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
  • Tremor
  • Extreme and chronic fatigue
  • Poor sleep
  • Loss of balance
  • Brain fog
  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

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.

“It is only by looking carefully at the patient’s history and trigger for POTS and/or dysautonomia that answers can be found. Because physicians may not understand the underlying condition or have not yet identified it, does not mean it does not exist. This mindset, when allowed to stand unchallenged, can stall effective treatment and research.”
– Diana Driscoll, OD

We Are The Only Clinic Approaching POTS In This Way

POTS Recovery

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.“

Joshua's Story

“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.”

Taylor's Story

“I would say even three weeks after I came home it became a lot easier to get out of bed, I was not dizzy and I did not have to sit in bed for 10-20 minutes before I tried to get up and move around. I am excited to be able to get back to college life!”

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    POTS Care Is The Only Clinic Dedicated To Locating And Treating The Underlying Medical Causes Of POTS – Not Just The Symptoms