What’s POTS?

POTS is a form of dysautonomia — a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates functions we don’t consciously management, akin to coronary heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and body temperature. The key traits of POTS are the specific symptoms and the exaggerated increase in heart rate when standing.

What does POTS stand for?

Postural: associated to the position of your body

Orthostatic: associated to standing upright

Tachycardia: increased coronary heart rate

Syndrome: a group of signs

Why does coronary heart rate enhance 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 within the circulation

Extreme pooling of blood beneath the level of the center when upright

Elevated levels of sure hormones akin to epinephrine (additionally known as adrenaline since it is released by the adrenal glands) and norepinephrine (mainly released by nerves).

When we stand, gravity pulls more blood into the decrease half of the body. In a healthy particular person, to ensure that a sufficient amount of blood reaches the brain, the body prompts a number of nervous system responses. One such response is releasing hormones that assist tighten blood vessels and cause a modest improve in coronary heart rate. This leads to better blood flow to the guts and brain. As soon as the brain is receiving enough blood and oxygen, these nervous system responses settle back to normal.

In folks with POTS, for unclear reasons which will differ from person to person, the blood vessels don’t respond effectively to the signal to tighten. In consequence, the longer you might be upright, the more blood pools in 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 guts rate increases further. This might cause shakiness, forceful or skipped heartbeats, and chest pain.

Some individuals with POTS can develop hypotension (a drop in blood pressure) with prolonged standing (more than three minutes upright). Others can develop an increase in blood pressure (hypertension) after they stand.

Types and Causes of POTS

The causes of POTS differ from person to person. Researchers don’t totally understand the origins of this disorder. The classification of POTS is the topic of discussion, however most authorities acknowledge different traits in POTS, which occur in some patients more than others. Importantly, these characteristics will not be mutually exclusive; person with POTS might expertise more than of those on the similar time:

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

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

Hypovolemic POTS is a term used to describe POTS related with abnormally low levels of blood (hypovolemia).

Secondary POTS implies that POTS is associated with one other condition known to doubtlessly cause autonomic neuropathy, comparable to diabetes, Lyme disease, or autoimmune issues equivalent to lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome.

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