Living with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome in the Winter
Like many others with POTS, I was very excited for winter to come. Cold weather often means being less dizzy. When it’s cold outside, our blood vessels tighten up and don’t allow as much blood pooling in the lower extremities. This is a great thing for POTS patients, because blood pooling is one of our biggest challenges.
This summer was especially difficult for me, as I experienced a POTS “crash” as the hot weather came on. It was as if all the progress I had made was lost. Everyday I felt quite ill...and I struggled to keep up with my full time job. Being outside in the hot sun almost felt unbearable...no matter how much water I drank and salt I consumed (I live in Utah, where the summer days are typically above 90 degrees fahrenheit).
Needless to say, I was happy to see the summer pass.
About a month back, I went to downtown Salt Lake City to look at the lights. It was quite cold. But I realized I almost didn’t feel dizzy as I was walking. It was the longest I’ve walked around without taking a break to sit down in a while. As the winter has continued, I notice that I feel notably better when I’m outside and my legs are cold.
I’m not saying that I feel “normal” or “well” in the winter. I’m just saying that things aren’t quite as bad as they are in the summer. I still struggle with symptoms daily. But they aren’t as severe, and that to me is a blessing.
My fiance jokes with me that I’m much more “powerful” when I’m outside in the cold. He’s actually right. As annoying as it is to be cold, it is more annoying to feel like you’re about to faint.
Who knows, if I never get over POTS, maybe I’ll just have to move to Canada or Alaska!
I'd love to hear if you also have experienced improvements in symptoms in the winter/cold.
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Why POTS is a Big Deal: https://gonetopots.com/why-pots-is-a-big-deal/
Mayo Clinic Trip: https://gonetopots.com/mytriptomayoclinic/
The Thought of Never Getting Better: https://gonetopots.com/never-getting-better/