What is POTS? Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, explained.

Christina Applegate’s daughter Sadie recently revealed she was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS, prompting questions about the condition.

POTS causes your heart to beat faster than normal when you go from sitting or lying down to standing up, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

“Your body’s autonomic nervous system balances your heart rate and blood pressure to keep your blood flowing at a healthy pace, no matter what position your body is in. If you have POTS, your body can’t coordinate the balancing act of blood vessel constriction (squeezing) and heart rate response,” the clinic’s website explains. “This means that your body can’t keep your blood pressure steady and stable.”

During Tuesday’s episode of “MeSsy,” Applegate and Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s podcast, Sadie, 13, shared when she stands up she gets dizzy and weak in her legs.

“I feel like I’m gonna pass out. I have fainted before, and I have gone unconscious, but that doesn’t usually happen. That’s only on really bad days when it’s hot out,” Sadie said.

While POTS isn’t life-threatening, it can “greatly interfere with daily living and tasks,” the clinic’s website adds.

Other celebrities have also come forward about their experience with POTS, including singer Halsey, who revealed her diagnosis in 2022, and television personality Bethenny Frankel, who opened up about her diagnosis last year.

Here’s what else to know about the condition:

Symptoms of POTS

POTS symptoms vary from person to person, according to Johns Hopkins, but commonly include:

Fatigue

Lightheadedness that can lead to fainting

Brain fog

Heart pounding or skipping a beat

Nausea and vomiting

Headaches

Excessive sweating

Shakiness

Challenges exercising

A pale face and purple discoloration of the hands and feet if the limbs are lower than the level of the heart

Symptoms can also be worse in warm environments, in situations with lots of standing, having a cold or infection and after a lack of adequate fluid and salt intake, Johns Hopkins notes.

POTS and COVID

POTS often begins after a pregnancy, major surgery, trauma or a viral illness, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke — and there’s a connection to COVID-19 too.

“The most common trigger of POTS is a viral infection. This includes viruses like influenza and parvovirus and COVID-19,” Dr. Svetlana Blitschteyn, a neurologist and director of Dysautonomia Clinic, previously told CBS Pittsburgh.

Blitschteyn is one of the researchers who studied this common syndrome for some long haulers like Jarred Arfa, who was diagnosed with POTS about a year after catching COVID.

“These patients are young people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who were healthy or had minor medical problems that didn’t impact their lives before and now they are expressing extreme fatigue, dizziness, headache, inability to exercise and some are unable to work,” Blitschteyn said.

POTS treatment

There’s no cure for POTS, but there are several treatment options — including diet changes, exercise regimes and medications — that can help with symptoms.

Speaking to a professional is key in determining a treatment plan that is right for your and your symptoms.

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