What is POTS disease?
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

1 In 100 Teens Have POTS, But You'd Never Know It

POTS is an invisible illness I deal with every day.

12427
1 In 100 Teens Have POTS, But You'd Never Know It
Trinity Tew

POTS. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

Try saying that three times fast. Then, try living with it. POTS is a dysautonomia disease, meaning the autonomic nervous system malfunctions. Although it is considered a "rare" disease, it is estimated to affect 1 out of every 100 teens before they reach adulthood.

Why is it considered "rare" then? Because not enough people, or doctors, know about it. In fact, many people with POTS either go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with anxiety and depression. How could you be diagnosed with severe anxiety when it's your blood pressure that's malfunctioning? Among an extensive list of effects, some symptoms are: difficulty standing still, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, GI symptoms, brain fog or mental clouding, palpitations or chest discomfort, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, presyncope, neuropathy, migraines, chronic pains, muscle weakness, tremors, insomnia, exercise intolerance, blurry vision, pupil dilation and constriction, inability to or increased sweat, inability to regulate body temperature, coat-hanger pain, and extreme thirst.

Twenty-five-percent of people with POTS are so debilitated by this disease they can't attend work or school. Research has compared POTS to having COPD and congestive heart failure. It has also been compared to someone fasting from food and liquids for 24 hours, having the flu, running a marathon, donating a pint of blood in a room with a temperature of 100 degrees, spinning around in circles a few times, then standing motionless.

I cannot honestly tell you how many times I have felt like that...I lost count. It takes someone with POTS three-times the amount of energy as it does a healthy person to simply stand. Blood pooling is also a common symptom, so our feet and legs often turn the color of tomatoes. This is because most of the blood in POTS patients remains in the lower half of the body. This is also why laying down relieves some symptoms — it is returning blood to the rest of the body. Because of the uneven distribution of blood, it is important for POTS patients to exercise regularly, even though it is often much more difficult for us, have a large salt intake, hydrate more than the average suggestion, and stay away from caffeine.

Living with POTS is difficult, frustrating, and can seem hopeless.

People do not believe you when you list your symptoms because you look healthy. And there is no cure. There are medications and therapies that attempt to curve, or lessen, the effects of the disease, but nothing can cure it. Most of the time, it takes many trials and errors for each individual patient to figure out what combination of medications and therapies help them the most. For me, it took around five years to get diagnosed, then another year or so to figure out what worked best for me. However, what worked best in the beginning has since changed. This is because our bodies are always changing — especially those of POTS patients.

If you have even the slightest inclination that you might have POTS, ask your doctor about having a tilt-table test — that's the test performed to determine if someone has POTS. It doesn't hurt to try. There is an estimated 1,000,000-3,000,000 Americans with POTS right now, so why be one of those large majority who goes undiagnosed? Educate yourself, research this disease, and help me raise awareness. I would love to more people know, more people have a definitive diagnosis, and more research to go into finding a cure.

Not enough people, or doctors, know about it. In fact, many people with POTS either go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with anxiety and depression. There is no cure. Educate yourself, research this disease, and raise awareness.

For more information, follow these links:

Blog about POTs

POTS explained by doctors

POTS Care

Dysautonomia International

Report this Content
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

49657
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

121850
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments