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Everyone has one of those days, now and then, from the minute you wake up, you're dragging. But for people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), those days are the norm. People with POTS may look fine, but they feel terrible, making it hard for other people to understand. POTS impacts your autonomic nervous system, which regulates body functions that we don’t think about, such as breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. The condition can strike anyone, but it often appears during the teen years.
Christine Esposito has suffered with POTS for many years. Her symptoms include dizziness, extreme fatigue, stomach problems and more. When a medical team at Mayo Clinic led by Dr. Jeremy Cutsforth-Gregory diagnosed her symptoms as POTS, the news came as a relief. She wasn't just too lazy to get out of bed and head to school. There was a real condition preventing her from doing so. For the Mayo Clinic News Network, reporter Vivien Williams shares Christine's story.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (3:19) is in the downloads. Read the script.
POTS and other malfunctions of the autonomic nervous system are grouped under the umbrella term, dysautonomia. October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month, and experts hope to educate people about these conditions.
For more information about POTS, visit the Dysautonomia International website.