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  1. I don’t have GERD or anything like that, but I do love anti-inflammatory foods so maybe I’ll go back to having turmeric steamers again since I’m not supposed to be drinking caffeine! Good call. I’ve only ever had episodes of nausea and vomiting but it generally only lasts an afternoon or evening at a time and then it’s back to normal digestion. ANA and rest of autoimmune panel was negative when the liver specialist ran it. The only immunoglobulin that was slightly elevated was IgA. And the thyroid antibody was still present despite having a full thyroidectomy over a decade ago. I still feel like that’s a bit odd because my body shouldn’t be producing thyroid antibody if there’s no thyroid tissue. I might push for that to be rechecked when I go back to the doctor in August because it’s been a year since the last one. I don’t know what else she can look for. I accidentally haven’t had a Paps test in six years but I’m doing that at my next appointment as well because my cycle has also increased in intensity and unpleasantness over the past year too. Trying to rule all of the scary things out. Also seems weird that the ESR blood level is sometimes normal, sometimes elevated despite the CRP being always elevated. Is that common with POTS?
  2. I’ve been prescribed Naproxen in the past for inflammation but it gave me bleeding gastritis (had the endoscopy and it was normal but blood in stool with horrible diarrhea for weeks). I’m not supposed to take NSAIDS now. It would be good to find out if I can take anything else. I haven’t really tried speaking with my family doctor all that much because I just figured she wouldn’t be able to help. Maybe a good idea to at least tell her when symptoms are getting worse so we can keep track. Thanks! Good point re: following up. I didn’t expect the electrophysiologist to treat the POTS, I was just hoping he could rule out a heart problem and educate me about the Holter Monitor result posted to the patient portal but he didn’t address anything other than tell me I have POTS like it’s a new diagnosis. 🤦🏻‍♀️
  3. Hey thanks for your response! My blood pressure was Pre-hypertensive before the beta blocker while resting/standing and dipping down really low upon standing but now seems to be normal with the beta blocker at rest, however I’ve had some trouble taking it within a minute of standing because the machine I have just gives me an error message so it probably wouldn’t hurt to get my blood pressure checked seated/standing at my next in-person appointment. Maybe it’s dropping more with standing up now? I was worried about the average daily heart rate dropping to bradycardia before starting the beta blockers because it seemed weird given that I’m exercising less now, but my thyroid medication was lowered so maybe that has something to do with it (rechecked a few weeks ago and it was still too high/I was still quite hyperthyroid). I started the beta blocker June 25th at a 68bpm resting heart rate and it’s down to 57bpm resting today. Apparently a drop in resting is normal but at the end of May I was in the 90s resting. You can see how the average daily resting bpm dropped in the teal FitBit graph. Super weird. I tried to communicate this to the cardiologist but he didn’t understand what I was saying at all and it was over the phone so I couldn’t show him. Blergh. He also didn’t even say “ventricular tachycardia” during our appointment so I think he just went off of my POTS complaint and for some reason I felt bullied into being quick/not pushing to talk about more and just shutdown. Feels like I really messed up the initial consult, but he also should’ve read my chart before the appointment or even during and not (seemingly) after and just booked a test for me without any explanation as to why. I’ve figured it out on my own - if there’s any NSVT in someone under 40 years of age they usually investigate for some kind of structural issue in the heart.
  4. I was diagnosed in an outpatient clinic (did an ECG and some standing up tests). I was referred to a dysautonomia specialist (cardiologist) but warned that it could be a very long time before I heard back. I started having trouble standing so I went back to the outpatient clinic for a 48hr Holter Monitor and the report said: “Sinus rhythm average 75bpm, 45 to 169bpm. Very rare ectopy. 1 non sustained ventricular tachycardia of 5 beats long. 1 atrial triplet. Several symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, chest tightness and shortness of breath all corresponded to sinus tachycardia up to 162bpm.” So I guess I didn’t have symptoms with the scarier ventricular tachycardia. It was over two of my better, more symptom-free days so that was funny. The internal medicine specialist referred me to an electrophysiologist cardiologist and prescribed bisoprolol. I’ve been having a pretty rough time on the bisoprolol in terms of stamina and worsening wooziness. I black out every day all day now, whereas before it was a few times a week and I’m trying all of the POTS suggestions (increased salt, electrolytes drinks, water, compression, exercise). Sometimes I get up slowly and think I’m fine and then completely lose vision and start to go tingly, wooshy after five steps or so. I had the initial telephone consult with the electrophysiologist today hoping he’d tell me more about what the abnormal Holter Monitor meant and why I’m on bisoprolol but instead he just said that I have POTS due to chronic inflammation and that he’d refer me back to the dysautonomia specialist I’ve already been referred to as well as recommend that I follow up with my hematologist about the source of inflammation. Also referred to the cardio rehab exercise clinic. So I got off the phone feeling very frustrated because I forgot to mention things during the appointment, he seemingly didn’t even look at my chart, and then about a half hour later received an email that he’s sending me to get an echocardiogram in October. ? Also my heart rate has gone way down in about six weeks and I don’t know if it’s my FitBit calibrating or if it’s heart damage of some kind? (Although from what I understand via very limited research usually heart rate increasing is bad and decreasing is good...) I’m frustrated with the being referred back to my hematologist for diagnosis because she thought it could be Essential Thrombocytosis (a blood and bone marrow disorder) and then just decided on “Chronic Inflammation due to stress” after undetected Jak2 & CalR mutation genetic testing. It’s just that my CRP is 50, platelets are 600, ESR is sometimes normal, MCH, TIBC, Transferrin are always low and on my last blood test my RBC was high. It feels like something is more wrong, I have a history of thyroid cancer so I’m worried about that or a secondary primary cancer (+30% chance statistically) but I don’t know how to advocate for myself anymore. My endocrinologist says my tumour marker antibody has to go up to 22 before she’s concerned (it’s at 17) and she hasn’t done a scan in many years because she doesn’t think it’s necessary. I know that people can just have POTS and Chronic Inflammation but how do you deal with the anxiety of the possibility of an undiagnosed underlying disease or condition? Do I need to take anxiety meds? Not into the idea of taking meds if they’re processed in the liver because I have NAFLD and still need to have a FibroScan at the end of this month.
  5. Oh wow your experience sounds truly exhausting. I don’t actually know what my HR does beyond the 2min mark. I’m supposed to do the 24hr HR monitor thing with the cardiologist next. I’m currently looking into some kind of smart watch situation as well because it can’t hurt. I think even if eventually my issues improve it’ll be a good thing to have because of my lack of thyroid gland, it’s helpful to check my body temp and HR for medication dosage monitoring (especially to ensure my body is up to par from a metabolic standpoint for reducing fatty liver). My HR jumps immediately upon standing and then my blood pressure falls fairly dramatically at the 60sec after standing mark. I can almost feel it falling when I stand in place for prolonged periods as well though (even quicker in the shower or elevator I have to take in my building). My legs get weak, shaky, sort of tingly/painful “pins&needles” and my balance starts to go along with all of my energy. It’s like a “wooshy” feeling and I get quite lightheaded and woozy. If I crouch down on my legs it helps me feel like I can avoid a faint but I don’t feel very stable getting up. It’s been fairly embarrassing in public (which I guess I’ll probably get over).
  6. Right. I guess there’s no danger associated with anything over 200 other than likelihood to faint?
  7. Today my heart rate jumped from 78 sitting to 208 standing and then 180 over a minute before slowly going down again. Is there a specific number to lookout for that should be more concerning or a point where you just decide to avoid standing for a while until you’ve had more salt and water?
  8. Clonazepam has similar properties to both meds and isn’t as addictive as Lorazepam (Ativan). Maybe something to consider talking to your doc about? One pill > two. ☺️
  9. Oh it’s about to get embarrassing, but I really like Words with Friends (Scrabble), Redecor (silly interior decorating game), Tetris, & Podcasts (Killer Role, The s*** Show, This American Life, 2 Dope Queens, Revisionist History, My Favourite Murder, Mad Dogs & Englishmen). I also use Planta to help with remembering to water my plants.
  10. Hmm ok. Bummer. I will ask my doctor. Womp womp.
  11. Interesting!!!! Thanks for sharing p8d & Pistol. Science is neat. I’m going to go on a deep dive research soon when I’m feeling a bit less overwhelmed. For now I will focus on finding decent compression garments for the leg pain so I can get a full night of sleep! I’ve checked out the ones I can order online and my ankle size is one size, my calf size is another size up and my thighs are one up from that based on the size chart! Or something is the right measurement for the top half of my legs based on a size chart but way too large for the bottom half. Beginning to see what you mean re: S-XL sizes not cutting it. Oof. I actually ordered some electrolyte powder months ago and started taking it in big bottles of water daily before I had even heard of POTS, and I am thinking that maybe I unknowingly was helping manage some symptoms (I ordered it because of a low sodium blood test back in December). I ran out in March and that’s around when I started fainting. Funny!
  12. I had my first Pfizer dose just over two weeks ago and really only experienced some fatigue and a very, very sore arm (couldn’t sleep on it or lift it for two days), but it went away and I’m still not even sure if the vaccine caused fatigue or if it was my normal. Going for my second in a week and a half. I think it’s important to consider the risk of getting COVID vs. the risk of the vaccine in regards to temporary or “long haul” symptoms. Ask your doctor obviously, but mine said that the benefit outweighs the risk of not getting the vaccine.
  13. Thanks for answering my questions and being so generally helpful Pistol!!! I think it sounds like I should just wait until I see the Cardiologist, but these are good tips for management of symptoms in the meantime. I was referred to the Hematologist because my PCP couldn’t figure out the inflammation. My liver specialist ran a bunch of autoimmune blood work to rule out autoimmune cause of NAFLD because my diet is pretty liver healthy coincidentally and I don’t have metabolic syndrome, but I do have high cholesterol (she ran ANA, Smooth Muscle, Mitochondria, ENA, DNA Double Strand, Nuclear Antibody, IgG, IgA, IgM, Ceruloplasmin, A1A) and all came back within range. My IgA was high for my age but generally normal in the margins. No Hepatitis or anything so that’s good! Still could be related to my lack of thyroid gland too because I was left hypothyroid for a prolonged period last year. I’m a bit worried that I do have liver fibrosis even with normal liver enzymes as that can be linked to POTS or OH I think? But again, won’t know until after the scan end of July. No COVID or Mononucleosis. I do have a consistent low grade fever, but it never goes above 99.8. My CRP has been between 20-50 and my ESR was 52 once, but went back down to the 30s the last time it was checked. If it was autoimmune disease wouldn’t it come up on the panel the liver specialist ran? 🤔
  14. The Internal Medicine specialist diagnosed me, so maybe I should wait for the Cardiologist that runs the POTS clinic before I believe her. Haha. Hmm. She said that the POTS could be secondary to the inflammation going on for the past six months but that the OH is likely a new onset because I didn’t have the blacking out before the last two months. Apparently the giant leap in HR isn’t typical of OH? Also! Does a POTS doc/cardiologist usually work up the cause of inflammation if it’s secondary? I’m kind of worried it’s a more serious thing and if I get referred back to my Hematologist I don’t know what good that will do because she’s only been concerned about blood cancers so far. I was told that the Cardiologist could write me a prescription for compression stockings but that in the meantime I should just look for some to order myself as it’s less expensive because I don’t have insurance coverage for prescriptions. I ordered some knee socks and leggings (the leggings do absolutely nothing and aren’t tight enough), while I’m still waiting on the knee sock delivery but I’m now thinking those will be a waste of money too. What should I be looking for when I order them? I’ve been eating more pickles and adding salt to food before I eat it. Should I be doing more than that? I’m a bit confused because it says to lower high blood pressure you need to cut down on salt and my baseline is hypertensive 1 or prehypertensive. The IM specialist did mention this though so maybe it doesn’t matter. I’m still able to go on dog walks everyday, my trouble is mostly with standing or getting up from a seated or lying down position and waiting in the elevator or in line. It’s not a great time walking, but I can so I do with some breaks if I feel dizzy. I will try to do more stretches! Especially if things get worse, which they seem to be with the warmer weather and humidity.
  15. Ah I’m so sorry! That sounds rough. Have they tested your cortisol? I imagine they’ll discuss hormone balanced BCP with you if it’s PCOS. Sometimes it can help with hormonal acne (the cystic kind around the jawline). In terms of routines, I have had great success with using various serums from Deceim (affordable) as well as mild cleanser and moisturizer from Cetaphil or Cera Ve. I think the most important thing to do is to treat your face like a sterile surgical field and not touch it, ensure anything that comes into contact with it is clean (pillow case, wash cloth, towel - I don’t even towel-dry my face anymore because I worry it’ll irritate my skin and cause a breakout). Additionally, make sure that you’re letting your skin air dry before applying your moisturizer so that it can breathe before you’re putting on a bit of a barrier. I also put my hair up at night so that my hair doesn’t irritate my face. A clean, hot, damp wash cloth applied to wherever the acne is located can help sometimes if it’s cystic but can also be triggering for POTS so I guess just be careful with that suggestion. The most important thing to remember is that the hormone balance isn’t the only thing causing the breakouts, it’s the thing that is making you more susceptible to them so you have to be extra vigilant about skincare routine if you want to prevent them. It’s more about prevention than treatment. If you’re having worse breakouts because of your cloth face mask wearing during the day (I am), it might be helpful to dip them in some very hot water to clean them instead of using any harsh detergents, and definitely don’t wear any makeup underneath. I’ve also seen little guard type plastic pieces that are supposed to tent out the mask a bit and help with your skin’s breathability/level of moisture.
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