!!!!! If you were prescribed narcotics, it is imperative to get off of them as soon as possible. They magnify pain and increase fatigue, only leading you to increase the dose once the POTS adjusts to the narcotics. Concerning exercise, this is the ONLY cure for POTS! Exercise is the process of breaking down and rebuilding the body. There are stories of people being put on an exercise schedule, and coming out of it without POTS. It is important to find a routine that increases your heart rate. You should do this routine every day, even as your body screams for you to stop. For most, POTS will stay with us for the rest of our lives; taking drugs may help, but the best way to manage it is with exercise and proper diet. I'm sorry to say, but POTS sucks; really, really sucks. The only way to manage it takes more willpower than most are capable of bringing to bare. Ironically, POTS is a great sink or swim approach to producing strong willed people. You've survived this far, haven't you; what's a little exercise compared to POTS. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, would like to point out an error I may have made, need help with POTS, or simply need someone to rant at, feel free to either post here or contact me at I'll try to answer as swiftly as possible.
Gone119 Gone119
26-30, M
5 Responses May 19, 2012

I was diagnosed with P.O.T.s last Dec. My passing out spells generally last 1-8 hours, but the doctor said that the spells should only last for 1-2 min. Could there be another issue or does this happen to other people? Also does anyone else get a warning that they are about to pass out? I have a 3-5 min window that I know I'm going to pass out. Any advice would be appreciated. Do we know if it's genetic? I just had my daughter. Want to know if she is at risk. Thank you

In response to your questions; passing out for more than a few minutes is abnormal, suggesting another underlying condition. I personally have about the same window of time before I pass out, though I usually regain consciousness soon after. There is also no evidence suggesting pots is genetic. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask here or email

I've had pots for 4 years now and I've always been able to manage it pretty well but recently its gotten worse just out of nowhere and the last few days I've had a lot of chest and leg pains. I've read chest pains can be a symptome but I'm just wondering how common that is with anyone here. It's been giving me some anxiety which of course isn't helping anything.

I have a headache and can't read all of that at the moment, but are you saying...your heart races when you stand up? O_o

Racing would imply that it could slow down. In POTS, the base heart rate increases when one stands. That makes activities harder, because it is easier to get to a dangerous heart rate. That said, my own condition is in remission, so as long as I keep up exercise, and proper nutrition, I don't have to worry about it as much.

Huh...I must say that is quite fascinating. I've never heard of that before. I mean, not to say that it's "cool" or anything. I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, at any rate.

It's okay, I find it fascinating myself. In the early days of my condition, I would often, rather stupidly, push my body to see what would happen. I ended up fainting a lot. Curiosity is my worst trait.

Nah, you have a scientist's mind. And those types of people just make the worst patients. =P

1 More Response

I use to, but I don't think it was caused by POTS, rather I think it was caused by the hopelessness POTS use to inspire in me.

Could you explain your POTS experience in more detail please? Maybe write another post about your personal experiences. Thanks for the great intro to POTS.