POTS Treatment at POTS Care
POTS Care offers a complete POTS Treatment Package — everything is included in your fee!
POTS Care is the only clinic dedicated to treating the underlying medical problems causing POTS. We do not treat (only) the symptoms. We are here to get you answers, to lay out a carefully orchestrated plan, and to assist you in carrying it out! We are here to offer support as you work through recovery and return to a normal life. It takes everything — a full package — and that is what we offer at POTS Care.
Two Month Comprehensive POTS Treatment Program
Our two-month intensive POTS Treatment program includes three days in our clinic. The remainder can be completed from the comfort of your own home! We are here to support you, answer all of your questions, and help you with every aspect of recovery. We would like to speed your journey for answers — there is no need to wait days, weeks, or even months between doctor visits to get the answers you need.
We find that for the best POTS recovery possible, all aspects of the illness (and recovery) need to be addressed. We are here to help you with all of the pieces! Not only will we identify and treat the underlying medical problems, we will also address individual dietary needs, exercise (when is it helpful, when is it harmful, what types of exercise may be appropriate), how to return to a normal sleep pattern again, how to control surges of adrenaline (or anxiety) that can worsen symptoms, and we will hold your hand (virtually) for about 3 months.
What Is Included In Your Program?
A review of all of your signs and symptoms to date — We begin with a list of over 200 potential signs and symptoms!
These results immediately go into some sophisticated, proprietary algorithms to tell us where we need to begin to look for answers in your individual case.
“It is a rare patient who can come up with a symptom that I cannot relate to personally! In fact, at some point in my long illness, I had all but 8 of these 210 symptoms. No one was interested in looking for patterns in my case to help figure out what the underlying problem was. Even more frustrating was that my symptoms were changing almost daily! It was like chasing a moving target — and I was losing credibility with many of my doctors (“how can she have so many unrelated symptoms?!”). At POTS Care, every symptom can be a clue to your underlying cause of illness and we are here to figure it out!” — Dr. Driscoll
Review Of Your Previous Medical Records
Most patients with POTS have seen an extraordinary number of doctors! Yet rarely is someone going through these records to help tie together disparate signs and symptoms. No one is looking for what is getting missed, nor are they evaluating results that may not be quite normal. We love to review these records carefully! We toss out labels that may not be correct and look at everything with fresh eyes. There are usually some important clues in those records, but someone needs to take the time to review them (and do so from a different angle). At POTS Care, we love this part of our job!
Review Of Your Brain MRI
If you have had a brain MRI, we would like to review it carefully! Although the report is good to see, we want to go through the images ourselves — looking for what others have missed. We will show you these images and discuss what they may mean for you and your recovery. With POTS, we want to consider even subtle irregularities in these images. If you have not had a brain MRI, we will prescribe one for you if it is needed.
The eyes are the only place in the body that we can look directly at the blood vessels (without looking through tissue) view a nerve that is a direct extension of the brain (the optic nerve). The eyes are an excellent window to systemic illness (an eye doctor is often the first to diagnose diabetes, high blood pressure, or multiple sclerosis, for example). Detailed ocular studies can provide clues to your illness that cannot be found in any other way! We also look at ocular muscle balance and perform a close slit-lamp examination (an ocular microscope). The slit lamp exam can reveal more potential issues with the autonomic nervous system. Blinking and tear production, for example, are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Ocular testing is an important part of developing a successful POTS Treatment Plan.
“In one of our first studies, we had 30 patients with POTS and 30 age-matched normals come in for every ocular test possible! As the “blinded doctor” (I didn’t know what images were from patients and what images were from normals) I was correct in identifying the patients — solely by their ocular images — in almost 90% of the cases! Clearly, we were missing too much in routine testing and needed to be much more detail oriented when looking for answers for patients. Looking in the eyes of POTS patients was unique — I seemed to be the only doctor doing so! This is likely how I began to get answers that others had missed. Concerning “invisible illnesses” — you cannot see what you are not looking for!” — Dr. Diana Driscoll
We do not need to do a true tilt table test in our office, but we will perform a “poor man’s tilt table test” (if possible) to check for general functionality, to see what direction your blood pressure heads when you are vertical, and to see if your oxygen saturation is affected. All of these things can provide more clues to your illness. We will then perform a heart rate variability test and some ocular tests to help round out more of the full autonomic picture.
Evaluation Of Customized Blood Work
After reviewing your previous records and signs and symptoms of illness, we will create customized blood work for you. Some tests that you may have had completed previously do not need to be repeated — others need to be monitored more closely. We will likely be exploring things your doctors may not have yet considered. We will be digging deeply into many aspects of your health, and objective blood work can be hugely helpful in getting you the validity you need as a patient for the suffering you have endured.
A Complete POTS Treatment Plan
When you leave the clinic, we will provide you with a preliminary plan involving what we know to date. We may need some additional blood work, or we may need to judge your response to treatment for some aspects of recovery. Should you need some routine testing by your physicians (non-POTS illness) we will want to see those results as they are available. We will be working closely with you for a few weeks to help you get started. We may need to tweak some things, adjust for your particular response, and we want to be sure we answer all of your questions! After a few weeks, we can then pull together a (very) comprehensive summary for you. We will make sure you have copies of everything, and we will cover the entire plan with you (both in writing and over the phone). But we are not done yet!
Follow Up For Two Months
After we cover the comprehensive POTS Treatment Plan with you, we will continue to work closely with you to answer all of your questions, tweak things as needed, and fine-tune certain medications or supplements. Our goal is to put you back in charge of your health, and we can do so if we teach you as we go!
In most cases of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, patients have been sick for quite a while. Normal sleep cycles are a distant memory, some are not sure what they can eat without getting sicker, and others would like to exercise again, but don’t know how or when that is in their best interest.
Even more difficult is the thought of being thrown into normal daily stress! Patients often learn to fear stress because it can make their condition worse. We want to help you through this, and give you some tools and advice concerning the process toward normalcy.
We will visit with you a couple of times a week through a series of carefully chosen audios. The audio series will continue for about three months. In these audios, we will educate you and help support you through the entire process. The audio series is great for both patients and caregivers. We also have a workbook to give to you which will help you acclimate to a more normal lifestyle and to help heal some of the wounds a serious illness such as this can cause.
“Honestly, I would love to live with every patient as they go through recovery! To be able to talk them through the day-to-day ups and downs and to counsel them through recovery would be amazing. These audios are the next best thing to me being there with you.” — Dr. Driscoll
Many patients with POTS experience surges of anxiety and/or adrenaline that can worsen their symptoms. These surges have a medical basis but can appear as panic or anxiety to the uninformed. Because these surges can activate the sympathetic nervous system and worsen POTS, it is helpful to learn how to control them — while the medical condition is being treated. The combination of medication (or supplements) combined with effective mental management of these surges is a powerful part of our POTS Treatment Program and improves your recovery!
“We are here to help you with the underlying medical problem. Once we put that in place, biofeedback can then help you with these surges until you recover. You will love this biosensor! Unlike most biofeedback machines that only work when you are in front of the machine, this one goes with you! It became much like an old friend for me, gently nudging me when I started to tense up. One of my favorite things to do was this short biofeedback exercise where you breath slowly to turn grey dots to green. When they were green, my body was calm again. It was amazingly helpful.” — Dr. Driscoll
We have seen others offer biofeedback for $7,000 -$12,000! Biofeedback with a unique biosensor that goes with you is included as a part of your fee.
Let us figure out your medical condition, treat it with the lowest risk medications and supplements possible, educate you about your condition, and offer support through recovery.
This is truly a complete package for POTS recovery!
“As a patient, and a mom of affected patients, I went to dozens of doctors, hoping someone would look at my entire list of symptoms. I believed that if someone studied my entire presentation, they had a greater chance of identifying my underlying problems. Instead, I was shuffled from specialist to specialist, and no one considered my body as a whole. Most of the treatments I received were designed to treat my symptoms, not the underlying cause of my symptoms. We traveled across the U.S. for years, and I had numerous expensive and invasive tests, many which made me sicker – and yet we still had no answers. I see many others going through this expensive, frustrating journey and would like to dramatically change this scenario. At POTS Care, we will consider all of your symptoms simultaneously. We will dig deep for signs of illness that can be easily overlooked by others who are not looking at the entire picture. We will not assume your symptoms are all “in your head”, but instead, will consider often overlooked medical causes of obscure symptoms. If you have ever wished that a group of doctors would look at all of your symptoms, understand that your symptoms are not “all in your head” and believe that there is an underlying, medical cause for your illness, you have found that group at POTS Care.” — Dr. Driscoll