Posted by: Elizabeth Barnard | 2011-03-25

POTS disease and salt intake

Six months ago I started feeling light headed, dizzy and weak all the time, and even experienced instances where my body would go so limp, that I had to be carried or supported when I wanted to move. The room would spin as soon as I opened up my eyes in the morning, and sometimes I would feel so disorientated that I was afraid to even attempt to get up and walk around. During this time my blood pressure was dangerously low, but even after I was prescribed medication for this, the symptoms persisted and even worsened.

My doctor referred me to an internist specialist and he conducted a TILT test on me, and diagnosed me with POTS disease. Therefore he prescribed Florinef (0,1 mg, twice a day) and Pur Bloka 10 (10mg, once a day because I have tremulous hands - also something I''ve suffered from for as long as I can remember).

For about five months I functioned normally, and only experienced the limpness once. In the last three weeks however, the limpness has returned full force, but I now have three other symptoms: pain in the bones of my hands and feet, constant " pins and needles"  in my hands and feet and feeling very disorientated when I climb stairs.

My internist specialist ordered four more blood tests, but I tested negative for Coxsackie virus, Lupus, vit B 12 deficiency and iron deficiency. He however diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and instructed me to increase my intake of fluids and salty snacks.

The limpness now occurs when I have low blood pressure and normal blood pressure (I have never had high blood pressure in my lifetime).

In the last few days I have noticed that salt intake helps me to immediately feel less light-headed and dizzy. I shake it directly onto my palm and eat it off my palm just like that.

I want to consult with a specialist in the field of POTS disease to see if I cannot suppress my symptoms with proper diet and exercise. I live in South Africa, so if you know of a local dysautonomia specialist, I would appreciate it if you could give me his/her details.

Do you perhaps know of any supplements that I can take in the place of shaking some salt into my palm and eating it?

Thank you

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Our expert says:
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Elizabeth Barnard

You can buy Saltabs at any pharmacy to replace the salt. This is salt tablets plus Magnesium, Potassium Dextrose.

Unfortunately, I do not know where you live and hence I am unable to assist you with the details of a specialist. I suggest that you contact your nearest private hospital for contact details.


Dr Anrich Burger

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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