What is POTS?
POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (a form of dysautonomia) and is officially diagnosed when a patient’s heart rate increases by 30 beats per minute OR increases to 120 beats per minute or more on a tilt table test (after being tilted for up to 10 minutes). With young children, the diagnosis is made when the heart rate increases by 40 beats per minute. This is considered a form of autonomic dysfunction, or dysautonomia that is “idiopathic” — puzzling most physicians today.
Symptoms can be vast and include: the inability to be vertical without feeling faint, dizzy, nauseous or shaky, constipation, gastroparesis, delayed gastric emptying, IBS, episodic diarrhea, headaches (migraines and others), flushing, poor temperature control, difficulty breathing, anxiety and panic, rashes, nausea and vomiting, pain when eating, the inability to handle emotional or physical stress, mood disorders, extreme weakness, chronic and dramatic fatigue, insomnia, pain, and many others.
After ruling out structural heart problems, some neurological conditions (such as Parkinson’s or ALS), certain cancers (such as adrenal gland tumors, carcinoid cancer), some autoimmune problems (such as autoimmune autonomic gangliopathy), and other known causes for dysautomomia / POTS, the majority of POTS patients are left with no clear answers and ineffective treatments geared toward the symptoms rather than the underlying cause of illness. These patients are said to have “Idiopathic POTS” (no known cause is identified).
Many patients with Idiopathic POTS / dysautonomia are incorrectly presumed to be suffering with “anxiety”, “hypervigilance”, or other psychological bases for their illness. Some are assumed to suffer with deconditioning, or are considered to be lazy. At POTS Care, we believe this is a tragic error, minimizing patient’s suffering opening up the potential for a worsening of the medical condition.
At POTS Care, we specialize in Idiopathic POTS. We leave no stone unturned to look for the underlying medical cause of POTS and utilize extensive spreadsheets and algorithms to get answers as quickly and as non-invasively as possible.