What is POTS?

POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

Basically, this means that when upright, the body does not properly counteract gravity. Not enough blood returns up to the heart and brain, so the heart beats faster in response.

POTS falls under the umbrella term dysautonomia, or a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

POTS is a syndrome, or group of symptoms. No two POTSies have exactly the same experience. Symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, headaches, palpitations, brain fog & more. Sleep disturbances are common in POTS.

POTS is not rare. It is estimated to impact between 1-3 million Americans, or about 1 in 100.


Typically, an increase in water and salt intake is recommended. (Note: this is may contraindicated in certain types of POTS so check with your doctor). Pharmaceuticals such as beta blockers (to lower heart rate), florinef (to increase blood volume), midodrine (to increase vagal tone), mestinon (to increase nerve/ muscle communication), and others are often used. Treating the underlying cause, if known, can help. POTS can be a secondary condition due to other conditions that can cause autonomic neuropathy, such as diabetes, Lyme disease, or autoimmune disorders such as lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome. (Source: JHM)

For more POTS resources, check out our other posts.

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