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Evidence Of Autonomic Dysregulation In Otherwise Healthy Cancer Caregivers: A Possible Link With Health Hazard


RichGotsPots
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i looked it up... thats crazy. I worked in hospice when i got very sick. i worked there doing wound care, meds and adls.... I had potsy symptoms for a few years before but went all out of wack after 8 months of working there...makes sence tho.. little bit too much for comfort

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That is really odd, could it be the high levels of stress associated with these jobs or the long periods of standing? Maybe there is a inclination to a certain viral infection that precipitates POTS? But then wouldn't the patients also be getting POTS?

I think it's either excessive stress and/or long periods of standing.

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As far as us being health care workers(and mostly nurses), I don't know about the connection. I wonder about all the doctors that are also around patient care. We know of the one doctor in Pensacola that has POTS, but does anyone ever hear of doctors coming down with POTS? They are under tremendous pressure during medical school, with long, long hours, etc. If it was something about being around cancer patients specifically, you would see a distinct subset of oncological health care providers coming down with POTS.

This is just me thinking out loud. I know I had an issue with not handling stress, even before POTS, but I don't know if/how it fits in.

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My cardologist developed POTS after his mother died. He is now recovered and is quite knowledgeable about autonomic dysfunction. It is possible that the stress of his practice plus the stress of his mother's death caused POTS. He told me he was quite sick and was thinking that he would have to close his practice. Florinef helped him. I suppose that is why he was very surprised when it didn't help me.

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Well i can tell you that my girlfriend who has been with me almost 100% everyday through my illness has gotten ill herself. When I went to my POTS specialist (he is also a vein specialist) she got checked out for have her varicose veins removed and she had very low BP around 80/60. She also start having really bad stomach problems which so far looks like reflux and gastritis. She doesn't have the tachy yet. But her asthma has comeback from 10 years ago. We thought it was from the apartment, since I got sick when I 1st moved there (had my 2nd POTS flare), but now we moved hoping both of us will recover soon in this new apartment..

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My cardologist developed POTS after his mother died. He is now recovered and is quite knowledgeable about autonomic dysfunction. It is possible that the stress of his practice plus the stress of his mother's death caused POTS. He told me he was quite sick and was thinking that he would have to close his practice. Florinef helped him. I suppose that is why he was very surprised when it didn't help me.

That's very interesting. Sometimes I wonder if this isn't some sort of strange psychosomatic illness. Like a physical manifestation of extreme mental stress or worry.

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My cardologist developed POTS after his mother died. He is now recovered and is quite knowledgeable about autonomic dysfunction. It is possible that the stress of his practice plus the stress of his mother's death caused POTS. He told me he was quite sick and was thinking that he would have to close his practice. Florinef helped him. I suppose that is why he was very surprised when it didn't help me.

That's very interesting. Sometimes I wonder if this isn't some sort of strange psychosomatic illness. Like a physical manifestation of extreme mental stress or worry.

I don't think POTS is a psychosomatic illness. The consistency of the symptoms (everytime one stands up) regardless of their underlying emotional state i.e. relaxing in the home or stressed at work, roots this in a physical cause. However, I do believe that stress can exacerbate POTS, given that POTS is predominately caused by vagal withdrawal, further sympathetic excitation is only going to further cause symptoms.

But I think there is just way too many physical abnormalities with POTS (angiotensin ii, aldosterone, plasma volume) to be described by anxiety alone.

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I agree with Jangle! after almost 4 years of having the crazy label thrown at me I am now in the hands of knowledgeable specialists and every one of them have stressed that POTS is not a psychological illness....as my one specialist says..stress cant turn your legs purple :) and he says we need to stop blaming ourselves for having this illness as that just makes everything worse....good advice I think! and just my 2 cents :)

Bren

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There is psychology associated with standing. It means something needs to be done or that you are going somewhere. Interesting how pots prevents us from doing both.

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Many people try to tell us it's just stress, but I don't even think stress is a trigger in anyway because I had a remission for over 3 years and had the most stress of my life and it wasn't triggered at all. In fact i can argue I flared 3 times when I was least stressed out. On the flip side after I've flared because this affects the system in my body that is in charge of panic, my ANS, I've been way more vulnerable to stress impacting my well being. Same as other people who are ill.

But I do feel that people who spend a lot time together can almost have the same biological aura of some kind. Also people caring for ill people can get stress and depression from it... I don't know how that triggers POTS though, it's odd...

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This is interesting. Health care workers may also just be better able to navigate medical care and get a diagnosis. Think how much many of us have had to go through to get a diagnosis.

I have never worked in health care. I worked as a teacher for 4 yrs and of course there is a lot of standing as a teacher. But a lot of professions involve standing...

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Oh I wasn't implying it is caused by stress. I was just saying that sometimes I wonder if there is a psychosomatic component to it- meaning we are exacerbating our own symptoms without realizing it. Also the fact of it occurring at any given place or any given time without a concscious trigger is not an argument for it not being psychosomatic. In fact most psychosomatic illnesses- such as somatoform disorder occur beneath the level of consciousness for that person- I.e. they have no perception of the anxiety they are experiencing that is causing the physical symptoms. Again, I'm not saying pots is psychosomatic. I agree that there are a ton of physical concrete abnormalities that argue against it. I just said it is something I wonder about given that many of us have high anxiety with our illness.

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I think the biggest stress is not being believed - I was humiliated and labelled because nobody knew about the syndrome. I was wrong not their knowledge so I find what you are saying really worrying. I deal with loads of stress happily in my life but when the adrenaline surges start - that physiology not psychology.

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Makes you wonder if the "anxiety" that's associated with this is because of the excess sympathetic drive and not the cause of the problem? Chicken and egg here perhaps. SInce both the pyschological and physical symptoms are all related to the same neurotransmitters it may be hard to say. Guess that's part of the whole "mind, body, spirit" integration...maybe we can't truly seperate them out.

Frankly my stress levels were MUCH lower when I became debiltated by this stuff. I was actually at a point in life where my kids were old enough to not need so much work and I was getting to do things I really enjoyed that I hadn't been able to do for years. Life was good....which made it all the more frustrating when docs wanted to blame my symptoms on anxiety. ARGH!! I LOVED my life before this struck. It was very busy but I enjoyed everything I was doing. If this was stress related, why didn't it hit me 12 years ago when my kids were much more demanding, I was employed (literally) 8 different places and I was taking care of my dad who was dying of cancer?

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It could be that caregivers and those in the medical community are exposed to more infectious illnesses than most people. Maybe that's the connection. Cancer patients are more immuno-compromised than most and prone to infections...

As far as a psychosomatic element, this is an illness that affects our ANS which has a ton to do with anxiety response and hormone activation, so i think the stress response dysfunction comes after the physiological dysfunction of our ANS.

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