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Lifting Your Arms Over Your Head


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#1 RichardInAz

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 11:16 PM

Tonight I tried doing a small exercise where I lift a small weight over my head. I haven't done that since last year when I came down with POTS.

Just two lifts of that and I felt very light headed and I thought I was going to faint. My heart was doing some sort of strange flip flops, so I dropped the weight on the ground. Then I felt shaky (I guess a panic attack had started).

I recovered after a few seconds but I shook like a leaf for an hour (panic!?).

Anybody else get this with POTS? Can't lift things over your head?

#2 Cath_UK

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 04:06 AM

Yes, I find exercising my arms is a trigger, particularly if they are raised at or above shoulder height.

As usual, it helps if I am sat down, but sometimes this isn't enough to stop me being ill.

#3 Guest_tearose_*

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:39 AM

I can do gentle up and down motions for just a couple of seconds like a brief raise and lower. I try to do some arm exercise but only sitting down.
I don't "last" more than about 30 seconds of continuous raise since my arms go numb and tingly.

If you need to do these can you try them sitting down?

best regards,
tearose

#4 DelphicDragon

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:57 AM

This is also one of my triggers. If I'm really symptomatic I can't even stretch. I used to get dizzy in school raising my hand to ask a question. I tried taking my BP once while doing this and it went from 100/60 to 70/40!

I don't think it's panic RichardinAZ, I think it's the POTS.

Can you do the exercises lying down?

Sara

#5 Ernie

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 08:20 AM

Hi,

Can't do it without fainting.

#6 HoudiniCat

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 09:10 AM

Definitely get this symptom too. It?s listed on the ?What to Avoid? page here as well. Putting things up on a high shelf, taking curtains down, painting/wallpapering ? and definitely exercising (or trying to) like that will bring on symptoms for me. Depending on how much I push myself, I?ll get that sick, shaky feeling for minutes, hours, days. I agree that it?s not ?panic?, just ?POTS?.

#7 Joe B.

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 09:29 AM

So I'm not alone... I too get dizzy and lightheaded very quickly reaching to do things above my head, I just have never thought to mention this to my doctor. I'll need to do that next time I see him.

#8 RichardInAz

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:35 PM

Wow I didn't realize this was such a problem for everyone else as well.

Actually this is how I realized I had something wrong last year and finally got diagnosed with POTS this year.

I have another medical condition that complicates this. I have a type of heart arrhythmia that I get every once in awhile called "PSVT". When I lift heavy objects over my head, this POTS kicks in and I get a few PVCs.. which can cause my PSVT. THEN I have something to worry about! My heart races to 300bpm for a few minutes.

So, I will just stop lifting things over my head. Like you guys said, if I have to do this silly exercise maybe I can do it lying down. But I'm affraid to even try that for awhile!

A couple questions if ya'll don't mind:

The shaking and shivering... is that actually related to POTS? Not really a panic attack? I feel cold all over after this happens and I shake like I'm freezing, but I wasn't panicing. I felt sort of detached from reality for an hour or two.

Is there a preferred test to check blood volume? I was told the standard tests aren't very accurate.

Thanks

#9 hollie

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 04:17 PM

Me too. I've always liked to stretch right after I wake up. The only way for me to do this anymore is to stretch while I'm still laying down. Even just stretching sitting or (especially) standing, I feel that way and have fainted a number of times.



Hollie

#10 DelphicDragon

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 06:38 PM

The shaking and shivering... is that actually related to POTS? Not really a panic attack? I feel cold all over after this happens and I shake like I'm freezing, but I wasn't panicing. I felt sort of detached from reality for an hour or two.


The shaking and shivering is definitely related to POTS! I get this when I get symptomatic, shaking like I'm freezing and feeling wicked cold. I have other symptoms with it too, most notably nausea. It lasts about an hour or two and then I'm fine for a while (unless it's a really bad attack). I always called them panic attacks, but it was SO weird as I wasn't panicky about anything, my mind felt more numb and drugged than anything else. All I wanted to do was sleep.
Though I'm not a doctor, I would say these are probably POTS episodes and NOT panic attacks (Just don't call them panic attacks in front of a real doctor - you'll never hear the end of it).

Sara

#11 RichardInAz

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 10:43 PM

my mind felt more numb and drugged than anything else


That's exactly how I felt! A friend just mentioned something about serotonin and how it can affect BP and HR. I wonder if POTS has something to do with serotonin control??

"Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome -- Agarwal et al. 83 ...They will have orthostatic tachycardia as well as associated hypertension. .... It is suggested that the disturbances in central serotonin production and ... "

I couldn't read the rest of the article because they wanted me to pay $25 to view it!

#12 flop

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 04:25 AM

Doctors don't know exactly how POTS works but serotonin does seem to play a part in POTS. Quite a few members (myself included) notice an improvement in symptoms when taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). I've been taking Paroxetine (Seroxat, Paxil) for about 18 months and it does seem to help.

Raising your arms above your head makes your heart work harder as it has to pump blood uphill against gravity to your hands, this often triggers tachycardia and other POTS symptoms. If you try to take your BP whilst holding one arm in the air you should measure it in the arm that is not in the air - otherwise you get a false low reading (the BP in the raised arm will be very low but the BP in the rest of your body won't be that low).

Flop

#13 ajw4055

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 06:21 AM

Hi,

I agree with others in that it is a common symptom. It makes it difficult to do overhead exercises, do a lot of reaching etc, also shampoo hair in the shower, blowdry hair (I let my hair airdry a lot in the summer to avoid this), and to try and put all my hair up in a fashion that doesn't look like a four year old did it, all is difficult due to the arms overhead. :)

#14 masumeh

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 05:19 PM

lifting arms over shoulder hieght triggers tachycardia for me. I think I read somewhere on this site that this is a classic POTS thing. Can't remember where.

I can do lots of arm exercises, as long as I don't lift them over my shoulders/head. I think my arms are much better off than my legs, probably because they're not overpooled with blood.

#15 Tammy

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:23 PM

Yup, I have the same thing happen to me. Can't lift anything even remotely heavy. When I first got severe (had POTS for a few years before it became disabling) I had a 6 month old and lifting her up out of her crib, holding her, changing her diaper, etc. was nearly impossible - I was so weak I shook and crawled to get to her crib as needed as was too weak to walk. I also have SVTs but unsure of the kind but my heart does the same thing where I get 250 beats per minute for a short time.. scary! I get so weak also, which you didn't meantion so that might be a little different though. Are you on any type of beta blocker? Take care,
Tammy