Understanding POTS Syndrome: Types, Causes and Treatments

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a condition characterized by an abnormal increase in heart rate upon assuming an upright posture. While POTS is generally classified as a form of dysautonomia, there are different subtypes and variations of the condition. Here are some common types of POTS:

1. Hyperadrenergic POTS

Hyperadrenergic POTS is characterized by an excessive release of norepinephrine (a stress hormone) in response to posture changes. Individuals with this subtype often experience high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and symptoms such as palpitations, anxiety, and tremors.

2. Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH)

Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH) is a subtype of POTS where blood pressure drops significantly upon standing, leading to symptoms such as lightheadedness, fainting, and fatigue. In NMH, the autonomic nervous system fails to regulate blood pressure properly, resulting in decreased blood flow to the brain.

3. Secondary POTS

Secondary POTS refers to cases where the condition develops as a result of an underlying medical condition or trigger. Some common causes of secondary POTS include autoimmune disorders, chronic infections, certain medications, and nervous system disorders.

4. Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) POTS

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) is a connective tissue disorder characterized by joint hypermobility and tissue fragility. Some individuals with hEDS may also experience POTS as a comorbidity. The combination of hEDS and POTS can present additional challenges and symptoms related to joint instability and collagen abnormalities.

5. Autoimmune POTS

Autoimmune POTS is associated with autoimmune disorders, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, and autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy can be related to the development of autoimmune POTS.

It’s important to note that these are just a few types or subtypes of POTS, and there can be overlapping symptoms and variations within each category. Diagnosis and treatment of POTS should be conducted by healthcare professionals experienced in managing autonomic disorders. Proper management typically involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, medications, and symptom management strategies tailored to individual needs.