Jump to content

For those with palpitation problems


Recommended Posts

My apologies for being away from the boards. On the one hand I have been in such a deep rabbit hole, but on the other my body is doing better and little by little I am doing more.

I came across an author this summer who talked about so many of my symptoms in one neat little package that I had to share her with those who are stuggling with some of their POTS symptoms.

First a disclaimer: POTS is not an anxiety disorder. We are not crazy. Our symptoms are real and no matter how much you meditate, reduce your stress levels and do biofeedback you can still have POTS.

I don't want anyone to think I am agreeing with all of the doctors we have seen before who said to us "this is all in your head", "your problem is just stress". It's not. It wasn't. I know better. And so do you.

However, this sweet (now departed) Australian doctor from the 1960's and 1970's seemed to have touched upon a syndrome that shared too many of the symptoms that I have to ignore. We all know that POTS can cause heart palpitations and skipped beats. And some POTS people have no problem ignoring these "normal" occurances. But for those of us who over the years have REALLY tried to ignore these (and other) body sensations but we just can't seem to "deal" with them. I would recommend her book.

I first heard her voice on a free download from Audible.com (not sure this link will work, if not go to audible.com and look up WEEKES.)


She talks about a condition she calls "sensitization". And in her books and tapes she describes it as a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. (Hmmm, sound familiar.) She explains that when your body becomes sensitized (which is a really physical reaction, not something brought on by anxiety or stress) that when you are in this condition you may experience palpitations, skipped heart beats, nausea, weight loss .... But then she even talks about how for some of us we feel better at night/evening only to wake up ill again the next morning.

I KNOW these symptoms. I've fought them for years when I go into a POTS crash. What amazed me is how she was able to explain all of them. Even the dizzy feeling upon standing. In simple terms that took the mystery out of it. Part of what is hard for me with the history of POTS is all the "new" symptoms and wondering what would happen next. But there is no mystery, she explained. A sensitized system will follow a logical course, A to B to C and by taking the mystery out it helps to face and accept the state we are in.

Her "cure" is all couched in facing, accepting and letting time pass.

Anyway, I really don't mean to sound like an infomercial. Dr. Claire Weekes passed away in 1990, she's not a mega conglomerate still trying to make money. She has only a hand ful of books and tape and many are hard to find. But for those of us still struggling with the "panic" pieces of our POTS I would highly recommend a listen. Her wonderful accent is soothing and comforting. I plan on sharing a copy with my doctor to help de-mystify some of what happens to me when I go through a crash.

If anyone wants to talk about Dr. Weekes further, feel free to send me a private message. I have more info on how to get her books and even a special DVD that one of her former patients has access to in England.

Good luck to all of us on our healing journey.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW! EM. that is really interesting.. thank you so much for sharing that with us.. I would love more info on it..


Edited by MightyMouse
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I have one of her books, titled "Hope and Help for Your Nerves." I read it a few years ago. I thought it was wonderful. It does explain some things. It does talk about accepting and letting time pass.

Her book was written before our current SSRIs were available. I sometimes wonder what she would have to say today.

The book I read did offer a wonderful explanation of how the body is sensitized and how it reacts and how the nerves, heartrate etc are affected. I found it very comforting to read when I was going through a bout of paplitations. Helped me tolerate it better.

Still, her book addressed sensitization as a temporary thing that gets better. My POTS does not. Still I would recommend reading it for anyone who has palpitations, especially.

Michigan Jan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have that book too. It is cool and a big help for coping with SYMPTOMS. It's not a cure for POTS ... we have POTS. But I do believe her work can help with the quality of life, for some of us who are still so bewildered by these strange sensations.

I spoke to one of her former patients in England and she believes that the philosophy Dr. Weekes provides can help with any life situation. And she shared with me that when her husband was dying of cancer they both used it in order to make the best of the time they had. Wow. What an inspiration.

Good thoughts.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi EM;

It is great to see you on the boards. I am happy to hear you are doing more, I just wish that you would feel even been. I myself have been doing so much more lately, so I haven't been on here as much either.

Your info is very enlightening. I do agree with it 100%. Most of our illness depends mostly on acceptance and dealing with it. I will look up more about it.

I have recently decided to see a psychologist to help me with my coping. What a wonderful help she has been. She herself has told me that the it is all about learning to accept and cope. Through her I have also learned that negative thinking (such as being down on yourself and thinking about bad things that can happen) can bring on more adrenaline output that puts the negative effects on your body. Keeping upbeat, thinking positive and looking forward to the good, instead of the bad, helps to produce endorphines into the system. Endorphines make you feel better, give you positive energy and reduce the production of adrenaline. I have been working on this and I must say it has helped.

I am continuing the hormone replacement that my body desperately needed. It has made a tremendous difference. I am doing much more and feeling much better as well.

So, I think you are right about it not being "all in your head". Our systems are very sensitive to changes that could knock our nervous systems out of balance. We have to accept that and do what we can to find a way to live with it. Time does heal.

Thanks for sharing your information. Again, I hope you feel even better soon.

Take care,

KathyP :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi EM,

I have 3 of her books. They really helped me out when I was down and out years ago. So many symptoms were popping up, anxiety and panic were getting the better of me. The constant thinking of what was going on in my body, why no one could help me really set the anxiety off. I took those books everywhere with me. I highlighted areas all over the book. I still till this day, re-read the books. I find that just trying to reinforce that these are feelings or thoughts that I really am not going to pass out or die etc, that I can pull myself through, especially when I am out. I recently had trouble in my car with feeling like I could not breathe, rapid heart rate etc. Once that happened just being in my car would start me mind going. By practicing what Dr. Weekes taught I found for the most part I could get throught.

I personally find it helpful with many situations not just anxiety.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for this info. I have lived with these symptoms you described for several years, and docs either said they didn't know or gave me the "cop out" anxiety disorder diagnosis. The same thing is happening to my oldest son now, and two of his docs tried to say it was anxiety. OF COURSE we have anxiety!! If they tried to live this way, they'd have anxiety, too. My husband is a nurse, and I'm a lab tech. Neither one of us thinks my son and I have panic disorder. Otherwise, the SSRI's might have helped me. They only made me worse. And imipramine made my BP drop so low, I needed IV fluids!! And some docs don't want to listen or believe you. I wish they would put us on 24-hr ambulatory BP cuffs, so they could see what is going on. I take readings at home to show them at office visits, and they just ignore them. It's very frustrating, but I will try to be patient and search for the right doc and check out the books you recommended. Thanks for your help.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...