Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

Heat and Cold Sensitivity

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: heating up too fast and instantly feeling sick and dehydrated. Being too cold and feeling so stiff you can’t bend your joints without pain. 

What causes it:

With POTS your autonomic system , that is the nerves and hormones that control so many parts of your body, are very messed up. The vessels in your body don’t work as well and when it comes to heat vessels expand. With POTS and the vessels that already expanded and the heat only makes it worse which worsens your POTS symptoms.

With cold it’s the same thing but instead of your vessels expanding and expanding like with the heat, the cold wants them to constrict and but they stay open. There is also problems with joint pain and muscle pain when it comes to the cold.

Solutions I’ve found:

I find that the cold is easier to deal with, bundle up, get some hand and feet warmers, turn up the heat if you can,  light a fire, get a space heater, a heated mattress pad, along with really warm blankets.

Heat is harder, you can only wear so little clothes. Lightweight natural fibers (linen, cotton) are better than polyester or fibers that hold your heat. A/C is amazing. Water is great but keep in mind that swimming will tire you faster than most people and can ruin the rest of your day. There are cooling vests that do work well. I used them at Disney in August. I also used to have cooling beads but I believe they have been discontinued.

Further Reading

Maria, Roderick Santa. “How to Stay Cool with POTS?” Santa Maria Medicine, 8 June 2014, Accessed 3 April 2023.

Mitchell, Kate. “POTS and Heat Intolerance.” Kate the (Almost) Great, 19 September 2018, Accessed 3 April 2023.

Nicholson, Lorna, and Helen Eftakhari Kavi. “Important Lifestyle Changes: Temperature Regulation.” PoTS UK, Accessed 3 April 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *