Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
You’re basically allergic to gravity - James Muldowney MD
image by: Dysautonomia International
For the last three years, I’ve started my day on the floor and ended it on the news. When I was first diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS, I researched. I read articles and journal entries and blog posts. I stayed up until the early morning hours Googling and searching the internet until I couldn’t find anything new to read anymore. I research. It’s what I do. I’m a journalist. My job is to find answers, but when I started feeling sick in 2017, I couldn’t find any answers, so I’m writing for you the article I wish I’d had.
I suddenly realized what a slap in the face it would be to all the other people with POTS if I didn’t do something with this. The doctors in the autonomics clinic at Vanderbilt are overwhelmed with patients. POTS is more common than diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s, yet most doctors have never heard of it.
Missed or mistaken diagnoses occur most often for relatively new and complex conditions whose symptoms present differently from one patient to another. The diagnostic challenge associated with POTS isn’t that it’s rare, but that medical schools have only recently begun paying attention to it.
My name is Lisa and this is my life with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome).
PoTS UK was founded by a group of individuals with PoTS who had a desire to increase awareness of this condition. We now benefit from the support and guidance of a number of doctors and specialist nurses with an interest in this field.
Standing Up To POTS is committed to improving the quality of life for people with POTS through research, advocacy, and support.
My journey with dysautonomia.
DINET provides information and personal stories on several types of dysautonomia.
Our Mission...to identify the causes and cures for all forms of dysautonomia and to enhance the quality-of-life of people currently living with these illnesses.
It is the most common form of orthostatic intolerance in young people (predominantly premenopausal women). Presyncope is much more common than syncope in POTS, but it is not infrequent that POTS coexists with episodes of neurally mediated (reflex) syncope.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is characterized by orthostatic intolerance and a rapid increase in heart rate. People with POTS often have hypovolemia (low blood volume) and high levels of plasma norepinephrine while standing, reflecting increased sympathetic nervous system activation. Approximately half of affected people have a small fiber neuropathy that impacts their sudomotor nerves (those that activate the sweat glands).
PoTS is diagnosed if your heart rate increases by 30 beats a minute (bpm) or more (40bpm in those aged 12 to 19) usually within 10 minutes of standing. This increase continues for more than 30 seconds and is accompanied by other symptoms of PoTS. You may have a range of tests to confirm a diagnosis and rule out other conditions...
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS ) is described by a patient's intolerance to the change of body position from supine to an upright position - it is characterized by a dramatic and excessive increase in heart rate. POTS is theorized to be due to an autonomic dysregulation regulating blood flow and more specifically its' responsibility to control cerebral blood flow. POTS be classified as; primary or idiopathic with no known cause; secondary, which arises from a known disease or disorder.
The pathophysiology underlying postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is heterogeneous, encompassing excess sympathetic tone, impaired peripheral autonomic function, volume dysregulation, cardiovascular deconditioning, and autoimmune dysfunction.
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