One day you go from being an active person full of life to waking up not feeling like yourself. You get a bad cold. You never seem to bounce back. You go to the doctor. You may be misdiagnosed with exhaustion or anxiety. Or if you are female, with premenstrual syndrome.
“Just get some rest,” is the advice you get.
But if all you feel like doing is laying down because, every time you get up, you get dizzy or are otherwise left with low energy, what do you do?
Do you get a second opinion? How long will it be before you (and your doctors) know what might be causing these seemingly run-of-the-mill symptoms? Months? Years?
Yes, years. This is the case with many people who suffer from POTS.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS, is a form of dysautonomia, which can cause lightheadedness, fainting, tachycardia, chest pains, shortness of breath, GI upset, shaking, exercise intolerance, temperature sensitivity, and more.
According to this article by U.S. News & World Report, “one survey of more than 3,000 patients with POTS found that, on average, people saw seven doctors and waited more than four years before hearing the term applied to them, and nearly one-quarter saw 10 physicians or more.”
This isn’t to say it is the doctors fault; POTS is a tricky thing to diagnose because a person may not experience all the symptoms, or the symptoms fall into other categories. Either way, it means you may see a slew of specialists before one of them explores the idea that you could have POTS.
It can be, unfortunately, a lengthy process of elimination.
It can be really stressful to go through health issues that, for awhile, seem to have no resolution. So, get a good group of people around you that can lend you some support and strength. And don’t stop looking until you have an answer!