POTS is one of the most common forms of dysautonomia. It presents with many symptoms which differ from person to person, making it difficult to diagnose and treat.

There are also many theories out there as to what causes POTS, and no one really knows the answer conclusively.

Clinically, it is defined as an increased heart rate response to standing of 30 beats per minute or more, OR an increased heart rate of 120 beats per minute or more.

There are many proposed reasons as to why the heart does this and if you want to find out what they are, have a look around POTS PLACE or read this brilliant article

If you are just browsing here because you want to know more about what it FEELS like to have POTS (which is what I hope people will eventually find this blog and do) then reading this information will help.

POTS INVOLVES SYMPTOMS OF… (not everyone will have all symptoms, some people may have other symptoms not presented here)

Dizziness, vertigo, nausea and intolerance to standing or even the inability to stand. (For those that can tolerate it, standing brings on certain unpleasant symptoms such as headache and neck pain, maybe during standing or as a delayed reaction to it).

Syncope (fainting/passing out).

Fatigue (which can be debilitating and prevent sufferers leading a normal life)

Frequent urination

Gastro-intestinal problems (difficulty with digestion, irritable bowel type symptoms)

Memory problems/forgetfulness

Dehydration

Blood pressure regulation problems

Headaches

Muscle aches and pains

Joint pain

Chest pain

Weakness

Flu-like symptoms

and, unfortunately, more.

WHY?

No one knows for sure. The fact that the heart is over-working causes fatigue. Sufferers may also have too much adrenaline (the body’s fight or flight hormone) running through them, which makes them feel wiped out. The nervous system is trying so hard to balance everything correctly and it can’t, which puts a strain on the sufferers abilities. Symptom severity varies, but even those with ‘mild’ cases have to deal with disruption to their every-day life and how they used to feel when they were healthy.

It is also FRUSTRATING having so many different symptoms caused by an illness that people haven’t even heard of, let alone can understand. Imagine if you were to get a chronic illness. Let’s say you got diabetes. Well, at least then you could say “I’ve got diabetes” and not have to turn blue from the effort of explaining what that means. But if you’ve got POTS? Even just the NAME makes life difficult. ‘POTS’ sounds stupid, and ‘postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome’ is a mouthful that many would need a Harvard degree to understand. It’s just not lay-person friendly at all.

When I first read about POTS, I didn’t even realise I had it because I can stand, walk around, be active and not faint and didn’t even realise I had an increased heart rate whilst doing so! So there may be many more people out there suffering this and not knowing what’s wrong, and that is a VERY scary place to be in.

That’s why I wanted to have this blog- so sufferers can share experiences and hopefully in so doing DARE to RAISE AWARENESS of this debilitating condition!

Laura ~

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