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What does the autonomic nervous system do?

There are two parts of the Autonomic Nervous System. The sympathetic and the parasympathetic. When people have problems that give them orthostatic intolerance there is often a problem somewhere in their autonomic nervous system. The nervous system is not correctly controlling heart rate or blood pressure. Different people will get different conditions. Some people may have their blood pressure drop when they stand up (Orthostatic Hypotension) while other people may have their heart rate rise significantly (POTS). These are all situations where the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are not working together correctly. POTS is a form of dysautonomia which is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system.

 

Common symptoms of POTS

 

Common causes of POTS

The cause of POTS varies from person to person. Researchers don’t entirely understand the origins of this disorder. Patients may develop POTS after a viral illness, mononucleosis, serious infections, medical illness, pregnancy, head trauma, and certain autoimmune conditions such as Sjogren’s and celiac disease. The classification of POTS is the subject of discussion, but most authorities recognize three types: Neuropathic POTS, Hyperadrenergic POTS, and Secondary POTS.

Understanding the different types of POTS

Neuropathic POTS is a peripheral denervation/autonomic neuropathy, especially in the legs, which leads to decreased vascular control in the lower limbs. This means that the cause of POTS has to do with damage to the nerves regulating the constriction of the blood vessels in the limbs and abdomen. As a result, more blood than usual pools in the lower part of your body and doesn’t fully return to the heart and the brain.
Hyperadrenergic POTS means that POTS symptoms are associated with increased levels of the stress hormone norepinephrine. People with hyperadrenergic POTS have higher levels of norepinephrine than those with other forms of POTS
Secondary POTS means that POTS has developed as a result of damage caused by another condition. Secondary POTS may develop in people with viral illness, mononucleosis, pregnancy, head trauma, and certain autoimmune conditions

Common treatments for POTS

  • Diet and nutrition changes such as increased salt and water intake
  • Cardiac rehab exercise and increased physical activity
  • Medication such as salt tablets, fludrocortisone, pyridostigmine, midodrine, and or a beta blocker.
  • Compression stockings

So why do the symptoms remain or more commonly keep coming back?

 

Here at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center we find that many patients who continue to have POTS symptoms respond very well to our treatments. We work to find which parts of the nervous system are working sub optimally and then we deliver patient specific treatments to help the nervous system heal. As the person gets better, we monitor them as they begin to perform more activities in order to help the person achieve their health goals.

 

Individualized treatment plan for POTS

At Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center, we specialize in understanding autonomic nervous system imbalances, concussions and other central nervous system deficits. Our team is trained to look at the nervous system with a unique approach, making our doctors successful at treating cases that are often not resolved in the traditional medical practice.

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