What Is POTS?

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (or POTS) is characterized by the body's inability to make the necessary adjustments to counteract gravity when changing posture. Essentially this means that upon changing from a supine position to an upright position, blood drains to the lower half of the body.
The hallmark symptom of POTS is an increase of more than 30 beats per minute (or a heart rate greater than 120 beats per minute) within 10 minutes of head up tilt. This may or may not be accompanied by a fall in blood pressure known as Orthostatic Hypotension, some POTS patients experience no change in blood pressure, or an increase in blood pressure instead.

Symptoms of POTS and Orthostatic Hypotension include:

Exercise intolerance
Extreme fatigue
Syncope (fainting) 

Pre-syncope (near fainting)
Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
Cold extremities
Chest pain and discomfort
Shortness of breath
Muscle weakness
Visual disturbances
Brain fog (or other cognitive problems).
Headache, nausea, abdominal pain, or even vomiting upon standing, after standing too long, or after physical exertion.

Many additional symptoms are common in POTS patients due to Autonomic Dysfunction, please see the What Is Dysautonomia page, or for more information on types of POTS, symptoms, and treatment, please see the links below: