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Adrenalin and Stress Trigger my POTS

Discussion in 'Problems Standing: Orthostatic Intolerance; POTS' started by Carrigon, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    PA, USA
    If I'm under extreme stress, once that adrenalin kicks in, bang, tachycardia, lightheaded, numbness. The worst part is, I can't defend myself because I'm struggling just to breathe and not faint. Abnormal stress response. Then the next day, it's like my adrenals are stripped and I have the PEM, plus a fever.

    My other triggers are nitrates and garlic in the food. Not enough salt. And hot showers or showers that are too warm. Also weather changes.
  2. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Southern USA
    Hot showers, even warm showers....yuck! I use my bath tub, I need the air flow to feel good. Hot weather is bad for me, I stay inside of it is too warm. I love cool weather.

    Adrecor is wonderful, have you asked your doctor about that?
  3. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

    Carrigon, you are not alone in this. These past couple of weeks have been very stressful and good stress too. With that stress, I have been exhausted or wired. There is no in between. I spent the weekend in bed and didn't want to talk to anyone. My thoughts were gone or angry. Fast heartbeat, exhausted after a shower etc.

    Some stressful stuff has led me to feel like I am going to snap and go postal on people which is totally adrenaline. At other times, I feel like I can't even speak to go postal. EXTREMES all in one day. I don't have the fever, but....I get it.
  4. ahimsa

    ahimsa Rarely on PR now

    shower suggestion - use a portable seat or stool in the shower

    Re: hot showers, I have NMH (Neurally Mediated Hypotension, a different type of Orthostatic Intolerance), not POTS, but showers are also hard for me. One thing that helps me is that I don't stand up to take a shower. When I was really sick I could not stand up at all - too much dizziness and nausea. I had to sit down during my entire shower, sit down to dry off, etc. Now that I'm a bit better I can stand up for a short time just to get wet. Then I turn off the water (two advantages - shower stall not as hot and it saves water/energy!) and sit down to soap up or wash my hair. At the end I stand up to rinse off.

    You would think that baths would be good (sitting down) but they are worse than showers for me. Being surrounded by warm water would be horrible for my NMH. Maybe they would be okay if the water was really cold, like a swimming pool? I'm not sure I'd like the idea of a cold bath! :eek: So I guess I'll stick with my method of sitting down in the shower. ;)

    Our current shower stall is a fiberglass shell with built-in seat. But before we lived in this house I had a portable shower seat (it fits in a bathtub) that looked something like this -


    You can buy seats like this in most drug stores (pharmacies) in the USA. I recommend getting a seat with a back so you can lean back when feeling tired. We also made sure to have a grab bar in the shower (bolted to the studs) so that I can grab it if I slip or have balance problems (those are not as bad as they used to be, thankfully).

    I'm not sure if this is true for people with POTS but for me (with NMH) I find that reducing or eliminating time standing still *for any task* is quite helpful. I sit down to brush my teeth, for example. I have a small stool in the bathroom, a higher bar stool in the kitchen to reach the counters, and so on.

    I always wonder about those studies that measure "activity" because any ME/CFS patient like me, who has NMH, probably has a much harder time with standing still (which would seem to be a less strenuous activity according to activity monitors) than with a 5-6 minute walk (which I assume would be measured as a "more strenuous" activity). Standing still is the worst thing I can do and I feel it the next day. The next worse thing is sitting still, straight up, without a back support (e.g., at the computer I forget to lean back), and with my legs hanging down (if I forget to bring them up in the chair and cross them).

    Edited to add - I see that this got much longer than I originally intended, and is a bit of a digression from the original topic of stress/adrenaline as a trigger, but I hope it was helpful!
    PatJ likes this.
  5. There is a connection between the adrenals and OI/POTS. Have you ever had your adrenals tested and treated? Hypoadrenia or adrenal exhaustion is very common in PWCs.
    echobravo likes this.
  6. InChristAlone


    I know exactly what you're talking about! Normally, when I'm put under any kind of stress (even the simplest of stressful situations) then all my POTS symptoms start to appear. Then, it gets so difficult to focus on anything else but the need to stay standing or sitting, that I can't think of anything else. My recommendation, though it is difficult to do, is to just relax. I know immediately you're body needs to tense to just to stay concious but...I've found that the more I stress/focus on the need to NOT pass out, the worse I get.

    Hot showers are the worst!!! Most people would probably find me weird but I have to take cold showers or I get dizzy from the heat. Plus, hot weather really gets me. I love when it's winter time because I can step outside and not immediately feel nauseous/dizzy.
  7. rlc

    rlc Senior Member

    Hi caledonia is right there is a major link between Adrenal problems such as Addisons, etc and OI/POTS, they also can cause fever, fatigue pem a increased need for salt amoungst a host of other symptoms that are atributed to CFS.

    On this site there is a list of the symptoms of two of the major Adrenal problems, you don't have to have all of them but if you've got more then a few it would be worth getting it investigated http://en.diagnosispro.com/disease_...orticoid-isolated-deficiency/10190-22900.html

    Cortisol tests are very unreliable for testing for these conditions and can often give false negative results, a ACTH stimulation test is the only truly reliable test for these conditions, i've put a lot of links about these tests conditions etc on page 8 of the salt poll tread in the lifestyle management section. If it turns out that anyone here does have these conditions there very treatable and people often get there lives back in a couple of weeks.

    All the best
  8. Calico13


    I disagree there is a "major link" between adrenal problems and OI/POTS. Lots of people theorize and say there is a link, yet how many people have actually been CURED by going on "adrenal support". I'm not interested in those that are "sort of better", I mean a true honest to goodness cure by going on adrenal support? I think I've met 2 people out of thousands and those 2 had true Addison's Disease with elevated ACTH and skin tanning diagnosed by an endo.

    My opinion on it, is that someone started this idea that POTS was adrenal related and then it was simply repeated enough times for people to start believing it as truth.
  9. rlc

    rlc Senior Member

    Hi Calico13, there are several reason's why people who go on adrenal support don't get cured, although it is a scientific fact that Adrenal problems can cause OI/POTS and has been documented in hundreds of thousands of cases, the belief that OI/POTS is only caused by CFS or a Adrenal problems is a Myth!

    OI/POTS are all part of the medical condition called Orthostatic Hypotension and these symptoms can be caused by a large number of medical conditions includind Lupus, Porphyria, Diabetes, Amoloydosis, heart problems etc and some medications like anti depressants, because of the appaling lack of testing that the majority of CFS patients recieve, underlying causes are not ruled out and if the OI/POTS is being caused by something other then a adrenal problem then adrenal support is a waste of time and money!

    The test that should be done, and conditions that can cause it can be found here http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/medical/orthostatic.html and more info on these sites http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec07/ch069/ch069d.html and http://www.dinet.org/what_causes_pots.htm

    Although i'm not completly sure of what you mean by adrenal support, i assume your meaning things like taking low dose cortef, suppliments etc,

    Even if the person does have a adrenal problem there is a good chance that this approach won't work, often once again due to the appaling lack of testing that alot of CFS patients get, they are often just getting something like a cortisol test and not getting proper testing with ACTH stimulation test and then further testing to identify the cause of the problem.

    People with Adrenal problems need their medications worked out on a individual basis, based on the results of the correct tests and often involves alot of different medication, and possible surgery is needed, and often takes alot of time and further testing to get it right, so just giving adrenal support with out doing all of this is unlikly to lead to any significant improvement.

    It is also important to know that if the cause of the adrenal problem is in the Pituitary then the patient will not get the increased tanning.

    The reason why i focused on adrenal problems in my original post to Caledonia, was because I had seen them post in another tread that they needed alot of salt, this combined with chronic fatigue indicates a possibility of a adrenal problem of some sort.

    I just wish doctors would investigete symptoms properly to find the underlying cause like there supposed to (sigh)

    All the best

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