What is POTS? Christina Applegate's daughter reveals diagnosis of nervous system condition


It seems Christina Applegate isn’t alone in her family when it comes to dealing with health issues. The actor’s teenage daughter publicly revealed this week she was diagnosed with a condition known as POTS.

As the “Dead to Me” star continues her battle with multiple sclerosis, her 13-year-old daughter, Sadie Grace Applegate LeNoble, said in a recent episode of her mother and “The Sopranos” actor Jamie Lynn-Sigler’s “MeSsy” podcast that she has been living with POTS — postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome — for years. In Tuesday’s episode, Sadie said she was not officially diagnosed until recent months.

“I have no clue what it actually is, but it’s something to do with the autonomic nervous system and it affects my heart,” Sadie explained. “So when I stand up, I get really, really dizzy and my legs get really weak and I feel like I’m going to pass out.”

POTS affects the body’s autonomic nervous system, which regulates the functions the body needs to survive including heart rate, digestion, pupil dilation and constriction and blood flow, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It causes a person’s “heart to beat faster than normal” after going from sitting or lying down to standing up. POTS is a common but incurable condition that affects 1 million to 3 million people in the United States, the Cleveland Clinic says.

POTS can manifest differently: Sadie says she experiences tremors and blurry vision, which can affect her school day. She said during the podcast that she has felt sick and in pain during classes and that some teachers have dismissed her concern and rejected her requests to go to the nurse.

“Them not doing anything about it definitely hurt me physically and emotionally,” she said. “This is rude and I feel sick and you’re telling me to go to PE and run laps around the football field. I can’t do that.”

School staffers haven’t been the only people to overlook Sadie’s condition: Applegate, 52, said she didn’t know what her daughter was going through. “I feel so horrible that we didn’t pay attention to it,” she said.

Applegate apologized to her daughter and linked her own MS battle to Sadie’s experiences.

“We get out in the world, and the stresses and the anxiety of the world bring upon our symptoms much worse than they would be if we were in the safety and the coolness of our own homes,” she said.

Sadie, who is still working out treatment and medication with her doctor, said her experience with POTS helps her empathize with her mom. Applegate was diagnosed with MS three years ago and has been open about her struggles with the autoimmune disease. Earlier this month, the Emmy-winning star detailed the return of her depression.

Applegate’s teen, whom she shares with musician Martyn LeNoble, told her mom, “If I didn’t have [POTS], I probably would be like, ‘I don’t really care. I don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

Applegate consoled her daughter: “I really hate it for you. I’m sad.”

She continued: “I love you and I know you’re going to be OK. And I’m here for you and I believe you. And thank you for bringing this to light and awareness.”



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