Basically I’m a radiator where the thermostat became stuck on max! Most of the time I feel like I’m totally overheating, but – as with everything else POTS related – it’s almost entirely unpredictable when I will feel like that. Sometimes it even goes the other way and I start to freeze without reason.
Overheating is naturally annoying, since I end up with a shirt soaked in sweat and cheeks as red as a stop-sign. But apart from the obvious impracticality, it also means that my body is on the way to go into over-gear. If I do not get some sort of relief from the overheating, my body will react with spasms, dizziness, nausea etc. It is therefore crucial for me, that I try to cool down as fast as possible, when the overheating occurs. So if you see someone coming down the street in a snowstorm with no jacket on, then it is probably me.
What triggers it for me:
Sudden temperature changes. Like for instance going from a cold to a hot environment.
Being in a hot and damp environment worsens the tendency. So living in a country with seasons with high humidity is NOT a good thing, making those periods almost unbearably.
Stress of any kind.
What helps me:
Wear layers. I try to dress in multiple layers of clothing so I quickly can strip down or up according to the situation.
Strip show. I know that I only have a few minutes when I go from for example a cold to a hot environment before the overheating starts, so to avoid it becoming too extreme I strip down literally the second I encounter it. For instance: when I go to work in the wintertime I strip as soon as I reach the door – and sometimes I even do it a minute or two before. People might stare when you quickly start trowing cloths of or when you walk down the street with bare arms while the snow is falling, but don’t mind them.
Don’t go there! As in if possible don’t travel to humid and hot places. Some even feel the need to move to a place where the weather conditions are more stable, but that’s not really a solution for everybody.
Stay in shape and meditate. Exercising regularly and doing breathing exercises have helped me a lot. After yoga and a long meditation session I can even sometimes be without it for a number of hours. Since I now work out almost every day I have minimized this symptom greatly.
Garments made of wicking material, which is special fabrics designed to help athletes by keeping them dry and cool by transporting sweat away from the skin: “Keeping the moisture away from the body keeps the wearer’s body temperature from fluctuating due to cool moisture building up on the skin.” (http://www.wisegeekhealth.com/what-is-wicking-material.htm). I now wear a “base layer” almost all the time in the periods or situations when I have most problems with temperature changes. This outfit consist of calf compressions (from Skins), compression sleeves (from Saucony), compression running shorts (from Nike), compression socks (different brands), and a tank or long sleeve top. I choose to buy items that also had compression since it helps with my blood circulation which helps with many of my POTS symptoms. All the garments are comfortable and can be worn under the clothes. I have tried buying less expensive brands, but I find it to be worth every penny to go for more high-end sports-gear, because they are so much more comfortable … I am after all going to wear them for the entire day. The effect of wearing these garments cannot be underestimated. They make me feel at a comfortable temperature in most situations, they make me feel stronger and they help to keep my blood circulation flowing. Although they were a bit pricy, they have all been my absolute favorite POTS relieve items for 2014.