Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) doesn’t usually affect young children, but it often develops during puberty and causes symptoms throughout the teen years. Devyani Chowdhury, MD, MHA, and the team at Cardiology Care for Children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, have helped many people overcome this challenging condition, giving them the ability to stay active without worrying about dizziness every time they stand up. If your child needs help with POTS, book an appointment online or call the office today.
POTS is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system that causes a specific group of symptoms when your child stands up or remains standing for an extended time.
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates blood pressure and heart rate. Normally, the ANS keeps a person’s blood pressure and heart rate at the same steady level whether they are standing, sitting, reclining, or lying down.
When they stand up from a sitting position, gravity forces some of their blood to settle in the legs and abdomen. As a result, the brain doesn’t get enough blood.
The ANS offsets the effect of gravity and sends blood to the brain by tightening blood vessels in the legs and increasing the heart rate. But with POTS, the vessels don’t tighten when your child stands, and symptoms develop.
POTS causes the following symptoms:
Your child may have a pale face and purple discoloration in their hands and feet if their limbs are below the level of your heart.
Their symptoms may worsen if they’re dehydrated, skip a meal, stand for a long time, or have a cold or infection. In severe cases, POTS may prevent them from standing upright for longer than a few minutes.
Your child may need a variety of tests to rule out other possible causes of their symptoms. The team at Cardiology Care for Children often diagnoses POTS by measuring your child’s heart rate and blood pressure while sitting and shortly after standing up.
They may do a tilt table test. During this test, patients lie on a table, and their heart rate and blood pressure are measured while the table changes their body position.
Since there’s currently no cure for POTS, providers at Cardiology Care for Children focus on managing your child’s symptoms. Their treatment may include:
If your child feels dizzy when standing, call Cardiology Care for Children or book an appointment online today.