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U.S. News & World Report: What Is POTS?

U.S. News & World Report recently spoke with cardiologist Peng-Sheng Chen, MD, of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, also known as POTS. Chen, a national expert in the disorder, recently launched a clinic for POTS patients.

The condition affects 1 million to 3 million people in the U.S., primarily female teens and young adults. It's associated with the part of the nervous system that regulates bodily functions including blood pressure and heart rate.

When someone with POTS stands up, their heart rate spikes while their blood pressure stays stable, causing dizziness or fainting. This can make it difficult to exercise or engage in routine daily activities, Chen told U.S. News & World Report. POTS also can cause brain fog, chest pain, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, poor sleep, shortness of breath, skin lesions and intolerance of alcohol and major temperature changes.

Chen told U.S. News & World Report that people living with POTS should shower before going to bed at night versus in the morning, when warm water can further aggravate the difficult experience of standing after a night spent lying down.

Patients also can reduce their POTS symptoms by avoiding alcohol and certain foods, staying hydrated to help maintain blood pressure, building exercise tolerance through physical therapy, and taking medications to address heart rate, blood pressure and GI issues. They should seek immediate medical attention for new or increased heart symptoms, persistent fainting or fatigue.

Click here to read the complete article from U.S. News & World Report.