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Always Salty

Others always caution me about my salt intake because I add salt to EVERYTHING. Pasta? Sprinkle of salt. Meat? Salt! Already salty French fries? More salt! For most people, that level of salt would be super concerning as it can lead to high blood pressure but for me, it's part of how I function. Part of my POTS diagnosis (see my post about POTS here) is low blood pressure. The thing is, it's not just that I have low blood pressure though. Doing things like going from sitting to standing (this is where the Postural part of POTS comes in) actually affects my blood pressure. It can drop it dramatically. I also cannot donate blood or anything like that as it bottoms out my blood pressure. When my blood pressure drops suddenly and/or too low, I pass out. One of the ways my previous cardiologist told me to combat that is by adding a lot of salt to my diet (4g to be exact - that means I could eat 4 packages of instant ramen noodles and still not have technically had enough salt!). Despite the insane amount of salt that is already in many of our foods, I still have to add more. I also have found that I can sometimes tell when my blood pressure starts to get low or I simply start having a flare up, in these cases, I will grab a really salty snack and drink some water (the extra salt intake means I need to stay extra hydrated... I'm working on this part). I'll never forget when I was sitting on the floor having a flare up and 1 of my previous coworkers looked absolutely shocked when another coworker handed me a plate of super salty French fries instead of calling for help, but my other coworker had already worked with me for awhile and knew that was the first step to try combating a flare up. My current cardiologist actually recommended I take Thermotabs, a salt tablet. I can take quite a few of these each day so I try to plan ahead, taking more or less depending on my activities for the day. If I start to feel a flare up coming on, I may take a couple to see if it helps. Of course salt isn't the ultimate cure for me and it often doesn't stop a flare up, but it is an important part of my healthcare. Stay salty everyone!

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