I'm re-upping this, as we are almost done with the new nonprofit website, and most of my new "material" will be headed over there. This a POTS 101 type summary, hopefully easy to understand and useful :) ---Claire
POTS: An Overview
Find links to in depth information and resources for POTSies at on our Dysautonomia SOS website (under construction).
POTS is short for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. It is referred to by some physicians and researchers as Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, or just Postural Tachycardia. It is a type of Orthostatic Intolerance, and also a type of Dysautonomia. Let’s break down what that name means:
Postural means relating to posture, or a change in position.
Orthostatic means relating to, or caused by erect posture (standing up).
Tachycardia refers to a rapid heart rate.
Syndrome means a collection of symptoms, and not a disease. Technically, a syndrome is defined as a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality.
So, POTS is a collection of symptoms that result from a heart rate increase when standing up. When a person with POTS stands up, the heart pumps faster to help keep the blood pressure up, and try to help the blood in their body reach their brain and other vital organs. The body of a person with POTS does not respond to gravity the same way a non-POTS person does.
The majority of POTS patients are female, of child bearing age, and under 35. There are thought to be anywhere from 500,000 to millions of people in the US with POTS and other forms of Orthostatic Intolerance. There are no solid published statistics or data at this time, these are estimates from the major research centers that treat POTS.