POTS Physio

About POTS

Usually when a person stands, the nerves of the autonomic nervous system (the autonomic nervous system is the body's "autopilot" system, controlling things like heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing) tell blood vessels in the lower body to constrict (tighten). The tightening vessels work against gravity to keep blood from collecting in the legs. This automatic response makes sure the brain has enough blood flow to work well. If there is not enough blood flow to the brain, a person may feel lightheaded or pass out every time they stand.

In POTS, the autonomic nervous system doesn't work in the usual way, so the blood vessels don't tighten enough to make sure there is enough blood flow to the brain. To try to keep enough blood flowing to the brain, the autonomic nervous system makes the heart beat a lot faster instead. This leads to an increased heart rate that can cause heart palpitations, weakness or fainting.

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