Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

Weakness in the Muscles

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I can only speak to my own experience and hope that gives you some insight into what POTS is and how it can affect you or the people around you.

What it feels like: suddenly being unable to lift something that is already in your hand or not being able to lift an arm or a leg all of a sudden. Less so, it’s muscle strain and pain when doing something that you can normally do, such as brushing your hair or lifting a tea cup.

What causes it:

For me there are 2 types of muscle weakness. The first is gradual which is from not using muscles overtime. I find that this happens faster for me than others who don’t have POTS but it is something that typically happens. I also think with POTS it’s easy to slip into disuse of muscles, if you’re too fatigued to do much then it makes sense your muscles get weaker. There are some theories that POTS is an autoimmune disorder (I personally believe this) which could mean that your body is attacking your muscles which could explain the losing muscle more rapidly. 

The second form of muscle weakness that happens for me is sudden muscle weakness. I find that I can be holding a cup and I suddenly can no longer hold it, my toes can no longer keep my flip flops on or I suddenly can no longer hold my hairbrush. This is all something that happens rapidly and goes away as soon as it comes. I find that it is mostly fine motor not gross motor, mostly my fingers and hand rather than my arms and legs. This is mostly likely caused by low blood flow to certain regions of your body or it is neurological.

Solutions I’ve found:

Rest is generally something I’ve found helps this. Exercising more helps too, building those muscles so they don’t fail at random or grow weak overtime. Reigning your blood pressure once again is always key to feeling good.

Further Reading

Howell, Damien. “Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).” Physiopedia, Accessed 2 April 2023.

“Muscular and Cutaneous Dysfunction in POTS – Full Text View –” Clinical Trials, 20 November 2019, Accessed 2 April 2023.

Rice, Damien, and Matt Galbraith. “.,.” ., – YouTube, 16 November 2008, Accessed 2 April 2023.

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