Undoubtedly, many of you are here because you too suffer from POTS/Dysautonomia. I suspect this information will be known to you already. Please comment with any additions you feel would help in describing the condition. For the rest, the following is meant to inform as to the nature of this condition.
Dysautonomia effectively means, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic (sometimes referred to as the automatic) system is responsible for controlling all of our natural bodily functions that we do not consciously control. Food digestion, temperature regulation, sweating, heart rate and blood pressure to name a few. Basically, anything your body does automatically.
Perhaps the most problematic dysfunction is that of orthostatic intolerance. How one’s body adjusts to the forces of gravity. Dizziness and fainting spells are the universal afflictions, that burden a sufferer. When a healthy person stands, his or her muscles contract in the lower extremities and veins constrict. This allows blood to flow properly throughout the body and most importantly reach the brain. In POTS (Postural Tachycardia) sufferers this does not occur properly. The result is pooling of blood into the lower extremities and a lack of adequate blood flow (oxygen) to the brain. Thus, the fainting and tachycardia. A diagnosis can be made when a heart rate elevation of at least 30 beats per minute is observed when moving from a recumbent to standing position.
The result of all this is an unpleasant experience. For myself, I have been effectively bedridden for the past eight years. The longest I can stand is approximately twenty minutes. Unfortunately, this is commonly the case.
For more information, there is a wonderful online community called dinet.org. This is where, after months of misdiagnoses and frustrating visits to countless doctors, I finally uncovered what was happening to my body.