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POTS stands for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system or dysautonomia. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating many systems in our bodies, including heart rate and blood pressure. When a POTS patient stands upright their body is unable to regulate heart rate and blood pressure properly. This leads to an abnormal increase in heart rate. Because the autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling many bodily functions, POTS brings along a whole host of other symptoms including, nausea, fatigue, sweating, lightheadedness, tremors etc.
POTS is estimated to affect approximately 1-3 million Americans, mostly young women. Despite its prevalence, most people have never heard of POTS. Even most doctors are unfamiliar with POTS, which makes getting a diagnosis and proper treatment extremely difficult. There is also a tragic lack of funding for ongoing research.
There is no standard treatment or cure for POTS. Patients are advised to drink a lot of water, consume a lot of salt, and exercise as much as they can tolerate. Medications are prescribed to alleviate symptoms as much as possible. Because exercise is such an important part of the recovery process, it is only fitting to encourage others to join us by walking or running in support of a great cause. Walking in particular is often a huge struggle for POTS patients - so we are especially happy to celebrate our ability to exercise with all of you.
Please consider printing out Dysautonomia International's 10 Facts About POTS to share with friends, family and medical professionals.
Dysautonomia Internationalis a 501(c)(3) non-profit that seeks to improve the lives of over 70 million individuals around the world living with disorders of the autonomic nervous system. The organization offers patient and physician education resources, community outreach, legislative advocacy, and patient support for all autonomic disorders. Our innovative research program focuses on postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
Since its launch in 2012, Dysautonomia International has raised over $5M for research, education and support. The organization has partnered with autonomic experts at Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, Vanderbilt University, University of Texas Southwestern and many other institutions to advance the pace of research and provide educational programs for physicians and patients alike.
Dysautonomia International created the POTS Research Fund in December 2013 to provide a dedicated stream of funding for POTS research. In the past four years, we have issued nearly $1.7 million in POTS research grants.