Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

For people who are not aware of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It is a blood circulation disorder that causes high blood pressure and low blood pressure. Here are some of the symptoms of this condition which are fainting, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and heart palpitations, along with many more symptoms. A shorter name for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is Pots. Also for people who are wondering Pots is not a disease but a syndrome with underlying conditions that cause pots to flare up. Some people with pots have the condition more severe than others, this makes daily activities harder for people with pots to function. With pots, it is categorized as a Dysauntonima malfunction, and for people who are wondering what Dysauntonima is. It is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. This branch of the nervous system regulates body functions that we don’t consciously control such as heart rate, blood pressure, GI tract, etc. 

For the diagnostics criteria of pots, it is a heart rate increase of thirty bpm for children and forty beats per minute for adults or more, or even a hundred-twenty bpm within the first ten minutes of standing. But often with pots, you are diagnosed with a tilt table test that measures your heart rate and blood pressure is taken while laying down, and then standing after two, five, ten minutes each time. Also, doctors may perform more tests to evaluate the autonomic nervous system, such as the Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test, and basically, it is a sweating test. That also takes biopsies of the skin looking at the small fiber nerves, and gastritis motility study. Also, with Pots, a lot of patients see different doctors that specialized in only specific categories of your conditions you are having. Here are some specialists: A cardiologist which specializes in the heart, and Neurologist that specializes in nerves, and a Gastrointestinal doctor that specializes in the stomach area. There are so many doctors that people with pots have to see and deal with, for their conditions. 

But often one in a hundred teenagers and adults are diagnosed with pots each day. A total of three million people in America are officially diagnosed with Pots, which often can take three-five years to get an official diagnosis. It is more frequently seen in young women, often less than the age of thirty-five. But also, can be seen in young men. But typically for young men that get diagnosed with pots, it’s very rare. Afterward, your doctor will tell you, about needing to increase your fluid intake and often salt intake. This often means an increase with different medications since a lot of pots patients’ bodies are way off from normal. Some patients with pots have mild symptoms, that can continue doing normal activities such as school work and other activities. For others, their symptoms are more severe that often their ability to do the necessities such as bathing is much more difficult with the higher chance of fall risk and passing out while bathing. Often physicians with expertise in treating pots have compared pots to congestive heart failure and pulmonary disease. This example that I showed you is how severe pots can be. 

One of my friends who was diagnosed with Pots is Katelin Zap, who lives in Ohio, and is seventeen years old. She attends Shawnee Mission West High School, and used to be in gymnastics but now is teaching gymnastics. Katelin was first diagnosed with Pots in October of 2019 by doing the poor man’s Tilt Table Test. Then officially diagnosed with Pots on June 2, 2020. Katelin also has hEDS which are hypermobile Ehlers Danlos syndrome which is a connective tissue disorder. She also has chronic headaches and complex migraines. Katelin also was diagnosed with Raynaud’s and has some other chronic issues that are undiagnosed.  

 Katelin states that she has lost quite a few friends because of her illnesses. But she also has gained some new friends. Katelin misses her old friends and doing things with them but she also says she wouldn’t have met some of her best friends without having these illnesses. I also ask Katelin about the types of doctors she has to see, and she mainly sees Orthopedics but also sees a PCP, Neurology, Cardiology, PT, and a Rehab Physician.