PoTS? What’s that?

There are tons of fab medical pages out there which explain PoTS in a whole lot more detail than I can (such as this one), but I want to explain it from my point of view. Personally, I found all the medical explanations a bit daunting when I was first looking, so I’m going to attempt to explain it in a friendlier way! As a disclaimer, I am in no way a medical expert, and this list of symptoms is only personal to me.

Symptoms

  • Lightheadedness when I stand up
  • Fainting, especially in warm temperatures
  • Getting very easily breathless
  • Feeling my heart beating strongly
  • Fatigue
  • Very painful headaches, especially in the evenings
  • Shakiness
  • Brain fog-it feels like your brain is full of cotton wool
  • Bright red/purple feet when I stand up
  • Achy legs and feet

 

Things I struggle with

There are all sorts of things in day-to-day life that I find difficult, but here are a few examples

  • Showering, brushing and drying my hair, and anything else that involves waving my arms above my head
  • Cooking
  • Standing in queues, or on buses and trains
  • Sitting still for long periods of time

 

The medical stuff

In very simple words, this is what is going on with my body.

stands-fordysautonomia

 

 

  • When a “normal” person stands up, gravity tries to drag all your blood down to your feet. However, your nervous system kicks in automatically, and makes changes in your body to stop that from happening
  • In a person with PoTS this doesn’t happen, which means your heart rate shoots up (mine can be up to 50bpm higher from lying to standing) and your body freaks out a bit!
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One comment

  1. Thanks – that is a very good explanation and useful diagrams. I didn’t realise PoTS was to do with the autonomic nervous system. I have congenital heart disease so some of your symptoms/experiences sound familiar. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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