By Paige Wyant
Dysautonomia includes a range of conditions – such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) or neurocardiogenic syncope – in which the autonomic nervous system (ANS) does not function properly. This can affect major organs and bodily systems, as the ANS is responsible for activities such as regulating internal temperature, breathing patterns, blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, excretion and pupil dilation. The dysfunctioning of these systems can cause a number of symptoms that may have serious effects on your health if not properly managed.
While some symptoms of dysautonomia are clearly visible, such as blood pooling in your legs and feet, many others, such as a racing heart, lightheadedness or an upset stomach aren’t always apparent. To better understand the experiences of those with the condition, we asked our community to share photos that show what dysautonomia really looks like. Everyone may experience different symptoms and forms of the condition, but the following photos show that all are warriors.
Here’s what the community shared with us:
1. “I have to nap daily. Sometimes all I do is wake up, take my medicine and already need to nap. Even napping is exhausting! But having the purrfect nap buddy makes it a bit better!”
6 Symptoms of Dysautonomia/POTS and How They Actually Affect My Life
20 People Describe What It Really Feels Like to Live With Dysautonomia
2. “I have dysautonomia and was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and more. To help with my bradycardia I have a pacemaker. This picture was taken when I had my first change of pacemaker, after 10 years of being diagnosed. I’m smiling because this is how I fight back. I always try to have the best attitude towards my condition.”
MIGHTY PARTNER RESOURCES
What are dysautonomias?
What we do
via Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation
3. “This was at college orientation tonight (I’m the one on the right). I was having a great time, but when I started dancing I immediately felt my symptoms. My legs got tired and started hurting halfway through a song, and I was too tired to keep jumping. I couldn’t follow the instructions in another song (‘get low’) because I probably would have fallen over. I spent the rest of the night wishing I didn’t have dysautonomia.”
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4. “My 9-year-old diagnosed with dysautonomia, cyclic vomiting syndrome, anxiety and PANDAS. He has trouble controlling his body temperature and has low blood pressure. He is an amazing athlete, especially for all he deals with!”
5. “This day I was completely exhausted and my skin flushing was making me feel very hot. My blood pressure was super high, my heart rate was at 130 sitting and I was miserable.”
6. “I actually have an album in my phone titled ‘doctor.’ I try to take photos and videos of my symptoms, as they don’t always occur at my appointments. I also have a list I continually update so I don’t forget to mention things!”
7. “Weekly IV fluids… one to two liters along with daily Flecianide, fludrocortisone, metoprolol and amolodipine to treat my severe POTS. Cardiac rehab as well.”
8. “This is a photo of blood pooling in my legs because of POTS. It is especially prevalent on my right side because I have problems with muscle weakness on that side due to a traumatic brain injury. This photo was taken after an especially taxing day that exasperated my symptoms. I was experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, tachycardia and other pre-syncope symptoms. In addition, I was extremely nauseous and had been dry heaving for a few hours prior to this.”
9. “Tilt table results.”
10. “This was the day I received my Master’s degree. My spirit is feeling accomplished and grateful and amazed; my mind is focused on pretense, on pretending I’m not afraid I won’t make it through the ceremony without vomiting, fainting or collapsing. The best part about this day was, of course, receiving my counseling degree; the worst part was wondering whether or not my body was going to allow me to use it.”
11. “I took this picture by accident, but when I realized it was exactly what my world looks like when my dysautonomia is flaring, I kept it.”
12. “This is what happens when I stand up too fast or too long. I have both Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and dysautonomia so it takes me a while to get back up when I fall/pass out. I had accomplished school and three choir rehearsals the day this was taken. I was very overdone, but my sweet doggie was making sure I was OK.”
13. “This is me now.”
14. “This is me when a friend wanted to use me as a model for her photography. I was dizzy and lightheaded because it was way too hot outside for my POTS to handle. After this picture I spent 15 minutes laying on the concrete trying to get my heart rate to go down.”
15. “This is what the end of my day looks like and what freedom really looks like. Because I have more freedom attached to an IV pump then I ever did before.”
16. “[This was] last week after accessing my port for the very first time on my own! It will make it so much easier to get fluids this way, plus I can get them more often.”
17. “Lyme-induced POTS. Trying not to pass out when going downstairs. A daily occurrence – multiple times a day. Here I am getting tunnel vision and the “whump-whump” staticky sound in my ears. Time to grab the rail and get my head down.”
18. “I have a few diagnoses, like most of us do, and most of us have dealt with their fair share of testing as well. This was last month. I had to have an EKG to check my heart.”
19. “I can walk, but not long distances. [I can’t] stand up for long without getting dizzy, drop in blood pressure, pre-syncope/syncope, etc… This was on my way to be a volunteer at a summer camp and had a few hours of waiting for the other volunteers. When I am traveling by airplanes I order assistance and borrow a wheelchair at the airports. Borrowing a wheelchair makes travel and shopping easier to overcome. Yes, it is exhausting to use a wheelchair as well, but I don’t have the same big risk of falling because of syncope or seizure and I still use less energy sitting in the chair than walking. It is a solution to the bad days I need to get out or am going somewhere to travel, but am I able to go without I will.”
20. “I was in the middle of nowhere at camp and I got one of the dysautonomic events. I started vomiting. This is what I ate all day – a hummus sandwich and electrolyte water – while everyone else enjoyed juice and normal water.”
21. “For me, life with dysautonomia means running IV fluids every day. Even before a birthday party, just so I can stay upright!”
22. “I have POTS. This was taken right after I had a bad syncopal episode in a grocery store. As you can see, my feet are bright red because of the blood pooling in my legs. I had to lay on the grocery store floor until it passed. This happens often enough that I now get one to two liters of IV fluid daily to increase my blood volume, and now use a wheelchair for shopping and community mobility so I don’t pass out and hit my head!”
23. “After pacemaker surgery for gastroparesis and POTS.”
24. “One of the worst POTS episodes I caught – well, before I was diagnosed. This was my norm for most of my life. My heart rate could spike as high as 150 – just standing. I felt like I was going to die when this picture was taken. I could barely stand, barely breathe. I was shaking all over and weak. I had to fight every second to get my diagnosis. I’m doing better now, but it’s only barely controlled by several medications (I’m one for whom water and electrolytes and salt do nothing, whee). I also have esophageal and intestinal dysmotility and possibly mild gastroparesis, which my GI says is probably caused by my dysautonomia.”
25. “This is a photo of what people see almost every day. I work so hard to try and look OK. Whether it’s with makeup or other things to distract from the fact that I really feel completely awful. My friend took this picture and while I look perfectly fine, I could feel my heart beating in my chest. My legs were turning purple, I was dizzy and nauseous. All I wanted to do was lie down and take a nap. But if I were to do that every time I felt this way I would never leave bed. So I put on this face. This is the face of dysautonomia.”
26. “I felt the lowest in this picture. I had been in the hospital for about a week and it had taken a toll on me. I used music to help soothe me and my mom sat there and sang with me. Dysautonomia can be extremely difficult to live with at times but I just keep reminding myself that there are better days ahead!”
Most Toxic Sunscreens
Well at Walgreens Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30, 50, and 90
Well at Walgreens Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 55 and 100
Vichy Capital Soleil Soft Sheer Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60
up & up Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 and 50
up & up Sport Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 15 and 30
up & up Kids’ Sunscreen Sun Stick, SPF 55
up & up Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30
up & up Kids’ Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 50
Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50+
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30
Rite Aid Wet Skin Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70
Rite Aid Ultimate Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55, 70, and 85
Rite Aid Tugaboos Baby Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50
Rite Aid Renewal Wet Skin Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30 and 70
Rite Aid Renewal Sport Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30 and 50
Rite Aid Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60, plus other Rite Aid sunscreen products
Philosophy miracle worker anti-aging lotion, SPF 50
Neutrogena Wet Skin Spray Sunscreen, SPF 30, 50, and 85+
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Facial Lotion, SPF 15
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55, 70, 85
L’Oreal Invisible Protect Dry Oil Spray Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Clear Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 15 and 30
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
CVS Age Renewal Firming & Hydrating Moisturizer, SPF 30
Check out EWG’s 2014 Guide to Sunscreens to see a complete list of the safest sunscreens (the lower the number rating, the better) and the most toxic sunscreens (the higher the rating, the more toxic).
Safer Sunscreen Tips: Protect Yourself From Toxic or Ineffective Sunscreen
Avoid spray sunscreen. These popular, aerosolized sunscreens may seem convenient, but they may pose serious inhalation risks.
Don’t trust sky-high SPF claims. SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” referring only to UVB radiation protection. Since UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, increasing your risk of wrinkles and skin cancer, super-high SPF claims could leave you with a false sense of protection. EWG recommends that consumers avoid products labeled with anything higher than SPF 50 and reapply sunscreen often, regardless of SPF.
Avoid oxybenzone. This chemical messes with your hormones—and not in a good way. It could also trigger allergic reactions. One study even linked oxybenzone to endometriosis in older women!
Don’t rock retinyl palmitate. This anti-aging cream ingredient may react with the sun and speed the development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies.
Don’t do double duty. Avoid combined sunscreen/bug repellent products. Since you don’t need to apply bug repellent as often as sunscreen, you could be slathering yourself in unsafe levels of bug-repelling chemicals.
Avoid towelettes and powders. Some online retailers still stock and sell towelette and powder sunscreens despite FDA sunscreen rules barring the sale of these products. Powders increase your risk of lung damage through inhalation, too.
Say “no” to tanning oils. EWG says even if the oils contain sun protection, it’s often inadequate or toxic.
Why and How to be Mentally Healthy
Society puts an incredible amount of focus on physical health. Losing weight and building muscle are goals the world obsesses over. This obsession causes individuals to forget about something just as important – the brain. Being in perfect physical health, however, will only get a person so far if their brain is in shambles. If you are someone who truly cares about your health, it is vital to know both the benefits of being mentally healthy and how to accomplish it.
Avoid Drugs and/or Seek Rehab
In a perfect world, the key to being mentally healthy is avoiding any type of medically unsupervised drug use. It, however, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the world is far from perfect. Truthfully, people get involved in drug use for many different reasons.
If you are someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to avoid drugs completely, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just reach out to an alcohol, drug, or marijuana rehab center to get the assistance you need.
Manage Your Stress
Ideally, a person in pristine mental health will avoid stress completely. However, avoiding stress is not realistic. Instead, a person must learn how to face stress head on. Basically, you must find ways to cope with and manage your stress. When your stress levels are through the roof, you do whatever calms you down.
For starters, participate in relaxing activities. This could be listening to music, writing, coloring, or even taking a nap. You could also opt for an activity you find enjoyable. Watching a movie, playing a video game, or reading a book are all great options.
The key to managing your stress is not sacrificing your mental health via your coping methods. Namely, this means don’t turn to drug use or stress eating to calm your nerves or try to eat away your emotions.
Eat the Right Foods
Again, the brain isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when a person is picking and choosing what they want to have for dinner. This is unfortunate because there are tons of food that can improve your mental health.
Connect with Friends and Family
Strong relationships can make it easier to cope with the daily stresses of life. Having a relationship with friends and/or family members will help you feel loved and included. These strong relationships provide you with a purpose. It is easy to get lost in your own head and experience unpleasant emotions when you are alone. Avoid disconnecting from people.
Ask for Help
While it seems like a redundant piece of advice to give, it is common for people to try to do everything by themselves. There is nothing wrong with needing help. Whether you just need someone to talk to or you need the physical assistance of someone to complete a task, just ask for help. Struggling and suffering on your own isn’t good for your mentality.
When a person isn’t of seamless mental health, their brain becomes cloudy or dry. Suddenly, this person will feel as though they are living in a fog and good decisions will be harder and harder to make. A happy and healthy brain, on the other hand, will result in a happy and healthy life. To continue reading this article click on Healthlisted.
99 Amazing Pre-Workout Snacks to Crush Your Next Workout
As a workout enthusiast, your main goal is to get your body in the absolute best shape possible.
While hitting the gym and going for a run will obviously test your body’s strength and fitness level, the kind of food that you eat is equally important to the entire process.
In fact, we argue that it’s the most important.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced snack or meal before you start getting sweaty is one of the best ways to prep yourself for an intense workout.
In this epic guide, we’ll show you 99 different recipes for pre-workout snacks that you can easily make no matter your skills in the kitchen.
Oh, and you can even filter the entire list by diet preference and workout type!
Why Pre-Workout Nutrition is Important
Fitness freaks and body-builders everywhere always seem to put a great deal of focus on post-workout meals, but what you put into your body before you start working out deserves just as much attention.
Filling your body with proper nutrition prior to working out will allow you to see considerable gains throughout your entire body, and this is something that’s absolutely necessary if your main goal is to build up your precious muscles.
Additionally, eating a nutritious snack before even touching a dumbbell will give your body the energy it needs to keep moving in order to set a new PR.
Click To Skip Straight To The Snacks!
The 3 Macros for Well-Balanced Snacks
There are a number of different factors to consider when making pre-workout snacks, but the three main things to keep in mind are the 3 macronutrients — protein, fat, and carbs.
These three components are the most effective and powerful when it comes to getting your body in the best shape possible for an intense workout, as protein aids in its recovery, fat gives you more endurance, and carbs provide your body with the energy it so desperately needs.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how each of those macros actually works:
Just like a car that needs gas to keep on moving, your body needs its own fuel to do the same thing. Carbs act as the fuel that keeps your body going along, and they’re so critically important due to the way they handle oxygen.
Carbs are much more efficient with their oxygen use compared to any other type of kilocalorie, and they enable your body to work harder and longer during even the most intense of workout sessions.
The amount of glycogen that your body stores is dependent on how many carbs your body takes in, and the conversion of glycogen to glucose is what your muscles primarily use as their energy source. This means that the length and intensity of which you can exercise is controlled quite a bit by your glycogen levels, and in order to boost these up, you need to ensure that you have a healthy balance of carbs in your diet.
How much protein, fat, and carbs should you have in your pre-workout snacks?
Now that you know all about the 3 macronutrients and what they do, it’s time to decide how many of these you should consume in order to meet your fitness goals.
Everybody reading this likely has a different/unique goal for their body, and as such, it’s difficult to say just how many macros you should be consuming depending on what sort of results you want to see.
Macro dieting is not something that’s one-size-fits-all, but even with this being the case, there is a general rule of thumb that you can follow in order to get yourself on the right track.
Initially, you’ll want to start out with the following setup:
See how your body reacts to having a balanced spread with carbohydrates at 50% and both protein and fat comprising 25% of your meal.
Once you’ve worked with a setup like this for a while, consider seeking the advice of a nutritionist so you can pinpoint exactly what your overall diet and pre-workout snacks should consist of in order to help you get the best results and athletic performance possible.
Also, pay attention to how your body reacts to different types of foods and each of the three macronutrients. Some people work better with higher protein diets whereas others will feel better while consuming more carbs.
Don’t Forget to Watch the Clock
In addition to watching the amount of macros you have with your pre-workout snacks, it’s just as important to keep track of what time you actually eat them.
Although a pre-workout snack is obviously something you’ll want to eat before you go to the gym or embark on a long run, this doesn’t mean that you should start eating just 5 minutes before you start breaking a sweat.
This is a very common mistake that’s made by a lot of people when they first start out with the whole pre-workout snack game, and it’s one that we want to help you avoid.
When you eat any sort of food, your stomach needs an ample amount of time to properly digest everything. Eating immediately before you workout means that you’ll be putting physical demand on your body while it’s simultaneously trying to digest the food you just ate, and this can result in lackluster performance and/or discomfort.
What we suggest doing is to eat your pre-workout snack around 1 to 3 hours before you plan on being physically active. The exact time you choose will vary depending on how quickly your body is able to fully digest food, and this is something that you can experiment and play around with in order to find the time that works perfectly for you and your body.
99 Pre-Workout Snacks You Need to Try Right NOW
Warning: Do NOT proceed to scroll through the following recipes if you have even the slightest inkling of hunger. The below images are known to induce severe hunger pangs on an empty stomach. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution…
Filter By Your Diet Type/Preference
Filter By Your Workout Type
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
1. The Perfect Green Smoothie
Photo: Food Heaven Made Easy
Smoothies have often been one of the most popular go-to solutions for pre and post-workout snacks, and The Perfect Green Smoothie is one of the best out there for giving yourself a serious energy boost.
Made with green spinach, almond milk, non-fat Greek yogurt, tofu, strawberries, and chia seeds, this smoothie is packed to the gills with protein, probiotics, and more.
Diet Type(s): Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Workout Type(s): Cardio
2. Almond Date And Hemp Energy Bars
Photo: Lemons and Basil
Energy bars are another staple of the pre-workout diet plan, and while there are a lot of different ways to make them, one of our personal favorites is the Almond Date And Hemp Energy Bars.
These bars are packed with a ton of nuts and fruit, and as a result of this, they provide your body with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber that will give you the boost of energy you need without any of those nasty preservatives or artificial flavors.
Diet Type(s): Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan
Workout Type(s): High Intensity Interval Training
3. Avocado Toast With Cottage Cheese And Tomatoes
Photo: The Lemon Bowl
If you’re looking for a super quick and easy way to give yourself a little boost throughout the day that isn’t a sugary candy bar, this next recipe might be the perfect fit.
All you need is whole grain bread, low fat cottage cheese, an avocado, tomato, and salt and pepper. Create some thin bread slices on a cutting board and add 1/4 cup of cottage cheese to each one. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of this, and then top the cottage cheese with your slices of tomato and avocado. Season this with one more spritz of salt and pepper, and you’re all set and ready to go!
Diet Type(s): Vegetarian
Workout Type(s): Yoga, Cardio
4. Apple Oat Greek Yogurt Muffins
Photo: Running with Spoons
Working out in the morning is great, but if you choose to do so, you’ll need a healthy pick-me-up to have for breakfast in order to power your body through your early routine.
Some folks turn to staples such as cereal and pancakes, but if you want to start the day in the best way possible, these apple oat Greek yogurt muffins will have you covered.
Eggs, oats, Greek yogurt, and raisins are some of the star ingredients here. You’ll get a healthy and natural energy boost to give your body the fuel it needs in a tasty, convenient package.
Diet Type(s): Vegetarian
Workout Type(s): Strength Training, Cardio
5. Chocolate Mint Avocado Pudding
For more information, please click on the link to the left for Healthlisted. https://www.healthlisted.com/99-pre-workout-snacks/