I personally use a blood pressure cuff, and I love it because it fits easily in my purse so I can take it with me if I’m having a bad day. It checks my blood pressure and heart rate. I wrap it around my wrist, and hold the monitor up to my chest and just relax and sit as still as I can.
Blood pressure cuffs and monitors can be so expensive! Look for the places that sell items at cheaper prices. They normally have a couple monitors on hand for really cheap! I paid only $8 for mine, at a store called X S Cargo. Not the greatest quality and eats batteries like crazy, but definitely does the job!
The average heart rate should be around 120/80. Hypertension starts at 140/90 and above. A low blood pressure is considered 90/40 and lower. A lot of people with POTS have a problem with their blood pressure lowering when standing, but my type of POTS causes it to rise when standing, and become very low when laying down. Usually if my heart rate is up… so is my blood pressure, and if my heart rate is low (for me anyway) then I most likely have low blood pressure. Though everyone is different.
Like the heart rate monitor watch, I think everyone with POTS should have one of these. When you’re not feeling good, try to keep records of the time of day, if your laying, sitting, or standing, what your symptoms are, and your blood pressure and heart rate. My blood pressure always goes up when I’m in the doctors office, so it’s nice to have a copy of what your body does when you’re at home feeling your most “you” normal and relaxed.
If you are having low blood pressure, you should be adding salt to your diet and drinking at least 3L of water a day. If you are like me, and have just normal periods of low blood pressure and not all of the time, try chugging a glass of cold water which will help raise it back up. As well, run your wrists under cold water. If you are exhausted and need to lay down, but get lower blood pressure when you are laying down like me, try propping your upper body and feet with pillows, or get a bed wedge. The bed wedges normally run for around $50. Also see “Tips for Living With POTS” pages for more ideas.