Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier


Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I can only speak to my own experience and hope that gives you some insight into what POTS is and how it can affect you or the people around you.

Stay Under 1,000 Feet

I find that once I hit the 850 – 1,000 mark it’s just too high for me to feel good. Under 850 I consider it safe over that I just struggle from the beginning. Keep in mind where you’re starting from. If you’re starting at 1,000 ft I would do 1,850. If you’re starting at sea level then 1,000 can be your limit.

Take Lots Of Breaks

A hike that is supposed to take an hour, plan to take two so you can take plenty of breaks and relax. Try to keep your heart rate steady and even and break when it gets too high. Try to rest with your feet level with your knees if you can, sit leaning against a tree with your legs out in front of you if you can.


Drink so much water, bring double what everyone else is bringing and add Liquid IV to it all. You’ll need to keep hydrated to keep your blood volume up which will in turn keep your blood pressure up.


It can be chilly in the woods and higher up so make sure to wear layers, but keep them light. If you have light layers it will be less for you to carry but still keep you warm and allow you to cool down when you need to.

Compression Stockings

These will benefit you more than they look horrible. Wear them. They will keep your blood circulating and keep your blood from pooling in your feet and legs. 

Check the Weather

It’s so hard to thermal regulate so make sure to check the weather before setting out. If it’s going to be too hot or too cold, reconsider the day you plan to go. It would be awful to take a hike, overheat at the top and be sick for a few hours and not be able to get down. It is so important to keep track of the weather.

Plan to Not Feel Well

The chances are high that if you do not hike often you will not feel well later in the day and probably the next day. Don’t make plans for dinner after the hike or even plans for the next morning. You might not feel well and you will need time to relax.

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