What is POTS?

POTS is a type of dysautonomia — a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates features we don’t consciously management, comparable to coronary heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and body temperature. The key traits of POTS are the specific signs and the exaggerated improve in coronary heart rate when standing.

What does POTS stand for?

Postural: associated to the position of your body

Orthostatic: associated to standing upright

Tachycardia: increased heart rate

Syndrome: a group of signs

Why does coronary heart rate improve excessively with POTS?

In most patients with POTS, the construction of the guts itself is normal. POTS symptoms come up from a mixture of the next:

Lower amount of blood in the circulation

Extreme pooling of blood under the level of the guts when upright

Elevated levels of certain hormones similar to epinephrine (additionally known as adrenaline since it is launched by the adrenal glands) and norepinephrine (primarily launched by nerves).

When we stand, gravity pulls more blood into the lower half of the body. In a healthy particular person, to make sure that a sufficient quantity of blood reaches the brain, the body activates a number of nervous system responses. One such response is releasing hormones that help tighten blood vessels and cause a modest enhance in heart rate. This leads to better blood flow to the heart and brain. Once the brain is receiving enough blood and oxygen, these nervous system responses settle back to normal.

In people with POTS, for unclear reasons which will differ from person to person, the blood vessels don’t reply efficiently to the signal to tighten. In consequence, the longer you are upright, the more blood pools within the lower half of your body. This leads to not sufficient blood returning to the brain, which may be felt as lightheadedness (faintness), brain fog and fatigue. Because the nervous system continues to launch epinephrine and norepinephrine to tighten the blood vessels, the heart rate will increase further. This may cause shakiness, forceful or skipped heartbeats, and chest pain.

Some people with POTS can develop hypotension (a drop in blood pressure) with prolonged standing (more than three minutes upright). Others can develop a rise in blood pressure (hypertension) once they stand.

Types and Causes of POTS

The causes of POTS range from person to person. Researchers don’t solely understand the origins of this disorder. The classification of POTS is the topic of dialogue, however most creatorities recognize completely different traits in POTS, which happen in some patients more than others. Importantly, these traits are usually not mutually exclusive; individual with POTS may experience more than of those on the similar time:

Neuropathic POTS is a time period used to explain POTS related with damage to the small fiber nerves (small-fiber neuropathy). These nerves regulate the constriction of the blood vessels in the limbs and abdomen.

Hyperadrenergic POTS is a time period used to explain POTS associated with elevated levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine.

Hypovolemic POTS is a time period used to describe POTS associated with abnormally low levels of blood (hypovolemia).

Secondary POTS implies that POTS is associated with one other condition known to probably cause autonomic neuropathy, similar to diabetes, Lyme disease, or autoimmune problems resembling lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome.

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