Helpful Hints

How to Prepare for a Tilt Table Test

If you have any form of Dysautonomia, the tilt table test is likely your worst nightmare. It’s minimally invasive but it’s not a fun experience. If you don’t know how to prepare for this test, consider this your how-to guide. I have had three of these tests in a year span. That is WAY too many but every new specialist wants their own confirmation. This is how to prepare:

  • Stop Your Medication:

I choose to stop my medication a week beforehand. Every lab has different rules on the exact number of days that you have to be off of medication. Check with your doctor to confirm but this is my method. I like my body to be in a fragile state for this test. That may sound bad. What I do is stop all treatments that mitigate my symptoms so essentially, I’m acting like a normal person.

  • Drink One Liter of Water:

This is almost impossible for me. For a week ahead of the test, I drink only one liter of water. In my daily life, I drink at least two-three liters a day. This doesn’t include electrolyte drinks. The average person only needs to drink one liter of water a day, so I cut back.

  • Continue Daily Activities:

This is brutal. I can’t exercise or run off of my medication. To the best of my ability, I keep up with my daily chore and activities. Last week, I needed one “sick” day to truly let my body rest but the others were full-on endurance mode.

  • Don’t Wear Compression:

You’re not allowed to wear compression for the test itself. In general, throughout the week before I keep up with compression. It’s effects aren’t long-lasting. It’s my saving grace. On the day of the test NO COMPRESSION. The lab performing the test will likely tell you this but it’s worth repeating.

  • The Day Of:

On the day of there are specific rules about eating and drinking. I like to schedule my tests in the morning to get it over with but I haven’t always got that luxury. This past test was performed in the afternoon. This means no caffeine, minimal breakfast, and no drinking two hours prior to the test.

The preparation for this test can be more challenging than the test itself. Now, this is how I prepare. No one will likely tell you that you have to be off your medication that long. I do that because it takes my body a while to get to its worst state or “normal” for everyone else. I have so many techniques to mitigate symptoms. It’s easier not to stop all of them and do it gradually so my body isn’t shocked. If I had liters of water and tons of salt the day before the test would be inaccurate to where my body is at that moment. I want to be clear, I only stop treatments that are helpful to my POTs symptoms. I drink the average amount of water. I eat normal amounts of food, continue daily activities, and wear no compression. This makes my symptoms worse. My body needs to have extra water, salt, medication, etc. to function. This provides an accurate picture of how my body is functioning without treatment

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