October is Dysautonomia awareness months. For those of you who may be thinking “dysauto-what?” – dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of a person’s autonomic nervous system. Even though most people have never heard this term, dysautonomia is actually very common. Some forms of dysautonomia are fairly mild, while other forms can be debilitating, or even fatal. increasing awareness of this group of conditions, so that someday “dysautonomia” will be a well known word, even if it is really hard to pronounce. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is one of the syndromes under that umbrella. It’s an abnormality of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is in charge of all bodily functions that we don’t have to think about, such as:
Heart rate and blood pressure regulation
Digestion and Bladder control.
Other symptoms include;
and double vision •chest pain
and palpations •tinnitus •head pressure pains •blood pooling •poor circulation –What should happen to my blood when I stand up?–
When a healthy person stands up, blood vessels contract and heart rate increases slightly to maintain blood supply to heart and brain. –What happens when I have PoTS and stand up?– In POTS, this automatic adjustment to upright posture is not working correctly, resulting in an excessive rise in heart rate, increased norepinephrine in the blood and altered blood flow to the brain causing a cocktail of symptoms.
#posturalorthostatictachycardiasyndrome can be dangerous if left severe due to drastic changes in heart rate. When the heart is beating at constant 130 Bpm instead of 60-80 it can cause damage to the heart. Causing it to shrink and the muscles to weaken.
“POTS patients have reported to suffer from a degree of functional impairment similar to that seen in conditions such as COPD and congestive heart failure” yet patients are told that they are faking or exaggerating their symptoms and are not taken seriously.