Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heart issues=POTS

For many years, I was treated as though I had a heart problem. I wore a monitor on more than one occasion but they could never find anything more than a murmur. (I still have it.) Eventually, it was decided that I didn't have a heart problem, but that I had epilepsy. Now, we're not even sure that diagnosis is accurate. 

Because my murmur cannot be heard with every beat, it is considered a Grade I Faint on auscultation. This means that not everyone can hear it and that it's only discernible under the best of circumstances. 

Many people with Chiari also have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Like everything else associated with Chiari, it is not curable and can cause a lot of problems. I have not been tested for this and don't really have many of the symptoms, but I thought I would mention them anyway...


- fatigue
- irritable bowel syndrome
- heart palpitations
- dizziness
- headaches
Tachycardia (postural)
- Chest discomfort
- Dyspnea
- Tremulousness
- Exaggerated physiological tremor
- Cold sweaty extremities
- Exercise intolerance
- Lightheaded dizziness, presyncope, and syncope
- Blurred or tunnel vision
- Headache, possibly migrainous
- Mental clouding (feeling “in a fog”; “brain fog”)
- Nausea
- Abdominal discomfort 

There are some medications that can help with some of the symptoms. You can read more about that HERE:

Where this gets tricky is that all of those symptoms can also cross over with EDS and Chiari so it can be hard to say which disorder is causing what. That's one of the reasons why it's difficult to say if the 
decompression surgery is going to be helpful in alleviating the symptoms. 

This is not necessarily something I think I have, although a lot of the symptoms are similar to what I have. But many people who have Chiari, EDS, and cerviocranial instability also have POTS so it wouldn't be far-fetched to think it's there, too. In the meantime, I will hold onto my little murmur. 


  1. always knew you were POTty, ha ha, got to make yourself laugh you know? :)