WHY DO WE FAINT?

WHY DO WE FAINT?

Every year, three percent of all emergency room visits are caused by someone fainting. While the act of passing out is generally not fundamentally dangerous, losing consciousness can be harmful if a person cannot control his or her fall (to avoid a sharp object, for example). People living with autonomic disorders such as POTS or vasovagal syncope are usually familiar with the fainting experience, which can be unpleasant and accompanied by sweating, nausea and intense feelings of anxiety. It is common to wonder whether anything can be done to alleviate or prevent fainting spells altogether. In this blog, we dive into the science to explain what causes fainting. BLOOD FLOW AND THE BRAIN Fainting, known as “syncope” (pronounced: SING kuh pee) in the medical community, is defined by the U.S. National Institutes of Health as a temporary loss of consciousness due to the sudden decline of blood flow to the brain. When we go...
Bryce Chitwood - Aug 14, 2019
HERE’S WHY PEOPLE LIVING WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS NEED SO MUCH SALT

HERE’S WHY PEOPLE LIVING WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS NEED SO MUCH SALT

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic condition most commonly recognized for its effects the lungs, where thick mucus clogs air passageways over time and eventually becomes life-threatening. Less well-known is CF’s harmful effects on the digestive system and sweat glands, leading to malnutrition and increased risk for dehydration during exercise or illness. While these symptoms may seem unrelated, they actually have a common cause: salt. Or, more specifically, a genetic mutation that impacts how cells process salt, which disrupts the flow of electrolytes and water throughout the body. WHAT CAUSES CF? People living with CF have a mutation in their cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which is responsible for producing a protein that sits on the surface of our cell membranes and helps regulate the flow of chloride ions into and out of the cell. (Chloride ions are formed when our bodies break down salt into its...
Bryce Chitwood - Jul 15, 2019
SALT-WASTING: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES & TREATMENT

SALT-WASTING: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES & TREATMENT

Patients within the dysautonomia community often run into the term “salt wasting.” Read on to discover the symptoms, possible causes and treatments for this condition. What is salt wasting? Salt wasting—also known as “cerebral salt wasting” (CSW) or “renal salt wasting” (RSW)—is a condition in which the body’s ability to absorb and reabsorb sodium is inhibited. It is sometimes confused with inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), which is a condition with similar symptoms but a different physiology. The tell-tale difference is that CSW is accompanied by high sodium levels in urine and low blood volume, while SIADH is associated with normal to high blood volume. Physical symptoms of CSW include high urine output, excessive thirst and extreme salt cravings. These symptoms are the result of the body attempting to replace what is being inappropriately lost, and people experiencing CSW often can alleviate their symptoms by consuming high amounts of salt and water....
Bryce Chitwood - Jun 13, 2019
HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF IN TODAY’S HEALTHCARE WORLD

HOW TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF IN TODAY’S HEALTHCARE WORLD

This guest post is authored by Amber Nicole of Clearly Alive. Comments belong exclusively to the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Toker Engineering, LLC or the SaltStick brand. Today’s healthcare world is confusing, unnecessarily complex and exhausting. I speak from much experience in the US healthcare system, but I have friends across the globe each with their own struggles as well. It is difficult to be an advocate, but it is also required. Throughout the years, both my mom and I have discovered tips and tricks that help make navigating this system easier. Below are four tips for advocating for yourself or a loved one in today’s healthcare system. 1. REMAIN CALM Be mindful of letting your passion show. This seems like an odd way to start out an article for how to advocate for yourself in today’s healthcare, but it is an extremely important piece of advice....
Bryce Chitwood - Mar 26, 2019
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