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POTS
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POTS

Hi, thank you for the great service you are providing.

I am 30, male and I had a brainstem injury 7 years ago.

After a recent acupuncture treatment to my neck (where the needle was attached to some sort of electrical current machine to increase the effect of the treatment), I had a bad reaction and symptoms have persisted for 5 weeks so far:

Paplitations when standing (sometimes when sitting/lying)
Breathing problems in the day and night (apnea at night)
Shortness of breath after even a short walk/climbing stairs
Feels like my nervous system is very overexcited
Erratic blood pressure
and others...

Questions:

1. In the past, I have had some symptoms (e.g. ocassional palpitations, sensation of skipped heart beat) but symptoms have always improved over time. This time, it is persistent and pretty constant. Could it be POTS?

2. My resting heart rate when standing ranges from 100 to 130. Sitting and lying down it can be 70-95. It was in the 140s after a short walk.
Is this dangerous on the heart? (I have read that POTS -related tachachardia is not dangerous, but is this true? Surely it puts extra strain on the cardio system?).

3. Would a beta blocker help?

I have a referral to a specalist but it is 4 months away (I dont have private insurance) so would appreciate your advice in the meantime.

Thanks for your time.

Ben
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Hi Ben,

1. In the past, I have had some symptoms (e.g. ocassional palpitations, sensation of skipped heart beat) but symptoms have always improved over time. This time, it is persistent and pretty constant. Could it be POTS?

The best way to diagnose pots is to see a cardiologist and perform an EP study.  It is a difficult diagnosis and a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning we have to rule out other causes for your symptoms first.


2. My resting heart rate when standing ranges from 100 to 130. Sitting and lying down it can be 70-95. It was in the 140s after a short walk.
Is this dangerous on the heart? (I have read that POTS -related tachachardia is not dangerous, but is this true? Surely it puts extra strain on the cardio system?).

If you are young and relatively healthy, the cardiovascular system tolerates high heart rates pretty well.  If your heart rate is always running in the 110 or more range, you should see a cardiologist to evalute for conditions that may cause this.  Extreme tachycardia over extended time periods can lead to cardiomyopathies.

3. Would a beta blocker help?

It probably wouldn't hurt and may help.   That is i probably the first thing I would try.  You general doctor should be able to start you on a beta blocker unless they aren't comfortable doing it.  Then when you see the specialist you will be able to tell them if it helped or not.  This will help direct their therapies.

I hope this helps.  Good luck and thanks for posting.
2 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a 35-year-old female with POTS. My resting heartrate is 65 and when I stand, it goes up to 120-130. Going up a long flight of stairs! more like 160-80. It took three doctors before I found one that even knew about POTS. Check out the www.potsplace.com website. They have a lot of information and can direct you to someone who might give you a proper diagnosis and treatment. Good luck!
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