What is POTS syndrome and what can be done to treat it?
POTS stands for postural orthostatic tachycardia, which is quite a mouthful to say. So let’s define it; postural means relating to position like sitting-to-standing, orthostatic tachycardia refers to abnormal changes in heart rate and blood pressure in response to changing position. What this means for the patient is dizziness, fainting, nausea and terrible quality of life. Traditionally, the cause of POTS symptoms was thought to be related to the heart, but recent research points to the nervous system and how the brain fails to regulate heart rate. We rarely think of what happens when we go from lying flat to standing. But due to gravity, the nervous system needs to make adjustments to our blood vessels and to raise blood pressure and heart rate. This occurs automatically and is essential to prevent gravity from pulling blood from our brain into our feet. If the system fails, not enough blood reaches the brain and dizziness or even fainting occurs. To compensate, heart rate skyrockets (tachycardia).
Unfortunately, the heart rate increase is too late and the patient feel nauseous and sick. A new approach to treatment is to rehabilitate the nervous system in POTS patients. A large part of this rehabilitation revolves around stimulating the nervous system at precise times to “re-calibrate” the POTS patient’s response to changing positions. With neurological rehabilitation it is often possible to retrain and restore the proper control of the brain over the heart, thus providing relief of POTS symptoms and improved quality of life for the patient.
The results of Dr. Kukurin’s pioneering techniques have been presented at international scientific conferences and symposiums including the International Symposium on Clinical Neuroscience, the Australian Functional Neurology Conference: AAFN Symposium, International Brain Injury Association-10th World Congress on Brain Injury, Pannonian Symposium of Central Nervous System Injury, the Peripheral Nerve Society International Symposium and Johns Hopkins Medical School Conference on Integrative Medicine.
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