The Driscoll Approach™
What Are Dysautonomia and POTS?
Dysautonomia is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls the automatic responses of the body (the functions of the body that no one needs to think about) – breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, organ function, temperature control and the release of hormones, for example. In dysautonomia, the autonomic nervous system is no longer working correctly, and these functions are no longer properly controlled.
Dysautonomia may be primary (some neurological conditions), secondary (congenital, metabolic disorders, surgery, infections, inflammation, toxins), or intermittent (vasovagal syncope).
What is POTS Syndrome?
POTS, or Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome may be considered a secondary form of dysautonomia. If it is a short-term condition, perhaps from deconditioning, space travel (truly), or dehydration, symptoms can be controlled without too much difficulty. But for many, POTS is a long-term condition and can result in a plethora of symptoms and can render the patient disabled.
Common Symptoms of Dysautonomia:
- Irregular blood pressure
- Orthostatic intolerance (the inability to remain vertical without developing symptoms)
- Irregular, fast, or slow heart rate
- Gastrointestinal problems — Gastroparesis, IBS (“irritable bowel syndrome”), delayed gastric emptying, constipation, and diarrhea
- Poor temperature control
- Exercise intolerance
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme and chronic fatigue
- Poor sleep
- Loss of balance
- Brain fog
- Personality changes
Because physicians often find no cause for this plethora of symptoms, fast heart rate and difficulty breathing are often labeled as “deconditioning” and “inappropriate sinus tachycardia”. Pain and depression are often blamed for abnormal sleep patterns, personality changes, and fatigue. Many symptoms and signs are often ignored if the physician has no answers. Patients with an “invisible illness” often appear to medical personnel as otherwise healthy; their numerous neurological signs may be intermittent and positional, making diagnosis difficult.
We Are The Only Clinic Approaching POTS In This Way
At POTS Care, it’s personal!
“When I first became ill and had numerous symptoms of dysautonomia, the infectious disease specialist wanted to evaluate me for signs of menopause and response to anxiety medication.”
– Diana Driscoll, OD
Meet Our Patients
Rachel Anne's Story
“I truly can’t express my gratitude enough to Dr. Driscoll and her team for leading me into a new, happier and healthier chapter of my life.“
“Lots of other places will tell you that it is in your head, that you just need exercise or drink more water, more Gatorade, more salt. When we came to POTS Care, we learned that most of that was false in many aspects. POTS Care is a lot better. I definitely was not scared after the first day. I felt confident that we are definitely going to make progress.”
Just Diagnosed with POTS?
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The Top 4 things I would do first if my children or I were just diagnosed with POTS
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