To promote a complete understanding of POTS, I created this dictionary of terms commonly used throughout the POTS Center.
Autoimmune – An autoimmune condition is one where the body’s immune system attacks systems or organs in the body
Autonomic Dysfunction – Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.
Autonomic Nervous System – Also known as the ANS, think of this as the involuntary nervous system. A system that controls automatic reflexes required for normal body functioning such as heart rate and breathing rate. When under times of stress, the ANS kicks in to make sure reflexes are coordinated appropriately. When scared this increased the heart rate for example. When standing this makes sure blood is distributed appropriately in the body, a problem in POTS.
Cardiac Output – The volume of blood put out by the heart, usually expressed in liter per minute.
Cognitive Function – Intellectual functioning, episodic impairment of this is often known by POTS patients as brain fog.
Dependent Acrocyanosis – dark red or bluish color to the legs typically on standing.
Dysautonomia – Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.
Ehlers Danlos – an inherited disorder of connective tissues, the tissues found in the skin, the blood vessels, and joints. Connective tissue allows those tissues to have strength and elasticity. For this reason Ehlers-Danlos sufferers have flexible joints and fragile skin.
Hyperadrenergic – basically means high adrenaline. See here for detailed description of hyperadrenergic & other types of POTS.
Neuropathic – basically means nerve disease. See here for detailed description of neuropathic POTS.
Orthostatic/Orthostasis – Standing up.
Orthostatic Intolerance – Inability to tolerate standing due to symptoms.
Orthostatic Tachycardia – Fast heart rate on standing up
POTS – Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. Defined as Heart rate increase of 30 beats per minute or more within 10 minutes of being upright (40 beats per minute for those aged 12-19). There should not be associated low blood pressure. May be accompanied by symptoms of lack of blood to the brain. These symptoms are relieved by sitting or lying down.
Tachycardia – Fast heart rate
Tilt Table Test – A test used in the diagnosis of POTS.