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POTS: Know The Risk Factors

The name Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) may be hard to say, but a lot of people, especially teens and young adults, have this disease. When moving from lying down to standing up, a rapid increase in heart rate is noticeable. But what are the things that make you more likely to get POTS? Let’s break it down in simple terms.

Risk Factors for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS):

  • Age and Gender:

Some people with POTS are younger, usually between the ages of 15 and 50, but it can happen to anyone. Women are more likely to have POTS; about 80% of cases are in women. We don’t fully understand why this difference exists between men and women, but hormones may play a part.

  • Underlying conditions:

People who have one or more of these underlying conditions may be more likely to get POTS: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and other connective tissue disorders, mast cell activation syndrome, autoimmune disorders such as lupus or Sjögren’s syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes; Lyme disease, mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus), and traumatic brain injury.

  • Genetic Factors:

POTS may have something to do with genes because it can run in families. Some DNA changes or differences may make people more likely to have autonomic failure, which can lead to POTS, according to research.

  • Physical Inactivity:

People who stay in bed or don’t do much can decondition their circulatory system, which makes them more likely to develop orthostatic intolerance and POTS symptoms. People with POTS may have worse symptoms and less ability to do things if they don’t exercise regularly or aren’t physically fit.

  • Environmental Triggers

Heat, thirst, and standing for long periods of time are all environmental factors that can make POTS symptoms worse. High temperatures can widen blood vessels and cause more blood to pool in the lower limbs. This can make orthostatic intolerance worse and cause symptoms like tiredness and dizziness.

Even though no one knows for sure what causes POTS, there are a number of things that may make it more likely that someone will get it. Knowing these risk factors can help people with POTS and their healthcare workers better spot and treat the condition, which will ultimately improve the quality of life for those who have it.