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POTS – The Cause and The Cure

As a cardiologist, I have attended to and consulted on thousands of heart attack and stroke victims. These medical conditions can be scary for both patient AND doctor alike. After all, this is life and death stuff. 

Congestive heart failure patients or other situations like rapid atrial fibrillation or extreme tachycardia may also spike the adrenaline of even the most seasoned cardiologist. 

But one particular health problem really stands out in my mind that is absolutely devastating to the patient and the physician is POTS. 

I speak from the experience of testing people for POTS as a conventional cardiologist thru tilt-table testing (see below) and seeing them pass out. I personally watched a woman suddenly collapse without ANY warning and go crashing to the ground, suffering head/brain trauma. 

But I think I can help and have done so in many patients. 

Read on to learn the best TESTS and NATURAL remedies to POTS. 

What is POTS?

POTS is an acronym for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Those who suffer from it are often left without any successful remedy. And those of us who treat POTS are often frustrated at our inadequacy and inability to help. 

Let’s break the 4 words down:

Postural- having to do with the human position in a 3-dimensional space. In short, standing, sitting, or laying down. 

Orthostatic- from the word “ortho” meaning straight or erect and “static” or without movement

Tachycardia- meaning fast heart beat (over 100 beats per minute) 

Syndrome- a group of symptoms and signs linked together and described by the medical establishment. 

In POTS, the usually story is a person experiences a sudden racing heart sensation along with lightheadedness and feelings of imminent loss of consciousness upon standing. Heart rate goes well above 100 and blood pressure often drops, thus leading to loss of blood supply (hypoperfusion) to the brain and subsequent syncope (passing out).  

But symptoms and signs of POTS may vary, as you will see below. 

The dysfunction, or human body “error”occurs in the autonomic nervous system. For an easy explanation and visual of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), click here

Other causes of tachycardia with associated low blood pressure should be checked including anemia, dehydration, diabetes, pharmaceuticals, endocrine abnormalities (thyroid etc.), and electrolyte/mineral imbalance. Cardiac valvular disease and obstructive cardiomyopathy should also be assessed. 

What are the symptoms of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)?

POTS symptoms can be uncomfortable and frightening experiences. Patients with POTS usually suffer from two or more of the many symptoms listed below. 

  • Low blood pressure
  • High heart rate is the standard for this diagnosis
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness especially in standing up, prolonged standing in one position, or long walks
  • Fainting or near-fainting
  • Exhaustion/fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and bloating, nausea
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Temperature dysregulation (hot or cold)
  • Nervous, jittery feeling
  • Forgetfulness and trouble focusing (brain fog)
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches and body pain/aches (may feel flu-like); neck pain
  • Insomnia and frequent awakenings from sleep, chest pain and racing heart rate during sleep, excessive sweating
  • Shakiness/tremors especially with adrenaline surges
  • Discoloration of feet and hands
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Excessive or lack of sweating

Causes of POTS (autonomic dysfunction):

  1. Trauma/surgery- usually concussions or severe whiplash injuries
  2. Pharmaceuticals (vaccines-reference, reference)
  3. Auto-immune (reference) including Multiple Sclerosis (ref) etc. 
  4. Mold mycotoxin (reference)
  5. Heavy metal toxicity
  6. B1, B12, vitamin D and other nutrient deficiency
  7. Chronic Lyme (reference)
  8. Genetic (reference)
  9. Mast cell activation disorder (ref)

Diagnosis/Testing:

Usually, a thorough history and physical exam will lead to the diagnosis. Other testing may include a tilt-table test, cardiac ultrasound, ECG and home heart-monitoring. 

I add the following to help us determine the CAUSE of POTS.

Wolfson Testing:

  1. Vibrant America- This test is the most advanced and in-depth cardiovascular analysis on the planet. Lipoproteins, inflammation, homocysteine, insulin/diabetes, thyroid, omega-3 etc. 
  2. Vibrant Micronutrient– Serum and intra-cellular vitamins and minerals, Co Q 10, glutathione and more. Deficiencies may interfere with autonomic function and detoxification. 
  3. Vibrant Mold– 31 mold mycotoxins that can interfere with autonomic function. 
  4. Vibrant Environmental- The newest panel to assess environmental toxin exposure. 
  5. Wheat Zoomer– Leaky gut and wheat/gluten sensitivity. Dozens of markers tested here. 
  6. Neural Zoomer– Ultimately, POTS is a brain issue. This test detects auto-immune activity toward brain and neurologic tissue. VERY important test. 
  7. Vibrant Toxic Metals

Therapy

When you start to feel lightheaded, sit down. Hopefully you have enough warning. Here are some additional strategies:

  1. Compression hose- bilateral- knee high. On during the day, off at bedtime.
  2. Pharmaceuticals including beta-blockers, ivabradine, and/or fludrocortisone
  3. High sodium diet with adequate water intake. 
  4. Chiropractic care- balance the autonomic system.
  5. Get tested as above and FIX the abnormalities.

Based on the above test results, additional supplements may be recommended. 

If you or someone you love suffers with POTS, I hope this information is helpful. 

For the ultimate in health care, come out to Arizona and we can work on this together. Give us a call at 480-535-6844

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