Unveiling the Mystery of POTS | Part 3

Understanding the Connection Between POTS & Other Illnesses

Dr. Aaron Hartman

May 9, 2023

Understanding the Connection Between POTS and Other Illnesses

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition that affects the autonomic nervous system and can cause symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and rapid heartbeat. While POTS can be a mystery illness, understanding what other diseases are associated with it can help in the treatment process. Often POTS is the result of one of these other illnesses. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different illnesses that are associated with POTS and how this information can help with treatment.

POTS and GI Tract Dysfunction or Disorder

Understanding the Connection Between POTS and Other IllnessesCommon GI tract disorders include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), dysbiosis, and SIBO. The GI tract can affect the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.

It’s fascinating to think that 75% of all your neurotransmitters are produced in your gut, and that 50% of dopamine (your attention neurotransmitter) and 90% of serotonin (your happy mood regulatory neurotransmitter) come from your gut. Furthermore, 90% of communication between your gut and your brain is from your gut to your brain. This means that any GI disorder can potentially affect your central nervous system, which can then impact your peripheral nervous system.

In fact, I’ve had patients who have seen significant improvement in their POTS symptoms simply by addressing their gut health with certain dietary interventions. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider GI dysfunction as a potential underlying cause of POTS.

POTS and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

All cells in the body can produce histamine to varying degrees. Mast cells and eosinophils, which are associated with allergies, are the primary players, but it is important to understand that every cell in the body can be involved in this process. Histamine blockers, such as Claritin and Pepcid, can be useful in blocking the response. Other substances, such as quercetin and low-dose naltrexone, can help stabilize the immune system and manage this response as well.

MCAS, chronic Lyme, POTS, and dysautonomia look very similar because of the significant overlap in symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to understand the role of histamine and mast cells in the body in order to address the underlying issues effectively. By doing so, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve overall health.

POTS and Tick-Borne Illnesses

Understanding the Connection Between POTS and Other IllnessesThe next illness to consider are tick-borne illnesses, often referred to as Lyme disease, but actually includes a range of conditions. Over 50% of people with Lyme disease have an associated tick-borne illness, so it’s not just about Lyme. This stealth infection can hide in your immune system, causing low-grade inflammation. This inflammation can be particularly related to neurogenic POTS and autoimmune POTS, as it can cause dysregulation in the immune system. Therefore, testing for vector-borne illnesses such as bartonellosis is crucial for managing this illness.

Tick-borne illnesses can present with a range of symptoms, such as fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, and headaches. Because tick-borne illnesses are often overlooked or misdiagnosed, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about these conditions and can provide appropriate testing and treatment. By identifying and addressing tick-borne illnesses, individuals with POTS may be able to reduce their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

POTS & Mold Toxicity

Understanding the Connection Between POTS and Other IllnessesMold is a significant factor that can affect your immune system and disrupt the functions of your neurological system and GI tract. This immune system disruption can affect your adrenaline levels and ultimately result in neuropathy. In many cases, mold or toxin exposure can lead to secondary responses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and POTS. Therefore, it is essential to identify if there is mold in your house, school, or any place you have spent a considerable amount of time – and also whether you have detoxification issues – in order to effectively treat underlying POTS.

Connecting the Dots of POTS Symptoms

As you can see, POTS is not a standalone illness, but rather a result of other underlying conditions. Understanding the connection between POTS and other illnesses is crucial in developing an effective treatment plan. By addressing the root cause of POTS, individuals can improve their overall health and well-being.

In the next blog post, we will dive into the treatment options for POTS and dysautonomia, as well as the pillars of treatment for these conditions. Are you interested in other articles about this topic? Check out our website for other information on POTS.


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