What is POTS?
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.
Please consider printing out Dysautonomia International's 10 Facts About POTS to share with friends, family and medical professionals.