cbd oil for pots patients

CBD oil and it's affect on PoTS patients?

My girlfriend suffers from pots and is on steroids and a couple other medication to help control it. She was diagnosed last year around April/May and she wanted me to ask on Reddit and see how CBD oil could help her, thank you all.

CBD does seem to help for me. THC can exacerbate my tachycardia but not if my tolerance is high. CBD is super relaxing and distracts from a lot of symptoms, and it doesn't really make you feel "high". I recommend it, personally.

Top 40 Natural Ways to Fight POTS Syndrome (Vol. 2 of 2)

Acupuncture/Acupressure therapy has long been a well-known part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Recent advances in basic studies have demonstrated the mechanistic basis for so-called acupuncture points, as well as describing their functional characteristics. Increases in the number of large-scale clinical trials and systematic reviews of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain have clearly demonstrated the efficacy and safety of acupuncture therapy. On the other hand, the number of clinical trials examining the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of psychogenic disorders has increased. However, the quality of the studies has been relatively poor and the sample sizes insufficient. Although positive results for acupuncture therapy in psychogenic disorders have been observed in several RCTs, recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have not offered any firm conclusions. Further clinical study using rigorous experimental design and sufficient sample sizes will be required.[1] [2] [3] [4]

19. Chiropractor

Evidence-based practice has made significant inroads into the chiropractic profession by expanding clinical research into interventions commonly employed by chiropractors and by graduating more evidence-based practice savvy practitioners. The most common ailments treated by chiropractors are back pain, neck pain, and headaches. The best available evidence supports manipulative therapy as a reasonable option for many of these complaints. Manipulative therapy also holds potential value for the treatment of a variety of extremity conditions. Chiropractic practice is far broader than spinal manipulation alone, typically including other evidenced-based interventions such as massage, exercise therapy, and activity modification advice. Chiropractic education, with the help of federal grants and partners in established medical schools, is aggressively addressing the need to create more Evidence-based practice savvy graduates. These efforts will hopefully lead to improved patient outcomes and offer a common language and perspective to facilitate greater interprofessional cooperation.[5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

18. Essential Oils/Adaptogenic Herbs

The use of herbs and herbal oils have both been documented for thousands of years, from hieroglyphics to teachings in the bible. Herbs and essential oils have been used for centuries in medicine, food preparation, preservation, healing, and rituals.[10]

The consumption of fresh or powdered herbs from the mint family in culinary doses can help boost memory. This effect is enhanced if combined with the use of essential oils, topically as aromatherapy, by inhalation, and/or by ingestion. Terpenes are small, lipid soluble organic molecules that can be absorbed through the skin if applied topically or transferred quickly across nasal mucosa if inhaled into the systemic blood circulation. Many terpenes can also cross the blood-brain barrier. Therefore, topical application or inhalation of essential oils may produce an effect on the nervous system that is not purely psychological. Given the complexity of these herbs, involving many pathological processes, treatment with multifunctional compounds has become an important area of research. Given that the diterpenes reported here have desirable multifunctional bioactive properties, further work investigating the benefits of Mediterranean herbs in reducing the incidence and severity of AD (and other age related diseases) warrants further attention.[11]

17. Cannabis

There are few subjects that can stir up more heated debates among doctors, scientists, researchers, policy makers, and the public than medical cannabis. Should it be legal? Has its effectiveness been proven? What conditions is it useful for? Is it addictive? How do we keep it out of the hands of teenagers? Is it really the “wonder drug” that people claim it is? Is medical marijuana just a ploy to legalize marijuana in general? The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. Part of its allure is that it is clearly safer than opiates (it is impossible to overdose on and far less addictive) and it can take the place of NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve, if people can’t take them due to problems with their kidneys or ulcers or GERD.[12]

16. CBD and/or Hemp Oil

Cannabidiol and/or hemp oil is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments. Better known as CBD, it is one of hundreds of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis, and causes a “high” sensation that’s often associated with cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD does not make you high. This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of cannabis or other certain pharmaceutical drugs. CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant, then diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. It’s gaining momentum in the health world, with some scientific studies confirming it may help treat a variety of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.[13]

Further research is definitely warranted for CBD oil.

15. Fecal Transplants

A fecal transplant is when a doctor transplants feces from a healthy donor into another person to restore the balance of bacteria in their gut. Fecal transplants may help treat gastrointestinal infections and other conditions. The digestive system depends on beneficial bacteria to absorb nutrients and digest food efficiently, but some medical conditions and antibiotics can destroy these good bacteria. A fecal transplant is one way to reintroduce them. Other names for a fecal transplant include bacteriotherapy and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).[14]

There are endless number of conditions currently being studied that are seemingly being cured and/or improved when the transplant is properly done, they include: ulcerative colitis, cancer, alopecia, autism, multiple sclerosis, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, autoimmune disease, etc.

More information and study outcomes can be gleaned from the following article by clicking the link: Fecal Transplant Patient Killed By Superbug Traced To Stool Donor Is Total Crap.

14. Crossing Legs While Standing

Crossing your legs when you are standing can prevent gravity from causing blood to pool in your feet and lower legs. In addition, tightening the muscles of your legs and buttocks can help push blood back towards the heart.[15]

This symptom relief has been suggested on numerous occasions by a multitude of sources throughout the web and although I have not tried it yet, I will make a conscious effort to use the technique in the future.

13. Eat Smaller More Digestible Meals

POTS patients are generally advised to eat smaller meals more often rather than larger meals, and also to limit the carbohydrates in their diet. POTS patients may complain of worsening of their orthostatic symptoms after a meal. But why is this? When a meal is eaten, there is increased blood flow to the digestive system in order to help the digestion process. In POTS there is already a problem with blood pooling in the lower part of the body, and not being returned to the heart or upper body as usual. So when a large meal is eaten, there is an added stress of a large amount of blood being diverted to the digestive system, and resulting pooling of blood in the vessels that supply the digestive system. Eating too fast may also contribute. There is also evidence that the higher the carbohydrate content of a meal, the greater the lowering of blood pressure in patients with orthostatic symptoms. The blood pressure was seen to be higher in those that limited carbohydrate content in their meals. It’s reasonable to suggest that POTS patients, try eating smaller meals more frequently rather than a few large meals a day. It’s also recommended that carbohydrate content of meals is limited, particularly in patients that experience symptoms after eating.[16]

12. No Caffeine

No study has closely looked at the effect of caffeine in POTS patients, however we can look at other studies to help us with this. In some patients with orthostasis caffeine may actually be helpful to some in preventing the blood pressure dropping too low when standing. But, other studies have suggested that intake of caffeine may actually impair the normal responses to prolonged standing, resulting in a lower blood pressure. In the subset of POTS known as hyperadrenergic POTS, levels of natural stimulants (known as catecholamines) in the body are high and caffeine, being a form of stimulant can possibly worsen the situation. In terms of drinking coffee, there is no good evidence that it is helpful for POTS. Although there is no strong evidence that is it harmful, certain individuals may be sensitive to caffeine and so it’s probably worth avoiding caffeine to see if symptoms improve. Those with hyperadrenergic POTS should certainly avoid caffeine. Over the counter caffeine supplements should be avoided unless part of a treatment plan discussed with a doctor familiar with POTS.[17]

11. No Alcohol

POTS patients are typically advised to stop drinking alcohol, or strongly limit its intake. Let’s take a look at the evidence underlying this recommendation. Alcohol use has been related to passing out spells even in healthy young adults. Alcohol use is also associated with impairment of the body’s usual response to regulating blood pressure when standing. A nicely done study showed that this is because alcohol use prevents blood vessels tightening as usual, stopping the return of the blood to the upper body and the head. This may lead to low blood pressure, dizziness and possibly passing out. Often the muscles, especially in the lower body, tighten in an effort to increase blood flow return to the heart in response to a lower blood pressure. There is also evidence that alcohol use blunts this muscle response which may also explain the worsening of orthostatic symptoms with alcohol use. Alcohol is a strong diuretic. Basically meaning it causes the kidneys to pee out more water leading to dehydration. This is a lot of what leads to the hangover effect. When it comes to POTS syndrome, diuretics and dehydration should be avoided at all costs. In fact, increased fluid intake is typically recommended. So, it would seem crazy to stress an already fragile system with alcohol! In view of the above, it’s very reasonable to advise avoidance of alcohol in patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia.[18]

10. Elevate Head During Sleep

The Cleveland Clinic advises to raise the head of your bed six to ten inches to help alleviate POTS symptoms. Increasing the entire angle of the bed will reduce urine formation overnight and increase the fluid volume in circulation in the morning, possibly helping the wake cycle.[19]

9. Compression Stockings/Socks

It seems pretty universal that POTS specialists recommend compression clothing for people with POTS. Individuals with blood clotting disorders, lymphedema, swelling issues, hypotension, and even athletes are advised to wear compression socks/tights or abdominal binders. But what really is this stuff and why is it even useful? Why is it worth the $120 price tag? Compression tights are typically graduated, meaning that the clothing is tightest at the foot and gets less tight as you move up the leg. The level of compression is shown in mmHg, i.e. 15-20, 20-30, or 30-40 mmHg. If you are one of the lucky few to be prescribed prescription level compression stockings gear, we are talking about 20-30 mmHg + compression. If you have POTS or hypotension, we got to go all out for the full 30-40 mmHg. So how do these things work? By adding compression to the feet, you are forcing the blood back up to the heart, helping circulatory and lymphatic systems, and giving your blood pressure a nice boost. Seems like a miracle for someone with severe POTS or hypotension.[20]

Well, let’s just say, it’s not a miracle– it’s pure magic. And from what we hear, it works.

8. Amalgam Removal

Mercury is continuously emitted from dental amalgam fillings, and it is absorbed and retained in the body, particularly in the brain, kidney, liver, lung, and gastrointestinal tract. The output of mercury can be intensified by the number of fillings and other activities, such as chewing, teeth-grinding, and the consumption of hot liquids. Mercury is also known to be released during the placement, replacement, and removal of dental mercury amalgam fillings. Dental mercury and its vapor have been scientifically linked to a number of health risks which demonstrate the danger of dental amalgam mercury fillings. Individual response to mercury varies, and some of the factors known to potentially impact those exposed to mercury include their allergies, diet, gender, genetic predispositions to adverse reactions from mercury, the number of amalgam fillings in the mouth, and concurrent or previous exposures to other toxic chemicals such as lead. Scientific studies have identified dental mercury as a potentially causational or exacerbating factor in many conditions.[21]

7. Sleep

A commonly held view is that extended wakefulness is causal for a broad spectrum of deleterious effects at molecular, cellular, network, hysiological, psychological, and behavioral levels. Consequently, it is often presumed that sleep plays an active role in providing renormalization of the changes incurred during preceding waking. Not surprisingly, unequivocal empirical evidence supporting such a simple bi-directional interaction between waking and sleep is often limited or controversial. One difficulty is that, invariably, a constellation of many intricately interrelated factors, including the time of day, specific activities or behaviors during preceding waking, metabolic status and stress are present at the time of measurement, shaping the overall effect observed. In addition to this, although insufficient or disrupted sleep is thought to prevent efficient recovery of specific physiological variables, it is also often difficult to attribute specific changes to the lack of proper sleep. Furthermore, sleep is a complex phenomenon characterized by a multitude of processes, whose unique and distinct contributions to the purported functions of sleep are difficult to determine, because they are interrelated. Intensive research effort over the last decades has greatly progressed current understanding of the cellular and physiological processes underlying the regulation of vigilance states. It is also highlighted in the infinite complexity within both waking and sleep and revealed in a number of fundamental conceptual and technical obstacles that need to be overcome in order to fully understand the sleep processes. A promising approach could be to view sleep not as an entity, which has specific function(s) and is subject to direct regulation, but as a manifestation of the process of metaregulation, which enables efficient moment-to-moment integration between internal and external factors, preceding history and current homeostatic needs.[22]

Sleep is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in allowing the body to rest, heal and regenerate, on a multitude of important levels.

6. Antihistamines/Food Allergies

Some patients with POTS present with episodic flushing associated with surges in tachycardia, and have co-existent mast cell activation. They may have abnormal increases in urine methylhistamine, which should ideally be measured from a four hour sample at the time of a flushing episode (not a 24 hour sample). This can be associated with dyspnea, headache, lightheadedness, excessive diuresis, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. These patients often have a hyperadrenergic response to posture, with both orthostatic tachycardia and hypertension. There are many triggers for the flushing, including prolonged standing, exercise, premenstrual cycle, meals, and sexual intercourse. Centrally acting agents to decrease the sympathetic nervous system discharge may prove effective, although beta-blockers may actually trigger mast-cell degranulation and worsen symptoms. Treatment can also target mast cell mediators, with a combination of antihistamines (H1 and H2 antagonists) and possible use of non-steroidal agents in refractory cases.[23] [24] [25]

POTS and mast cell activation disorder are very common intertwined and/or overlapping conditions and many POTS patients can benefit from antihistamines for this very reason.

5. Exercise (Moderate)

Many people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) feel miserable all of the time. The idea of exercising is almost insulting when you are highly symptomatic, and actually exercising feels like an impossible task. The fatigue from POTS is excruciating and is often accompanied by unremitting heaviness and pain in the legs. Studies have shown that a couple of factors are important for people with POTS who start to exercise. In at least a cohort of people with POTS, deconditioning from lack of general movement and exercise can exacerbate the symptoms of the illness. Some studies have demonstrated a lower stroke volume (amount of blood pumped out of the heart in each beat) and smaller size of the heart in people with POTS. This phenomenon is called the “Grinch Syndrome” after the Dr. Seuss character. Exercising can help to increase both the stroke volume and overall heart size to normal levels. Upright exercises like using a treadmill or riding a stationary bike can be worked toward after a month or more of horizontal position exercise. As always, be sure that you discuss your exercise regimen with your physician to be sure that it is safe for you.[26]

Although it may be the last thing you want to do, exercise is an important part of the overall plan to a better quality of life.

4. Salt/Electrolytes

It is often recommended to increase both fluid and salt intake in order to increase blood volume, which is typically low in POTS patients. This has proven to be particularly helpful in patients with blood pooling, hypovolemia, or hypotension. Except for the hyperadrenergic subtype of POTS, a fluid intake of approximately two liters and an intake of three to five grams of salt is typically recommended per day. Note that salt includes sodium and chloride. One gram of table salt contains approximately .393 grams of sodium. That means that five grams of salt contains approximately 1.965 grams of sodium. This number can be useful when tracking salt in food with nutrition labels, which often list sodium content. Speak with your doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan.[27]

3. Water/Hydration

POTS syndrome is a form of dysautonomia where the body cannot regulate the usual response that maintains blood pressure when standing from a sitting position. A study in 2002 looked at the effect of drinking water in patients with severe orthostatic syndromes. Patients drank ½ a liter of tap water in less than 5 minutes. It was found that in patients with autonomic failure (severe intolerance) that the blood pressure increased from an average of 83mmHg systolic to 114mmHg. It was also found that in POTS syndrome patients that water drinking reduced the heart rate response to standing from 123 beats/minute to 108 beats per minute. This was evidence therefore that in POTS syndrome water drinking may be an effective part of a treatment plan.[28]

Water and staying hydrated, along with consuming a large amount of electrolytes is universally recognized as beneficial for POTS patients.

2. Diet/Nutrition

Increase sodium in your diet from 3,000 mg to 10,000 mg per day. Drink 2-2.5 liters per day of fluids. Water is a good choice. Sports drinks may be used, but watch calories and if you have food sensitivities to these drinks’ ingredients. Small and frequent meals are better tolerated and reduce POTS symptoms. Diet with high fiber and complex carbohydrates may help reduce blood glucose (sugar) spikes and lessen POTS symptoms. Keep your nutrition balanced with protein, vegetables, dairy, and fruits. Plan meals as POTS patients may occasionally not have stamina for grocery shopping and preparing meals. Plan meals when your energy is at its peak. If possible, make it a family plan to prepare food and share grocery shopping responsibilities. Don’t over-rely on processed foods. Processed foods are easy to prepare and are appealing when one has reduced energy, but usually have less nutritional value. Beneficial salty snacks may include foods such as chicken or beef broth, vegetable broth, pickles, olives, salted fish like sardines/anchovies, and nuts. Don’t over-rely on snack chips and crackers for salt. Plan grocery store shopping by having a list to make sure healthy food choices and POTS care are consistently the goal. If your stamina is reduced have someone help you shop, carry, and put away your groceries. Health conditions can be costly. Do your best not to compromise nutrition and food choices to save money. You may need a dietary and nutrition consult ordered by your doctor to help you with your diet. This consult can be especially helpful for those with celiac and other dietary restrictions or sensitivities. Often in early phase of POTS, patients do not like how their bodies feel and look. Be careful of fad diets or diet supplements for weight loss.[29]

1. Supplementation

Proper supplementation or maximizing nutritional intake and value is the best way to improve underlying health and conditions related to POTS symptoms. Many of the ways previously listed above that benefit POTS symptoms can be further improved through the use of natural supplements. One of the best and easiest ways to achieve optimal nutritional levels of all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and the like is through proper supplementation.

SUMMARY

It is our hopes and wishes at potswarriors.com, that each and every reader of this content will further research topics of interest and find a modality or two that will prove helpful and improve their quantity and quality of life.

And please feel free to comment on any additions we may supplement to this list for future readers.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

Many of our patients come in with a postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) diagnosis. They’ve been told they have POTS and are given ways to manage the symptoms, along with some medications that may or may not help, and sent on their way.

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome ( POTS) describes a set of symptoms related to autonomic nervous dysfunction, including nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate, exercise intolerance, and more.¹ Patients with the “partial dysautonomic” (PD) form don’t respond to gravity/postural changes well (moving between laying down and sitting up, standing for long periods of time, etc).² Patients with the hyperadrenergic form discuss experiencing significant tremor, anxiety, and cold sweaty extremities while upright.

With an estimated 1,000,000 and 3,000,000 Americans impacted, and 25% of which are disabled and unable to work, this diagnosis can be devastating for many of our patients.³

There’s more hope than just managing POTS symptoms, though. Most often, the POTS symptoms are the tip of the iceberg, pointing to a root cause that can be addressed. We often find the root causes behind POTS symptoms, and when treated, most patients are able to become Fully Functional® for life!

Most Common Root Causes Behind Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) Symptoms

  • Mycotoxin Exposure/Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)
  • Nutrient deficiencies, specifically Vitamin B12⁴
  • Other bacterial infections, including: Mycoplasma pneumoniae⁵
  • Viral Infections, including: Epstein Barr virus (mononucleosis) and Hepatitis C4
  • Food Allergies/Sensitivities⁴
  • Celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases⁶,¹⁰
  • Medications, including: Alpha receptor blockers, Beta blockers, Calcium channel blockers, Opiates, Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, Tricyclic antidepressants, Diuretics, Nitrates, and others¹
  • Some studies suggest that some genetic variants (polymorphisms) in the NOS3 and ADRB2 genes are associated with an increased risk of developing the condition⁷
  • Mast Cell Activation (episodic flushing and abnormal increases in urine methylhistamine, shortness of breath, headache, lightheadedness, and gastrointestinal symptoms)⁸
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder characterized by joint hypermobility, skin texture abnormalities, and vascular and visceral dysfunctions⁹

Helpful Tools and Guidelines for Our POTS Patients

  1. Start with hydration. Most patients require more than the “half your bodyweight in ounces per day” normal recommendation.
  2. Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time.
  3. Refrain from alcohol.
  4. Increasing nutritious salt intake. Using Himalayan or Celtic salt, both of which have added mineral content, to help support adrenal function. Many patients find some relief by adding roughly a teaspoon to a water bottle. We offer pink Himalayan sea salt in the office. All products can be shipped to you by reaching out to Sandy at [email protected] . We prescribe this sea water source of active, ionic ocean minerals for many patients. It has been used by elite athletes to keep electrolyte balance, and was even used during WWI as a plasma replacement. It has been used to remineralize, restore homeostasis, balance pH, support cellular nutrition and detoxification, as well as many other beneficial uses. . This treatment is something we offer many of our POTS patients (as well as others) because research has proven neurological, physiological, and psychological benefits with the use of PEMF. It is known to improve oxygenation of cells, reduce pain, promote healing, and improve energy.
  5. Licorice Root. This herbal supplement is used short-term for adrenal support and can sometimes be used as an alternative to Florinef, a steroid often prescribed in the treatment of adrenal dysfunction and POTS. All supplements can be ordered for shipment by emailing Sandy at [email protected] . This is a fat-soluble vitamin-like substance that is also a powerful antioxidant. It is known to have powerful cardio-protective benefits.
  6. L-carnitine. This amino acid is critical for energy production in every cell in the body. It carries fat, in the form of fatty acids to the mitochondrial inner membrane where energy is produced through a process called Kreb’s cycle. Without L-carnitine, the normal burning of fat cannot take place and energy production is impaired. Biofeedback – EEG neurofeedback is our preferred choice. It is a method of retraining the brain to function more appropriately.
  7. Wear compression devices. Pooling of blood in the lower extremities is effectively addressed using 30 mm Hg of pressure with effective stockings.
  8. Stress reduction. Stress exacerbates symptoms of POTS so we recommend use of daily relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, prayer, meditation, gratitude journaling, yoga and tai chi.
  9. Slowly build up exercise tolerance. While it can be uncomfortable, increasing light activity helps with everything from lymph flow and detox to vascular tone. Qi Fu, MD, PhD, the first study-author and assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center stated, “exercise training is superior to the beta blocker in restoring upright blood circulation, improving kidney function and dramatically improving quality of life.”
  10. Use care with temperature changes. While a sauna is a great detox tool, POTS patients sometimes can’t tolerate the heat. Same goes for long, hot showers or baths.
  11. Defy gravity. Sometimes standing in public is inevitable but bringing your legs closer to your heart by doing things like squatting can help keep patients from passing out. . Coffee can construct the blood vessels enough to allow for standing. Because most coffee is mycotoxin-contaminated, we recommend mycotoxin-tested Bulletproof brand. Give your brain a boost while you’re at it by adding a healthy fat to your coffee, like Bulletproof’s Brain Octane. Check out more on fat-added Bulletproof Coffee here . Patients with adrenal fatigue should use coffee sparingly. Caffeine can exacerbate POTS symptoms in some patients.
  12. Use care with supplements. Some supplements, herbs and homeopathic remedies amplify POTS symptoms. We recommend introducing new supplements every 3 days (not all at once) so it’s obvious which supplement is the culprit. Some patients have seen an exacerbation of symptoms happen with certain supplements, including GABA, hemp CBD oil and melatonin, but this varies by patient.

These tools aren’t fixes, they are possible ways to live a better life. We look to find root causes and don’t stop with symptom diagnosis. We persist until we find the best path forward, so that you may become Fully Functional® for life!

You can book an appointment by clicking here . We are also happy to speak with you at (317) 989-8463, Monday-Thursday, from 8AM – 5PM Eastern time.