Just because something is the “expected” use for an item does not mean that it is the only use. Baking soda is a perfect example. As a cooking aid, baking soda is considered a “leavening” agent. In other words, baking soda can be used to help bread rise. Often mistaken with baking powder, baking soda does not help breads and cakes rise but does give them form without significant altering the taste. Many people also know that baking soda can serve as an odor absorber, but it has other uses as well, such as the ability to put out a fire.
Baking soda is made primarily of a compound called sodium bicarbonate. This compound is a base, and it reacts to acids. When there is a fire, baking soda reacts with the oxygen in the fire to create carbon dioxide and extinguish the fire.
Living with a rare illness, particularly one that has been named for only 25 years, can be a challenge. Family members, educators, and even medical professionals are sometimes unfamiliar with the illness, pushing the patient to learn how to manage sometimes without expert help. POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, is one such disease.
POTS is a form of dysautonomia, itself an umbrella term for a range of conditions related to malfunctioning autonomic nervous system process. The symptoms of POTS include blood pressure decreases, heart rate increases, lightheadedness, fatigue, and other sometimes overlapping symptoms.
A recent book Power over POTS, written by Dr. Scheldon Kress, addresses this condition. Kress has 30 years of experience as an internist but was unaware of POTS until his grandson received this diagnosis. His book is intended to aid people who are struggling to live with this condition. A 2010 article in the Journal of Pediatrics argued that because the first pediatric case of POTS was not identified until 1999, there is not enough information available to diagnose and manage this illness effectively. The article’s author argues that the goal should be to have controlled clinical trials to help provide data on the topic.
While Kress’ book is not a clinical trial, it does have the benefit of being written by someone who has a medical degree and who has personal experience with managing the disease. If you or someone you know is dealing with POTS, this book is a must-read to help with lifestyle alterations to manage this debilitating illness.
Standing Up to POTS
I'm a recovering journalist now living a Renaissance life working as a writer & political strategist. I also am the mom to 2 children, one of whom has autonomic dysfunction & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, I write about politics and healthcare in North Carolina.