A Journey of Inequity in POTS Treatment

A Journey of Inequity in POTS Treatment

Vitassium welcomes guest posts from those in our community. Today, we are thrilled to feature a guest post authored by Natasha Graves, MPH, MBA, CHES, patient advocate and Founder and CEO of VacayAbility. Vitassium supports Natasha’s mission to build awareness and advocate for treatment options among underrepresented communities. The events of this past year have only further amplified the need for change in addressing the racial, class, gender, and other systemic disparities that exist in our society. These undisputed disparities have such a horrendous and potentially life threatening impact on housing, education, the workforce, healthcare and quality of life. One of the aspects that really hits home for me is the disparities in healthcare, especially how race and ethnicity impacts people with chronic illness.  My symptoms began right after my first homecoming at Howard University, but I was told that I was only sick because I was “probably dressed provocatively at...
Noah McDermott - Oct 05, 2021
New Research Strengthens Support for Sodium as Tool to Help Manage POTS

New Research Strengthens Support for Sodium as Tool to Help Manage POTS

“Drink water and eat a lot of salt!” has long been the advice given to people living with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Data from a new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), continues to demonstrate this may be an effective approach for symptom management.  For many years, evidence has pointed to sodium as tool to help manage common POTS symptoms of low blood pressure, dizziness and fatigue. Most notably, 1996 research published in Heart showed increased sodium intake could help reduce orthostatic intolerance in patients with unexplained syncope (fainting). It was thus natural to conclude similar outcomes for people living with POTS.  However, the scientific community has lacked research examining the effects of sodium intake on people living with POTS specifically—until now.  Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology  Objective and Methods  In the study, researchers at the Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center enrolled 14 participants who had been formally diagnosed with POTS and 13 control subjects, age 23...
Noah McDermott - Jul 07, 2021
10 People Share What It’s Like to Live with an Invisible Illness

10 People Share What It’s Like to Live with an Invisible Illness

February 28th is Rare Disease Day -- a day dedicated to raising awareness for the 300 million people across the globe who live with rare diseases. Due to the rarity of many diseases, treatment options and medical representation are oftentimes neglected, making it harder for patients and their loved ones to get the treatment and attention they deserve.  On this Rare Disease Day, we're sharing the stories of several people living with rare or invisible illnesses to help shed much-needed light on the challenges faced by millions across the world. VOICES IN THE COMMUNITY  We recognize that voices within this community are often neglected, so we reached out to a few of our friends with various forms of dysautonomia to share their stories and provide tips for people who want to learn more about chronic and invisible illnesses. We are extremely grateful for their willingness to share their personal stories and insights below.  AIMEE ESTHER – A happy, productive,...
Noah McDermott - Feb 26, 2021
‘I GOT POTS AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS. HERE’S HOW IT’S CHANGED MY LIFE.’

‘I GOT POTS AFTER CONTRACTING COVID-19 SYMPTOMS. HERE’S HOW IT’S CHANGED MY LIFE.’

Several months after their initial infection, some COVID-19 patients continue to struggle with fatigue, trouble breathing, exercise intolerance, gastrointestinal issues and cognitive difficulties (or “brain fog”). By some estimates, as many as 5% to 15% of COVID-19 patients—termed “long haulers”—can experience these long-lasting symptoms, and around 80% of them are women. Physicians are still examining what can cause this condition, although several theories exist. One potential answer is dysautonomia, which is a medical term that represents a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. Dysautonomia can be triggered by viruses as well as other medical events, such as strokes and heart attacks, and emotional traumas. In situations like this, personal stories can often help increase awareness. Recently, we spoke with Amanda, who was kind enough to share her experience with us. Below you can find our conversation, edited lightly for clarity. Can you describe your journey from COVID-19 to where you are today? In...
Bryce Chitwood - Nov 04, 2020
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