- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
"P.O.T.S." Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia.
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia = “POTS” Syndrome
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia is a very serious dysautonomia. Dysautonomia means that there is a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. The nervous system is the mass regulator of the body organs. It involves the heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiration and other vital functions. A malfunction in an organ can take place. Therefore the patient may experience a plethora of maladies.
A healthy Immune system is important and crucial to one’s well being! It is composed of one’s cells, protein, tissues and organs that help protect against germs and microorganisms. It is what keeps us healthy!
P.O.T.S. is known as the invisible illness!
P.O.T.S. can often be a quite debilitating condition. It is a degenerative disease of the peripheral nervous system marked by orthostatic hypotension. The nervous system is an extensive network that regulates homeostasis’ POTS causes one’s heart rate to fluctuate immensely when shifting from a supine sitting position to standing. There is difficulty in the patient maintaining normal homeostasis during positional changes of the body. Their equilibrium can suddenly shift. In some cases the slightest movement can cause an extreme fluctuation in the heart rate along with increased and decreased blood pressure. It can be an emotional roller coaster! Each patient is different some become bedridden and cannot walk... Prayer is much needed!
Due to the lowering or HIGH blood pressure one can experience cerebral hypo perfusion, lightheadedness, gastronimical problems, exhaustion, stress, extremely low pressure, fatigue, unquenchable thirst and faintness. Dyspnea, tinnitus, headache, muscle weakness, neck pain, intense chest pain and disorientation are symptomatic possibilities as well.
Posterior Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is extremely serious! P.O.T.S. patients look normal and they are usually High Achievers...
P.O.T.S. is hard to diagnose it is not usually detected in a routine exam or blood test. It can be easily overlooked or misdiagnosed. There are wide arrays of symptoms that accompany P.O.T.S. It can easily be overlooked because routinely a patient’s heart rate is normally taken sitting down. We have learned that the heart rate for the P.O.T.S. patient changes significantly when standing. It is possible that it can also take several years to recuperate from this! A necessary change in diet that is inclusive of at least 64 ounces of water each day as well as juices is usually recommended.
Standing is something that we normally take for granted! When we stand our blood vessels contract and our heart rate increases! Our systolic blood pressure usually remains the same and our diastolic slightly increases! This is not true with the P.O.T.S. patient. It takes three times the amount of normal energy just to stand. Their quality of life is usually equated to that of a congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patient! An example would be to visualize as if they are always running in place!
Exercise is recommended but must be closely monitored because it can also tend to exacerbate the symptoms as well. Ankle weights can be used but should not be used all day. The body will be accustomed to the extra weight and make the adjustment and the weights will not remain as effective.
Fludrocortisones & mineral corticoid are often used to treat P.O.T.S. They are used to increase sodium levels and increase blood volume and blood pressure. An increase in sodium and water is necessary as well. The patient’s symptoms fluctuate from day to day they vary and are many…
I was quite surprised to discover that in 2007 it was estimated that the number of diagnosed cases were rising and (1) one out of every (100) teens have been determined to have P.O.T.S.! It is seen in ages anywhere between (15) fifteen to (50) fifty!
Each case is unique and the treatment is tailored to each individual patient. Patients are recommended to eat smaller frequent meals to prevent blood pooling. Patients must stay well hydrated! It is recommended to squat; rather than bend over forward at the waist. Therefore this greatly alters their simple normal body movement from position to position. One has to become aware of the impact of readily shifting positions and move accordingly.
Alcohol consumption should be avoided since it enhances peripheral venous pooling that exacerbates hypotension and can also lead to a dehydration state. Avoiding something as simple as blowing up balloons and extreme heat is necessary not to aggravate the onset of symptoms. Heat dilates blood vessels causing the P.O.T.S.symptoms to worsen.
These may be possibly helpful?
Lifting = Lifting items and even holding arms up in the aIr can cause a shift in the spinal fluid pressure so do so mindfully and cautiously.
Sleep = Sleep disturbances do often occur due to the symptoms. The patient is advised to get plenty of rest! More sleep than average is usually needed. If necssary get up and walk around and allow your blood to circulate throughout your body even if you must return to bed rather than stay in bed for days on end..
Walking = Upon awaking and getting up, walking around right after getting out of the bed is recommended for the constricting leg muscles and helps to avoid blood pooling. The increased circulation may be helpful in some cases!
Warmth = A nice neck pillow is recommended! A sock filled with warm rice can be also quite soothing when heated in microwave to alleviate headache pain. This only takes just a few minutes. Test and first and be sure it is not too hot!
Compression = Dressings of abdominal binders and compression stockings may be used to prevent blood pooling.
Ice = Rubbing ice on the bottom of your feet can also be helpful!
Exercise = Aerobics for about twenty minutes three times per week is recommended if tolerable. Swimming when not feeling faintness. ( Remember each patient is different)
Activities = Scheduling activities in the afternoon are helpful since symptoms tend to be more pronounced in the morning.
P.O.T.S. = A nervous system condition. Beta Blockers are often prescribed to tighten up the blood vessels. A change in diet and exercise is recommended to help facilitate healing...
It is recommended that Epineprhine often used by dentist for many reasons should be avoided it stimulates the heart and may compound symptoms!
TRAVELING aboard an airplane one can experience some of the driest air in the world! It can dehydrate a normal person … Due to the dry pressure in an airplane the P.O.T.S. patient needs to be well hydrated before flying. Requesting a roomier seat is recommended in order to give them room to elevate their legs and avoid the formation of blood clots!
P.O.T.S. is also known as the “hyper adrenergic syndrome.” It can occur due to many abnormalities to the body! Many are still unknown! It is very complicated to diagnosis P.O.T.S. and distinguishing between causes and effects are quite complicated! Stress should be avoided whenever possible! Again it is considered the “Invisible Illness!”
~ I had never before heard of P.O.T.S.! This has been a life lesson and real learning experience … This last month has been a series of multiple trips to ER and to the hospital! To make an extensive story short… One of our adult sons who has been extremely healthy and in great physical shape has been recently diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome? Thank God that he has never done drugs, nor does he drink or smoke! We have been informed his is an extremely unique case. As a result of an earlier football injury from being a quarterback a few years ago he was given a lower spinal epidural a few months ago recommended by his private physician... Several weeks later he was taken to ER with a lingering headache lasting for over a week. He was then diagnosed as being dehydrated and sent home and they omitted giving him an IV... Only to return the very next day unable to walk…was then continuously given and IV and a shot along with some magnesium for his headache and sent home… (He then experienced all the symptoms mentioned and more concerning P.O.T.S.!) Only to return again and finally be hospitalized... Since this Invisible Illness mimics many symptoms... They finally simply admitted that they did not quite KNOW what to do?
So we continued to PRAY! Many intelligent doctors as well as nurses are not aware of P.O.T.S. this is another reason why it is called an Invisible Illness... They eventually placed him in a cardiac unit where his every movement was monitored 24/7 for days... After many tests by a plethora of specialists it was determined that the combination of prior treatments have resulted in Posterior Orthostatic Tachycardia! As well as Tubular Necrosis and other complications.... My son is now home with his family!
After being examined by a plethora of Doctors and Specialists they have determined that his immune system was compromised by the initial dosage of drugs that were administered to him it has been an arduous rare medical journey. He has seen some of the top specialist.... Our son is an excellent Video Producer/Editor among many other things. He maintains a very disciplined lifestyle, diet and physical workout regime. I share sparingly the details in order to protect his privacy. Yet I realize the need to make others aware of the need to pay attention to your health and not take life for granted... To see or talk to him you would not imagine what he goes through. After much preparation he continues to fly, travel and provide very well for his family. We know that it is the LORD who continues to keep him! Even they know he is in the Lord's hands...
This unexpected diagnosis for someone who has always been quite healthy, has further increased his/our FAITH and continued TRUST in the LORD! We have relocated to be close by ... We continue to remain prayerful! I realize that doctor’s practice but God heals… We are very grateful that our LORD continues to keep him! I cannot imagine life without the LORD!