Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

Memory Issues

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.

Brain Fog

What it feels like: Thinking through a cloud then forgetting everything a second later because you’re confused. Kind of like thinking while very drunk or high.

What causes it

POTS, that is what my doctor says causes brain fog so that’s super helpful. I also find that my general pain plays a role in how bad the brain fog is. It is much worse when my other symptoms are worse. Think about how hard it is to think when you’re in pain, it just makes it worse overall.

Solutions I’ve found

I do find that working to fix my blood pressure helps to fix the problem. Writing things down helps a lot, keeping a list in your phone of things you need to do or important information that comes up.

Short Term Memory Issues

What it feels like: being told something and having no idea 2 minutes later. It feels like nothing because you don’t remember what you forgot.

What causes it

Possibly low blood flow to the brain, possibly pain, possibly just POTS. I cannot find a definitive answer on this one either. 

Solutions I’ve found that works

Write things down, this will help you keep on track. Put all dates, appointments, etc in your phone calendar and set a reminder 1 day before, an hour before and 10 minutes before. This does help a lot.

Long Term Memory Issues 

What it feels like: Missing gaps in your memory for long periods of time. This one you know about, missing years of your life you know you’re missing things.

What causes it

Same as above, they don’t know maybe blood flow, maybe just POTS, maybe just being in pain. Either way, there are challenges to it but you’ll learn to live with it.

Solutions I’ve found that works

Ask people around you, it’s terrible to be dependent on someone else for your own memories but it can help. Make sure they’re not going to lie or manipulate those memories though.

Further Reading

Arnold, Amy. “Cognitive Dysfunction and “Brain Fog” in POTS | The Dysautonomia Dispatch.” Dysautonomia International, 3 February 2016, Accessed 30 March 2023.

“Brain Fog.” Standing Up To POTS, Accessed 30 March 2023.

Cameron, Daniel. “Brain fog and POTS cases. – Daniel Cameron, MD, MPH.” Dr. Daniel Cameron,

Accessed 30 March 2023.“POTS & Brain Fog: Is There a Link? • MyHeart.” MyHeart, Accessed 30 March 2023.

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