What causes POTS syndrome and how to treat it?-Blog

What causes POTS syndrome and how to treat it?

What causes POTS syndrome and how to treat it?

POTS syndrome is also known as postural orthostatic tachycardia, it is one of a group of disorders which have orthostatic intolerance (OI) as their primary symptom. Orthostatic intolerance describes a condition in which an excessively reduced volume of blood returns to the heart after an individual stands up from a lying down position.

Symptoms of Pots include:

  • Fainting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Poor sleep
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling sick
  • Shortness of breath

Causes of Pots syndrome:

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a very complex disease that can have many causes. Generally speaking, causes of Postural orthostatic tachycardia are broken down into two sections: primary causes and secondary causes. Primary causes of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome are often the source of the disease for younger patients. Some of the primary cause agents of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome include nitric oxide, neuropathy, physical deconditioning, and various viruses. Secondary causes of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome are when another disease or condition causes the disease. Some of the secondary causes include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Tumors
  • Anemia
  • Adrenal Disorders
  • Ehlers-Danlos

Natural treatments for pots syndrome

Diet

Diet

The importance of attention to diet in Postural orthostatic tachycardia Syndrome is covered in this separate linked article. But let’s briefly discuss some of the important points here. Initially, the diet will center on increasing fluid and salt intake to increase circulating volume. Lower carbohydrate and smaller sized meals are also mostly recommended to prevent pooling of blood in the stomach vessels. Some patients may be sensitive to caffeine and it should be limited, particularly if you suffer from hyperadrenergic Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Alcohol and energy drinks should be avoided, as they can worsen orthostatic and have been associated with triggering Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome episodes.

Exercise

Exercise

Exercise is generally recommended for all Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients and is a key part of any treatment strategy. Physical deconditioning is an important aspect of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and can worsen symptoms. This deconditioning has been highlighted by studies that show Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients have lower oxygen uptake during exercise compared to healthy individuals. Importantly, studies have shown that endurance exercise training is an effective treatment for Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and can result in substantial improvement in symptoms. Exercise can increase cardiac and skeletal muscle mass, and improve overall cardiovascular fitness.

This, in turn, will improve the body’s ability to cope with standing and other stressful situations in Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Exercise may be challenging for two reasons. Firstly, patients feel too tired to exercise, and secondly, patients may feel fatigued and more symptomatic after exercising, often lasting days. Despite this, it has been proven that even if done slowly, and time is taken to build up the exercise level, there will be a significant improvement. The fact is that patients that exercise are likely to do better than those that don’t. You can find a more comprehensive discussion of the importance of exercise for patients with Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome here.

Fluid Intake

Fluid Intake

Fluid intake has been shown to decrease the chances of feeling faint in response to standing and has been proven to be of benefit in patients with orthostatic. Dehydration should be avoided and will almost certainly worsen symptoms of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. In general, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients should aim to have less than 2 liters per day. At times of dizziness, drinking 2 glasses of water over a few minute periods may help to raise blood pressure and improve symptoms. I’ve written a complete article discussing the important role of hydration for Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients.

Fluid intake has been shown to decrease the chances of feeling faint in response to standing and has been proven to be of benefit in patients with orthostatic. Dehydration should be avoided and will almost certainly worsen symptoms of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. In general, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients should aim to have less than 2 liters per day. At times of dizziness, drinking 2 glasses of water over a few minute periods may help to raise blood pressure and improve symptoms. I’ve written a complete article discussing the important role of hydration for Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients.

Muscle Tensing

Muscle Tensing

When we stand, due to few effects of gravity blood will tend to pool in the lower extremities. In Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, the normal mechanisms that counter this are dysfunctional resulting in reduced return of blood to the heart and the upper body leading to dizziness.

Routine Changes

Symptoms of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome may have a significant impact on quality of life and things that are taken for granted by many now become a challenge. Simple routine changes may be helpful. Often Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients have worse symptoms in the morning, and it may be advisable to schedule events into the afternoon. Things such as taking extra time to stand up and also sitting down in the shower may be helpful.

Increasing Salt Intake

Increasing Salt Intake

The role of salt in the treatment of Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is covered in detail in the diet section. With the exception of kidney/heart failure patients, most of the doctors would recommend an effort to increase the dietary salt for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients, usually by around 2-4g/day.  If the doctor devising the treatment plan feels it is necessary, some Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome patients may benefit from up to 6-8g sodium/day.

It is essential that physicians have a detailed understanding of dermatological autonomic manifestations. This knowledge can help support a diagnosis of POTS. Furthermore, treatment of autonomic dysfunction may improve the dermatological manifestations in some patients. To learn what is causing your symptoms, your doctor may ask about your symptoms, and when and how they started. Check how your blood pressure and heart rate change when you move from lying down to sitting to standing.

 

 

2 thoughts on “What causes POTS syndrome and how to treat it?

  1. Anne says:

    So then WHY are doctors foolishly giving these patients IV Saline infusions when there’s clearly ways to control this condition otherwise?

    • Mukta Agrawal says:

      Hello Anne, Yes I agree but then the different patient has the different condition and hence we can not judge the doctors

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