Thursday, March 18, 2010

Xanax and POTS

Today is not a good day at all. Last night I started to feel hot in my bedroom. I assume because it got to 60 degrees out yesterday and that is too much heat for me (Living on the 2nd floor it gets warmer and the apartment complex still has the heat on till May). My heart rate started to climb, so I moved to the uncomfortable couch in the living room and slept with the a/c unit on me. Thankfully I slept 8 hours.

I woke up feeling like I had not slept at all and every time I stand up today my pulse is 127-135. I feel drained. I know some how I need to find a doctor near by that knows and understands what POTS is, I just can't travel for that test. The anxiety of doing a test that could make me faint is bad enough without being in NYC or a different state. So far in person and online I have yet to find any doctor in the Albany, NY area that understands POTS and can test for it.

POTS can be caused by several things and they are not always sure what causes it. However one of the reasons is medication. I know this didn't start till after I came off Xanax and it is my belief that Xanax if I do have POTS has caused this to happen.

Here is some information on POTS and I will put a plus sign next to the symptoms I have. Doctors are still not very knowledgeable in this syndrome and the last doctor I asked about it said that it was "tuberculosis of the bones" and was annoyed when I said it wasn't.

"Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition of dysautonomia, more specifically orthostatic intolerance, in which a change from the supine position to an upright position causes an abnormally large increase in heart rate, called tachycardia. By the definition of POTS used at the Mayo Clinic, this is NOT accompanied by a fall in blood pressure in general.

* lightheadedness, sometimes called pre-syncope (pre-fainting) dizziness (but not vertigo, which is also called dizziness)+ (I have dizziness, but not vertigo and feel pre-faint)
* exercise intolerance+
* extreme fatigue+
* syncope (fainting)
* Excessive thirst (polydipsia)+

Chronic or acute hypoperfusion of tissues and organs in the upper parts of the body are thought to cause the following symptoms:

* cold extremities+
* chest pain and discomfort+
* disorientation
* dyspnea+
* headache+
* muscle weakness+
* visual disturbances+

Autonomic dysfunction is thought to cause additional gastrointestinal symptoms:

* abdominal pain or discomfort+
* bloating+
* constipation+
* diarrhea+
* nausea+
* vomiting+

Cerebral hypoperfusion, when present, can cause cognitive and emotive difficulties. Symptoms that persist in the supine (recumbent) state are difficult to attribute to "cerebral hypoperfusion" and more probably reflect an element of depression or simple fatigue:

* brain fog+
* burnout+
* decreased mental stamina
* depression+ (sometimes it comes and goes)
* difficulty finding the right word
* impaired concentration+
* sleep disorders+

Inappropriate levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine lead to anxiety-like symptoms:

* chills+
* feelings of fear+
* flushing+
* overheating+
* nervousness+
* over-stimulation+

Symptoms of POTS overlap considerably with those of generalized anxiety disorder, and a misdiagnosis of an anxiety disorder is not uncommon."

So out of 32 symptoms I have 27 of them and have almost daily for over a year now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too have recently found out i have POTS. the first time that caused me to go to the ER was a horrible episode. I got up and got ready and had to go downstairs to my car. by the time I got to my car I have black spots in my vision, I'm sweating, my heart is racing, my chest feels strange. I feel so lightheaded that even my face is tingling. I feel as if I'm going to pass out and I'm also extremely nauseous. I was told it sounds like a heart attack so I ended up going to the er. but every EKG, blood test,ETC. came back normal, all except the blood pressure test they do lying, sitting and standing. it was a 30 beat difference. so my heart rate jumped from sitting to standing. I felt so weak I had to be brought in a wheelchair and I couldn't stand for more than 2 minutes. they sent me home after giving me 2 bags of fluid saying that I was probly dehydrated and that was the cause for the change in blood pressure/heart rate. so I went home but it happened again days later. so I looked up the symptoms. and almost every single 1 was POTS. how I always get nauseous after I eat. I have bad anxiety panic attacks and feel weak a lot of the time. the light headed feeling upon even sitting with my feet on the floor even worse when I'm standing. the episodes are so scary. I read that, some people have it start w when they are teenagers, others after they give birth. which I just had when I noticed the symptoms started.after I gave birth and was on fluids for several days because I had to be in the hospital for 2 days before I gave birth, i ended up feeling great after having the baby. it was also because I had so much fluids given to me which is also 1 of the treatments for POTS. they even say salt tablets might work.also, two of the medications that helps is xanax and time was so bad I couldn't feel my face it was tingly, I took a xanex that was from past for anxiety. within 10 min. I could feel my face again, within 20 to 30 I felt fine. it helps so much I couldn't believe it. I truly hope that this condition didn't start because of my birth of my son because they say that that is the type that is the most severe usually the type that people get and don't get rid of an can't control is easily. I can't quite remember when it started weather it was before him or after I just know I've been very sensitive to heat and getting overheated also causes it. so I'm dealing with it but sometimes the episode is so bad I just have to lay down and cancel my plans. hoping that with more exercise and losing weight that the symptoms will go away because I also heard that people that were on bed rest have symptoms that mimic POTS. and I was the last 2 trimesters of my pregnancy, suggested to be on bed rest, then a few months after I sprained my ankle very badly and I also have back problems they keep me down for days at a time when I threw my back out. because of my back problem I've also gained weight and with the pregnancy too, so I'm hoping and praying that I will have some relief when I get healthier even though exercise is 1 of the things that make it worse exercise is extremely necessary when you have it. it's such a horrible thing to have because without blood in your brain there's not much you can do. I went grocery shopping 1 day and even going through half the store my heart rate got up to 182bpm,and i was just slowly moseying through.. I felt so bad that I thought I was going to pass out, and there was no place to sit, I was so afraid that I would pass out right there in the store and make a big scene.. so sometimes it really interferes with my life. makes me feel helpless. it's a day by day thing that I struggle with...... so now I just eat well eat less carbohydrates,(thats suggested) drink a ton of water, try salt pills, take B12 for energy. and exercise whenever I can. you really gotta watch out and take care of yourself everyday..