For people suffering from Orthostatic Intolerance, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activtation or EDS. Follow me as I document my struggle towards better health.

Master your Inner Couch Potato

I can think of no better candidate for a Couch Potato than a person with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or Orthostatic Intolerance.
  1. Exercise can trigger unpleasant "exercise intolerance"symptoms such as extreme fatigue
  2. Walking and even standing can produce near-fainting or fainting episodes, rapid heart rate and nausea
  3. Holding your hands above your head can make you pass out - yup, it's happened to me
  4. It can be physiologically proven that lying in a La-Z-Boy recliner makes you feel better
  5. Everyone tells you to increase your salt - Bring on the All-Dressed Potato chips!!   
In my recent prowling around the various dysautonomia message boards and POTS sites I have noticed that there are a fair number of POTS and OI folks discussing exercise as a potential treatment.  What was suprising was that many people are arguing about the merits of exercise. 
"Intellectually I acknowledge the potential benefits of exercise but, quite frankly, I don't think its for me"
I can choose not to exercise because its too much work but I can't really argue about its merits.  If they had an exercise "pill" for example I would probably be trying to get on the drug trial list.  If I lived in the 1800s I would have purchased one of these medicated undergarments to "reduce the flesh".  Pills and rubber garments are far easier than exercise.  I wrestle with my tendencies all the time.

However, it is irrefutable, exercise is good for you.  There are innumerable studies which show that moderate exercise is beneficial unless you have some sort of disease that absolutely does not permit physical activity like fragile-bones disease.

I have chronic POTS and OI due to some mysterious cause that the doctors may never discover.  One of the ONLY treatments research has shown to dramatically improve the symptoms of patients with POTS is exercise.  So I exercise regularly and eat a fairly decent, healthy diet with extra salt and fluids.  I expect that I will continue to experience relapses due to unknown reasons but I also know that I will be stronger and more able to cope with any relapses if I keep exercising and maintain a healthy weight.

There are times, like today, when I want to sit on the couch and eat a whole bag of Lays Potato chips with dip.  There are times when I want a giant fudgey.  However, no amount of fudgies in the world are worth my health and being able to live a reasonably full life. So I get off the couch and put away the bag of Lay's until next week, forget about the fudgey and I go exercise.

1 comment:

  1. Thank u. I hate this. But your post just motivated me to get up. Thank u. Living with pots syndrome is tough. I stopped working out two weeks ago because i had to go to the hosptial due to OI but thanks to u im getting up right now.