Dysautonomia or POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome): a condition in which the autonomic nervous system is functioning poorly. This dysfunction can result in problems throughout the body, but most prominently affects the cardiovascular system (poor blood circulation, especially to the brain) with associated rapid heart rate, dizziness and occasional fainting. The gastrointestinal system can also be severely affected which causes poor digestive processes and often abdominal pain. Since the autonomic nervous system controls all involuntary bodily functions, potentially any system of the body can be affected.
This condition can be genetic or familial but can also develop at any time. Female seem to be more frequently affected than males and the onset is often during adolescent years. However, patients of any age can develop symptoms.
Treatment is initially focused on increasing oral fluids and electrolytes to improve the blood volume. Additionally, prescription medications and targeted exercise can be helpful. Diagnosis is usually made by a cardiologist or neurologist using specialized testing equipment including the Tilt Table Test.
Dr. Fox is uniquely inspired to treat patients with this syndrome because she also has this condition herself. Fortunately, she is much improved after applying a functional medicine approach to healing herself. As she practices medicine exclusively by telemedicine consultation, she is unable to perform the testing needed to secure the diagnosis. However she is fully versed in many of the various treatments that can help improve patients’ symptoms.