Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

Blood Pooling and Reduced Blood Flow to the Brain

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: a sunburn, red and hot with tight skin / being dizzy and feeling weak.

What is Blood Pooling?

Blood pooling is much less creepy than it sounds, at least from the outside. With POTS the valves in your legs are basically broken meaning they don’t force the blood up when it needs to be forced up to your heart. Instead the blood often takes a minute or two to rush to your heart but sometimes it forgets to rush up to your heart and the blood just pools in your feet and lowers legs. Okay I guess it’s still a little creepy sounding.

What you see on the outside is your legs are very red, they shouldn’t be swollen, just red and hot. Sometimes my toes feel swollen but it is very important to check that they are not swollen. If they are swollen this is not typically blood pooling and you should check with your doctor.

It is important to note that when you can see blood pooling, it probably means your blood pressure is pretty low and your heart is working extra hard to get it up to normal levels. 

Reduced Blood Flow to the Brain

So, think about it if all of the blood is in your feet and legs then there’s not much in your brain. This can causes headaches, dizziness, feeling weak, etc.

Solutions I’ve Found

The best solution for this problem is compression stocking. They will help force the blood up and make sure it is going where it needs to.

Follow Up Reading

Johnson, Cort. “The Reduced Brain Blood Flow Diseases? Long COVID, ME/CFS and POTS.” Health Rising, 26 December 2021, Accessed 3 April 2023.

Kakavand, Bahram. “Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) (for Parents) – Primary Children’s Hospital.” Kids Health, Accessed 3 April 2023.

“Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).” Johns Hopkins Medicine, Accessed 3 April 2023.

“POTS: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic, 9 September 2022, Accessed 3 April 2023.

Rice, Damien, and Matt Galbraith. “.,.” ., – YouTube, 16 November 2008, Accessed 3 April 2023.

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