POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating many systems in our bodies including heart rate and blood pressure. When POTS patients stand upright their body is unable to regulate heart rate and blood pressure properly. This leads to an abnormal increase in heart rate. Because the autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling many bodily functions, POTS brings along a whole host of other symptoms including nausea, fatigue, sweating, lightheadedness, tremors etc.
POTS is estimated to effect approximately 1-3 million Americans, mostly young women. Despite its prevalence, most people have never heard of POTS. Even most doctors are unfamiliar with POTS, which makes getting a diagnosis and proper treatment extremely difficult. There is little that doctors understand about POTS and a tragic lack of funding for ongoing research.
There is no standard treatment or cure for POTS. Patients are advised to drink a lot of water, consume a lot of salt, and exercise as much as they can tolerate. Medications are prescribed to alleviate symptoms as much as possible. Because exercise is such an important part of the recovery process, it is only fitting to encourage others to join us by walking or running in support of a great cause. Walking in particular is often a huge struggle for POTS patients and we are happy to celebrate our ability to exercise with all of you.
Dysautonomia International is a non-profit aimed at raising research funds and awareness for all forms of dysautonomia including POTS. The money raised during this year’s POTS Walk and 5k Run will be donated to Dysautonomia International to support ongoing POTS research.
Dysautonomia International – Find out more about this organization and POTS.
Wikipedia – Good overview of all the symptoms and various treatments.