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Heavy Arms?


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I'm new to POTS, so dont really know too much about it, so I'm sorry if this has been asked before.

When I asked my doctor why when I lift my arms above my head they feel super heavy and like I can literally feel the blood draining from them she said she wasnt sure and that she had never heard of this before!? (And she told me she sees POTS patients on a daily basis). She then mentioned the possibility of nerve damage or blocked blood vessels, which freaked me out!

Are heavy arms a symptoms of POTS? I dont feel faint or anything when I lift them, they just feel heavy, and this only started after I was diagnosed 4 months ago.

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Hi,

See my recent post below. It discusses some about this. But, what I am talking about is more of a severe muscle fatigue type pain. So, I am not sure that it is the same. I would not completely rule out that what you experience isn't due to POTS. I was under the impression that is a relatively common symptom.

http://dinet.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=11480

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When you lift your arms above shoulder height your heart has to work much harder to pump blood up there against the pull of gravity. Some people find this makes them very lightheaded but I would have thought that it could also cause "heavy arms". Perhaps it is your body trying to tell you not to hold them up there too long?

Flop

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Yes, I experience this from time to time and I know many people have commented about it here in the past. Sometimes I'll be having no other symptoms but when reaching my arms over my head (like putting away groceries in a high cabinet or even drying/styling my hair) I get this sensation. My POTS doc advised this complaint is not unusual. It's listed over in the 'What to Avoid' section here as well.

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Very interesting. I have always had trouble holding my arms up above my head. Even in school if I wanted to raise my hand, I had to hold one hand up with the other hand just to get my questioned answered. When I raise my arms over my head, the blood drains out of them and I get very very dizzy and lightheaded, even if they are just up there for a minute or two. Washing my hair is a killer.

I never mentioned this to any doctor. I thought it was normal. Sadly, I think it is for us POTS patients.

Sara

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I always have severely weak arms, and so do my two POTSy friends.

For me, they're only weak when I try to raise them above my head - like, I have to take a break when shampooing my hair, braiding my hair. Reaching for things above my head is difficult.

I've always thought of this as a "weak" feeling, but I could also see where it could be expressed as a heaviness.

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My POTS doctor said he hears this complaint alot from other patients. I have trouble washing my hair and my husband has to help me dry and style my hair...thank goodness he does a decent job of it.

My arms feel as if they weigh 50 lbs. each when I raise them. I first noticed this when I tried to paint a ceiling...NOT a good idea. I had not be diagnosed yet at the time and my sister thought I was trying to get out of the work.

I have not found anything that helps with this and my doctor had no suggestions either. I guess I will just avoid raising my arms above my head.

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When my daughter was first diagnosed, she would complain of heavy arms. She sat like she couldn't lift them off the chair arms. I think she was so weak and fatigued that they were a chore to raise. I think your heavy arms are TOTALLY POTS related and don't let the doctor put needless fear into you. Some POTS symptoms are so weird, aren't they!!! Hang in there!

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My doc said it was common to POTS and it's just blood not being able to fuel your muscles. Without proper bloodflow, we feel really heavy and our muscles don't work well, which is why people with hypotension are really weak. So it would make sense to me why a limb would feel heavy if it was either full of blood or doesn't have enough to operate it, right? Not sure what your doc was getting at, but I think maybe she's looking too far into it... seems like a typical blood volume/flow/pooling problem with POTS patients.

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I dont get that, but when i lean forward my head fills up with blood like a balloon and it feels very strange and goes bright red - classic blood pooling on the wroing way around and im 100% certain its caused by POTS - after all POTS is an illness of inappropriate blood circulation and control - if when you lifet your arms the blood runs out of them excessively or inappropriately then its POTS.

It is a constant source of concern that many 'specialists' seem to know less about this condition than patients...

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I dont get that, but when i lean forward my head fills up with blood like a balloon and it feels very strange and goes bright red - classic blood pooling on the wroing way around and im 100% certain its caused by POTS - after all POTS is an illness of inappropriate blood circulation and control - if when you lifet your arms the blood runs out of them excessively or inappropriately then its POTS.

It is a constant source of concern that many 'specialists' seem to know less about this condition than patients...

Weird, mine does too! My ears clog up like I have an ear infection and it is difficult to hear too. It's not very comfortable. When I put my arms up, I get REALLY dizzy and my HR (120+) and BP go up (crazy up 170s/140s)

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Your head does? I think you and I share a lot of symptoms.

Yeah, my head looks like a pickled beet (dark magenta) and my ears get all stuffy like I have an ear infection or a cold. I can't hear very well and I have awful pressure and "the headache" spikes bad. I have given up bending over for anything and try to squat instead. I feel like my eyeballs are going to pop out, who knows what my BP does. <_<

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