What is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition that affects circulation (blood flow). It includes the autonomic nervous system (which automatically controls and regulates vital bodily functions) and sympathetic nervous system (which prompts the combat or flight response).

POTS is a form of orthostatic intolerance, the development of symptoms that come on when standing up from a reclining position, and which may be relieved by sitting or mendacity back down. The primary symptom of an orthostatic intolerance is lightheadedness, fainting and an uncomfortable, rapid increase in heartbeat.

Heart rate and blood pressure work collectively to keep the blood flowing at a healthy tempo, no matter what position the body is in. Individuals with POTS can’t coordinate the balancing act of blood vessel squeeze and heart rate response. This means the blood pressure can’t be kept steady and stable.

Every case of POTS is different. POTS patients may see signs come and go over a interval of years. In most cases, with adjustments in weight-reduction plan, medications and physical activity, a person with POTS will see an improvement in quality of life. And POTS signs may subside if an underlying cause is discovered and treated.

There are various types of POTS. The commonest are:

Neuropathic POTS: Peripheral denervation (lack of nerve provide) leads to poor blood vessel muscle tissue, particularly in the legs and core body.

Hyperadrenergic POTS: Overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system.

Low blood volume POTS: Reduced blood volume can lead to POTS. Low blood volume can cause similar signs which will overlap in neuropathic and hyperadrenergic POTS.

Who’s at risk for POTS?

The keyity of POTS patients are ladies ages 13-50 years old. About 1 to three million people suffer from POTS in the United States.

Patients could develop POTS after a viral illness, severe infections, medical illness, pregnancy and trauma such as head injury. The condition may develop as aftermath of a significant illness (especially associated with hospitalization and prolonged immobilization).

POTS could develop in those that have had a latest history of mononucleosis.

Individuals with sure autoimmune conditions equivalent to Sjogren’s syndrome and celiac disease will be at higher risk. Sjogren’s might be evaluated by blood testing, dry eye test, lip biopsy and rheumatology consult. Celiac disease will be tested through blood work, gastroenterology consult and if needed biopsies of the small intestines.

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