What is POTS?
POTS is a form of dysautonomia — a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. This department of the nervous system regulates functions we don’t consciously management, similar to coronary heart rate, blood pressure, sweating and body temperature. The key characteristics of POTS are the specific symptoms and the exaggerated increase 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: elevated heart rate
Syndrome: a group of signs
Why does heart rate improve excessively with POTS?
In most patients with POTS, the structure of the heart itself is normal. POTS signs come up from a mixture of the next:
Lower quantity of blood within the circulation
Excessive pooling of blood beneath the level of the center when upright
Elevated levels of certain hormones reminiscent of epinephrine (also known as adrenaline since it is launched by the adrenal glands) and norepinephrine (mainly released by nerves).
Once we stand, gravity pulls more blood into the decrease half of the body. In a healthy particular person, to make sure that a ample amount of blood reaches the brain, the body activates several nervous system responses. One such response is releasing hormones that help tighten blood vessels and cause a modest improve in heart rate. This leads to better blood flow to the center and brain. Once the brain is receiving sufficient blood and oxygen, these nervous system responses settle back to normal.
In people with POTS, for unclear reasons that may differ from person to person, the blood vessels don’t respond efficiently to the signal to tighten. Consequently, the longer you're upright, the more blood pools in the decrease half of your body. This leads to not sufficient blood returning to the brain, which might be felt as lightheadedness (faintness), brain fog and fatigue. As the nervous system continues to launch epinephrine and norepinephrine to tighten the blood vessels, the guts rate will increase further. This may cause shakiness, forceful or skipped heartbeats, and chest pain.
Some folks 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) once they stand.
Types and Causes of POTS
The causes of POTS differ from person to person. Researchers don’t solely understand the origins of this disorder. The classification of POTS is the topic of debate, but most writerities acknowledge completely different characteristics in POTS, which happen in some patients more than others. Importantly, these characteristics will not be mutually unique; particular person with POTS might experience more than of those on the same 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 term used to explain 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 signifies that POTS is associated with another condition known to potentially cause autonomic neuropathy, such as diabetes, Lyme illness, or autoimmune disorders such as lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome.
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