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How to Stop Your POTS Symptoms From Worsening After Eating

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

It’s estimated that 70%-90% of POTS patients have an altered bowel pattern.

The most common GI symptoms are heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.

That’s a pretty high number. Why is this?

The enteric nervous system is the part of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for regulating the process of digestion.

As the autonomic nervous system plays a huge role in regulating our bodily functions, an autonomic impairment may also affect the enteric nervous system.

Many patients not only have the above GI symptoms, but they also have worsening POTS symptoms after having a meal.

They might feel lightheaded, dizzy, have palpitations, sweating, flushing, drowsiness, etc.

When eating, there is increased blood flow in the abdominal blood vessels to help the digestion process.

In POTS, there is already a problem with blood pooling. So, when eating, a large amount of blood is now being diverted to the digestive system.

This then triggers POTS symptoms.

What is usually recommended in these cases?

1. Eat small and frequent meals.

2. Opt for low glycemic index foods.

3. Increase fat and protein, and don’t rely so much on carbs.

Evidence shows that the higher the carb content in a meal, the lower the blood pressure in patients with orthostatic symptoms.

4. Try gluten-free?

New research has shown that those who went gluten-free found improvements in their POTS symptoms. POTS patients also have a higher likelihood of having allergies and intolerances to gluten and/or dairy.

Other diagnoses such as SIBO, gastroparesis, and leaky gut can also accompany POTS.

Since many with POTS are under the care of a cardiologist, it could be worth seeing a gastroenterologist for the GI symptoms.

Have you found that altering eating habits helps you make a difference in your symptoms?

Let me know in the comments below.


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