Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition that causes a number of symptoms when you transition from lying down to standing up, such as a fast heart rate, dizziness and fatigue. While there’s no cure, several treatments and lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of POTS.
Tilt Table Test for POTS
During the tilt table test, you are secured on a table while lying flat. Then the table is raised to an almost upright position. Your heart rate, blood pressure and often blood oxygen and exhaled carbon dioxide levels are measured during this test.You might have POTS if you meet all three of these criteria:
- Your body produces an abnormal heart rate response to being upright
- Your symptoms worsen when upright
- You don’t develop orthostatic hypotension in the first three minutes of testing
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) has several possible symptoms, and they vary from person to person. Symptoms include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness, especially when standing up, during prolonged standing in one position or on long walks.
- Fainting or near fainting.
- Forgetfulness and trouble focusing (brain fog).
- Heart palpitations or racing heart rate.
- Feeling nervous or anxious.
- Shakiness and excessive sweating.
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
- Chest pain.
- Feeling sick.
- A pale face and purple discoloration of your hands and feet if they’re lower than the level of your heart.
- Disrupted sleep from chest pain, racing heart rate and excessive sweating during sleep.
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) symptoms often get worse in the following situations:
- Being in warm environments, such as in a hot bath or shower or on a hot day.
- Standing frequently, such as when you’re waiting in line or shopping.
- Participating in strenuous exercise.
- When you’re sick, such as from a cold or an infection.
- Having your period (menstruation).
If you have any additional questions regarding difficulties with balance or dizziness, or suspect you may have POTS Syndrome, please make an appointment with Dr. Funk and he would be happy to help you. Additionally, you can learn more about what Functional Neurology is here.