POTS and Migraine

I have this thing called POTS. I know, the name is lame. Actually I read that cool dude John Lurie was diagnosed with POTS, and categorically refused to have it, because the name was so dumb. It stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. There’s a doctor in Texas, studying POTS, who proposes that we change the name to “Grinch Syndrome.” Because our hearts are “two sizes too small.” I don’t know, mine hasn’t been measured… I prefer the name “Astronaut sickness” because people with POTS don’t do gravity all that well. But that’s just my opinion.

What it means in practical terms is that I get dizzy when I stand up, or if I stand up too long, and I need to ingest ridiculous levels of salt and fluids to keep myself functioning. If you want to know more about POTS, this site has a thorough overview: www.dinet.org.

The other thing I have is migraine syndrome. For me, all things lead to dizziness and this is no exception. There are a lot of migraine triggers I have to deal with. Some of them are not in my control, like weather and hormones. Others are within my control, like food. That means that it’s pretty hard for me to eat out or eat at other people’s houses. It can be a real pain. But after doing it for a full year, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Also I’ve been taking Cymbalta as a treatment for both– re-regulating the autonomic nervous system (by making my brain generally work better) and taking my sensitivity down a peg, so every passing cloud doesn’t set off an attack.

I’m muddling through, and doing okay. If you’re interested in reading more about my POTS/migraine experience, browse around in blog entries beginning June 2009 to the present. It’s been a long, strange trip.

2 Responses to POTS and Migraine

  1. Curtis J. says:

    My wife and I and maybe one other doctor (after extensive testing and ZERO answers) believe my son to have POTS. At the present he is having a very painful migraine, which had me looking up ways to treat it, which brought me to your blog. I would love to pick your brain on the matter and compare stories to see if we can alleviate some of the problems that occur with POTS. My wife has spent literally thousands of hours doing research on the matter but it has always been her reading and getting no reactive response. In other words the computer doesn’t talk back. She has even stumped some doctors with her questions and knowledge that she has found via the internet. Like I said though, it would be good to converse with another human being.

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