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Avatar universal

Hyperadrenergic POTS

My daughter has Hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and I am just wondering if anyone else has this form of POTS.  I would like any input as to what helps you with symptoms as she is having a rough time lately.  

We are just so frustrated because she was doing better after starting Cymbalta and birth control pills as the combination seemed to be helping.  She recently had her wisdom teeth removed and also got the flu and that may be in part the reason her symptoms got worse.

ANY suggestions would be most appreciated!  

thank you,
Lynn:)
25 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm sorry to hear your daughter is going through a rough time.  You are correct in assuming that the combination of having her wisedom teeth removed and then getting hit with the flu, has likely triggered an increase in symptoms.  People with hyperadrenergic POTS seem to experience an increase in symptoms when any event occurs that causes an even greater release of norepinephrine.  I am relatively newly diagnosed (Oct 08) and still trying to thoroughly understand the syndrome so I'm no expert but I've found on days when my symptoms are REALLY bad, it is best to stay very well hydrated, keep meals small but frequent, rest in a reclined position (not lying down....just makes matters worse when it's time to get up again), and no matter how exhausted, dizzy and sick I feel take several short walks...even if it's just two minutes at a time.  

She needs to be reminded there will be better days ahead and to just live at her own pace right now.  

I hope she's feeling better soon.

Take care.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your response!  My daughter was diagnosed a year ago with POTS.  In the last few months we figured out that it is the Hyperadrenergic form.  My mom (age 73), myself (45) and my niece (33) all believe that we have it as well.   Our symptoms have not been to the extent of my daughter's.  

My mom takes Sudafed every day and has for many years.  (This is ironic because it is mentioned as a drug that can help with this form of POTS in an article by Dr. Blair Grubb.)  I take Cymbalta which is also on that list (although I have taken it for a couple of years.....before I even heard of POTS).  It helps with the low seratonin levels that this form of POTS causes.  I have always had headaches and dizziness of varying degree... or at least since my teenage years.  I often have fatigue as well....sometimes really have to push myself.

Are you taking any medications?  Do you see a doctor for POTS?  The reason I ask is that my daughter had been seeing a cardiologist who had been prescribing different meds for many months (none helped her).  As it turned out those meds are not helpful for the 'H' form of POTS (per the table by Dr. Grubb).  I brought the information to him and my suspicions that this was the type she had but he wanted to run more tests because he thought it was something else going on in addition to POTS.  He really didn't even acknowledge the 'H' form of POTS at all.

It has been very frustrating trying to get her diagnosed and even trying to find a doctor who can help.

I see you are from Canada.  My husband is from Ottawa.  It is a very nice area.  Do you see a specialist?....what type of doctor do you see?

Do you have any sleep disorders?  I was told by someone else on this site that this is also common to people with the hyperadrenergic form.  I have sleep apnea and recently started using a CPAP machine.

sorry for all the questions.....it's just nice to talk to someone with the same form of POTS!

thanks!
Lynn:)

Avatar universal
Thank you for sending the article by Dr Grubb.  It was quit informative.  I am now seeing a cardiologist who specializes in autonomic disorders.  He is only one of 4 specialists in Canada so I consider myself very fortunate to have been referred to him.  I suspect many people with POTS probably spend years being misdiagnosed and therefore treated inappropriately.  I spent a year being treated for extremely high blood pressure and a condition called pseudo-pheochromocytoma.  None of the medication helped and I was actually beginning to worry my issues were possibly the on-set of mental illness!  One of my doctors (an endocrinologist) began to suspect an autonomic disorder and I finally found the right doctor who was able to do a tilt table test and confirmed H POTS.

I do not know what has caused my POTS.  There does not seem to be a family history.  I did get a very bad flu a couple years ago and just never felt like "myself" afterwards and the symptoms have slowly progressed from that point.  I also don't know if I have a MCAD that sometimes accompanies H POTS.  I guess there is a lot I don't know but I'm trying to learn.  I struggle with mental fogging, blurred vision, and fatigue so researching this syndrome has been difficult for me.

My medications have been drastically reduced (thank heavens!!!) and I am currently taking Clonidine 0.3/day, Metoprolol 75mg/day, and Topamax 100mg/day.  The migraines have been greatly reduced by the Topamax but my blood pressure is either way too high or it crashes and goes very low.  Mostly it's too high though.  My heart rate is almost always over 100 if I'm standing and gallops up to the 140-180 range with even mild extertion.  I always feel exhausted....no wonder my body thinks it's running a marathon!

As for sleep disorders, I don't know if I have sleep apnea.  I do know I sleep very poorly.  I will often (3-4 times per week) wake up at night with extreme night sweats, pounding heart, and anxiety.  Going back to sleep is impossible because I feel "wired".  These episodes are what triggers my migraines most of the time but the Topamax is helping.

There are numerous other symptoms that occur and I have no understanding as to why: numb palms and toes, nausea, loss of apetite, blurry vision, flushing, memory loss, searching for words, mental fogging, digestive problems, lack of balance, tremors in my hands and legs, sweating for no reason but feeling cold at the same time and anxiety (the anxiety is a major surprise because I am known for being very calm under pressure and now I feel anxious without any identifiable triggers!).  There also seems to be a hormonal link because all this gets much worse before my periods and during ovulation.  At my next appointment I intend to enquire about stopping my periods.

Don't worry about asking me a lot of questions.  It seems we all share the same position in that we have more questions than answers.  It is hard to find someone to discus any of this with because POTS is so poorly understood by most doctors (my family doctor included) and I haven't met anyone yet who knew what I was talking about when I told them I had POTS.

It's poorly understood and hard as hell to live with sometimes.  Not a lot of support....

Thank goodness for this forum but it is only helpful when we're feeling well enough to use a computer.  Our medical practitioners need to learn about this and become our allies instead of just another obstacle for us to overcome.  I think we have enough on our plates :-).

Please stay in touch Lynn and send my best to your daughter.  There's better days ahead.

Take care.

Avatar universal
It must be really difficult for you as a mom to be going through so much.  I know it drives me crazy trying to research all of this for my daughter's symptoms and I am able to read and all.....just tired a lot which could be related to my thyroid problems too.  I have also had anxiety problems, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental fogging, digestive problems, can't think of the simplest word sometimes!, weird sensations on my arms or legs (like something cold has dripped on them), cold extremities, etc, etc.

I agree it is very frustrating dealing with doctor's who make you feel like they think it is all in your head.  I think my daughter has had it with doctors.....I am looking for clinical trials that may help but convincing her to go may be another story.  

Neuropathy is common with this form of POTS also.....numbness and tingling, etc.  Also in POTS in general menstruation definitely makes it worse.  My daughter is having a rough week because of that right now.

As for blood pressure fluctuation....my daughter was put on different meds....one was Metoprolol and I don't remember if that is the one but one made her blood pressure drop drastically to the point that in the mornings it was 50's over 40's so she couldn't get out of bed.  

The meds she has been prescribed were Metoprolol, Midodrine, Florinef, Ritalin, as well as high salt intake.  None of those were any help to her......and none of them are on the list as being helpful for the H POTS either.

My mom and I both take Sudafed every day.  I don't know why it is helpful for this form but it is.  We both also take medicine for high blood pressure.

I do remember reading that it is very important to keep your allergies under control as that can worsen symptoms as well.  

Your symptoms sound very similar to my daughter's.  I'm glad you found a doctor who is a specialist.....that's great!  We have a good nurse practitioner/internist group who do read the articles and listen to us which is good.  I haven't taken her back to the cardiologist again.....he wasn't really listening to us.....like when I told him that I was sure that the type she has is the Hyperadrenergic form of POTS.

Anyway, I better get to sleep now......I really hope things improve for you very soon.  I will be watching out for the new article by Dr. Grubb and will send a link when I find it.

take care and keep in touch
Lynn:)

746058 tn?1248348265
Can someone repost the article on the H form of pots?  I had a hard drive crash lastweek, and had some saved on my computer, but now they're gone.  I just got diagnosed with mild POTS from a tilt table test.  1 Cardiologist , an endocrinologist, and a family Dr all agree to try diet (increase water and salt) and exercise first, but my cardiologist wants to start 25 mg toprol 2ce a day and florinef.  I am scared to death to take either med.  I suffer from anxiety, flushing, mild dizziness, heart palps, and rapid heart rate anywhere from 110-198.  But it isn't always like that.  It seems to be triggered by my anxiety or a stimuli.  Like going to the Cardio office.  I was nervous so my blood pressure was up 140/79 which for me is high.  I usually run abt 117/68......I am afraid to take the beta blocker in fear it will make me faint from low blood pressure.  The dr wants me to take 25 mg 2 times a day, do you think it would be ok if I started out taking half  a pill in the morning and the other half in the evening  for a total of 25 mg a day?  This beta blocker also helps with anxiety disorders I have read.  Has anyone tried Paxil for their POTS? I have heard alot about cymbalta.  I just hate to get on the drug roller coaster.....any suggestions....
Avatar universal
This is the link to the article by Dr. Grubb.  It lists the table of meds/treatments that are helpful for the different types of POTS.

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/117/21/2814#TBL1189801

I really couldn't tell you what you should do as far as meds are concerned.  I do know that Florinef is not something I would be worried about as it just helps your body to maintain proper levels of fluid and minerals.  If you think that you have the Hyperadrenergic form of POTS then salt doesn't help that (according to the table as well as my daughter's experience).  For months we tried lots and lots of sodium....not the healthiest diet.

In my daughter's case they tried metoprolol, midodrine, florinef, salt, ritalin.  I can't remember if it was the metoprolol or midodrine but one of them caused her blood pressure to be extremely low early in the mornings.  (I think 52/45 or something like that.)  We did call the cardio and he had us adjust it taking half and changing times, but it still didn't help.  At the time we didn't realize that hers was likely the 'H' form.

The H form also causes anxiety and I am told sleep disorders are common as well as neuropathy.  Apparently part of the reason Cymbalta helps is because in this form seratonin is lower than it should be and Cymbalta increases seratonin levels.

I don't think there would be anything wrong with starting out with half each time....I don't blame you at all for wanting to take it slow....as in my daughter's case.  The other 'm' medicine that the cardiologist prescribed her was apparently too strong for her and caused her to have goosebumps that didn't go away.  Again we called and the doctor told us to take half but i still had troublesome symptoms for her so she didn't end up continuing that medicine either.

I hope this article helps.....I would take it with you to the doctor.  Hopefully yours will read the information and be open minded to your opinions.

The bottom line is it is your body and you should feel comfortable with the treatment.

take care and keep in touch!

p.s.  I will post an updated link when I find a new article from him.....he had said that he hopes to have another article out in the Spring about 2 subtypes of Hyperadrenergic POTS.

Lynn:)
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