Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome or POTS is a medical condition where the main symptom is orthostatic tachycardia, or there is an abnormally fast heart rate after an individual stands up from a supine position. Additional symptoms would include lightheadedness, palpitation, and fainting. What happens with POTS is that there is so little blood returning to the heart, which in turn would trigger the heart to beat faster to compensate.

Individuals with POTS would have trouble performing any types of physical activities since any form of movement will cause abnormally rapid heart rate. The treatment would vary from each person to the other. While others will experience the absence of orthostatic tachycardia while undergoing lifestyle changes and medications, other’s condition persists indefinitely.

The downside with the drugs used to treat orthostatic tachycardia can be orthostatic hypotension where there is a drop in blood pressure. In addition, other symptoms would include palpitations, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, blurred vision, nausea, lightheadedness. However, these symptoms can be relieved through prolonged standing, alcohol, heat, eating a large meal and exercise.

Individuals with POTS have also experienced fainting due to physical activities such as exercise or postural changes. Others would also exhibit red/blue skin discoloration especially in the lower extremities such as the feet which suggest blood pooling. Chronic fatigue and sleep disturbances are also a concern for some people with POTS.

Much like its treatment and symptoms, the cause of POTS stills differs from one person to the other. POTS can be hereditary or can be caused by hypovolemia or low blood volume. Sometimes POTS can be considered as a secondary medical condition because it is caused by another medical condition. Chronic diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders are some of the examples.


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SSA considers postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome to be one of the criteria that may qualify you for SSDI and SSI. If you are suffering from this condition, then you can be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.