Description of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, abbreviated as “POTS”, is one of the most common types of dysautonomia. It is estimated to affect between 1 and 3 million Americans and many more millions of people worldwide. It is a condition in which a change from lying to standing is associated with an abnormally large increase in heart rate, often accompanied by other symptoms like lightheadedness, blurry vision, or weakness.
Causes and prevalence of POTS
The condition is common in people who experience a high degree of stress on a regular basis, and it is especially prevalent among athletes training at a professional level. However, it also occurs among people of the general population. It is more common in females. One out of 8 POTS patients were born into a family with a history of the condition, suggesting that orthostatic intolerance runs in the family. Almost half of POTS cases occur subsequent to the contraction of a viral illness. POTS may also result from physical deconditioning or occur after a lengthy period of bed rest during which the nervous system becomes overexcitable.
Our highly successful treatment for POTS and dysautonomia suggests that all symptoms for these conditions are caused by chronic (usually hidden) hyperventilation. This is because breathing normalization leads to complete clinical remission of POTS and its symptoms. For clinical research and statistic on the prevalence of over-breathing in healthy, normal and ill subjects, see the Homepage of this site.
Dysautonomia DIY orthostatic test for POTS
In the below video, Dr. Artour explains a simple Orthostatic DIY Test for POTS by measuring own heart rate while transitioning from a supine to standing position.
A test for the condition can easily be conducted at home. In order to carry out the test, one must measure the change in heart rate that occurs when moving from lying down to standing up (for example, with a phone app or pulse oximeter):
– Step 1. Begin by lying down. Allow for heart rate to stabilize, approximately within 3-5 minutes
– Step 2. Stand up smoothly with minimal fidgeting
– Step 3. Remain still. Allow for at least 3 minutes to pass until heart rate stabilizes completely.
Normal and abnormal results for DIY POTS test
A curve of the heart rate data can be plotted against time. The curve below exhibits the general behavior of the heart rate of a healthy person without POTS over time when going from a supine to standing position:
In this example, heart rate remains constant at around 59-60 beats per minute while the test subject is lying down (horizontally). At 40 seconds, the individual rises to a standing (orthostatic, upright) position. While standing, the metabolic processes are slightly faster than in a reclined position, so heart rate increases. In a normal, healthy subject, heart rate would stabilizes at approximately 5-10 beats per minute higher than it was while the subject was lying down within 40 seconds of standing.
The story is different for a subject with POTS. An example of an abnormal (severe) case is represented below:
In the case of POTS, heart rate increases as before, but, instead of increasing by only 10 or so beats per minute, heart rate increases by approximately 20-40 beats per minute. In this example, it stabilizes at 90 beats per minute, where it remains as long as the individual continues to stand.
Further reading: We treat POTS and dysautonomia fast and successfully with the Buteyko method and breathing retraining – follow this link: treat dysautonomia naturally.
Our Youtube playlist for dysautonomia videos: “Dysautonomia/POTS/Sympathetic-Parasympathetic Dysfunction (Disorders of Autonomic Nervous System): Causes, Tests and Treatment” – the plain URL is https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrtVGVhjonCAtbTykgf9uIzgzok8MQyZw/ .