Christina Applegate’s Daughter Sadie Has POTS: What It Is, Symptoms

  • Christina Applegate’s daughter Sadie has been diagnosed with POTS.
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system.
  • Sadie’s condition has helped her become more empathetic towards her mom’s multiple sclerosis.

Christina Applegate has been candid about her multiple sclerosis over the past few years. Now, her daughter is opening up about her own health journey.

The 52-year-old and her 13-year-old daughter revealed on the latest episode of Christina’s MeSsy podcast that Sadie was recently diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

“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 said. “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 is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, which is a branch of the nervous system that regulates functions you don’t consciously control, like heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and body temperature, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Symptoms include severe and long-lasting fatigue, lightheadedness with prolonged sitting or standing that can lead to fainting, a heart rate increase when going from sitting to standing, and intolerance of exercise.

Symptoms tend to get worse in warm environments, in situations where you have to do a lot of standing, and if a person’s fluid and salt levels aren’t high enough, Johns Hopkins Medicine says.

Sadie said that she’s been dealing with symptoms for a while but was only recently diagnosed with the condition. She also opened up about having to leave class “multiple times a day” to see her school nurse.

“In class, if I were to stand up then, I would be like, ‘I have to go to the nurse. I can’t do this.’ Or I’ll be in PE, and I’ll be like, ‘I have to go to the nurse,’” she said. “They were like, ‘You’re doing this to get out of class. It’s probably just anxiety. Go back to class.’ They wouldn’t do anything for it.”

But Sadie said that it “definitely hurt me physically and emotionally, because I was just like, ‘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.’”

Christina said she also brushed off her daughter’s symptoms at first. “She wears layers of clothes on 90-degree days and she hates PE—sorry school, not a big fan of PE or physical things,” she said.

But Christina said that she feels “so horrible” that she didn’t look into it further. “I just didn’t see it at home, babe. At home, you were fine. But it’s kind of like us,” she said. “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.”

Sadie said that her own condition has helped her to have more empathy for her mom. “When my mom’s like, ‘Oh, I’m kind of in pain right now. Oh, I’m having tremors.’ If I didn’t have this, I probably would be like, ‘I don’t really care. I don’t know what you’re talking about,’” she said.

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Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.