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What To Expect At The Doctors

Fast heart rate when standing up? Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) explained

Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:

  • Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
  • Laboratory tests. Your doctor may order blood tests to determine if your condition is caused by something such as an electrolyte imbalance or thyroid disease.

Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.

Depending on the findings from the diagnostic tests, your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist. A cardiologist specializes in treating and preventing diseases of the heart and circulatory system.

Diagnosis Of Low Blood Pressure And High Pulse Rate

A condition involving low blood pressure and high pulse rate is often transient in nature and not likely to be diagnosed during a routine doctors visit. However, if it is due to an underlying condition, it may be reproducible through testing or have certain markers that can be identified. The following are various testing modalities that help doctors reach a diagnosis.

  • Blood testing: Can provide information about blood constituents, disease markers, and other abnormalities that can affect overall health.
  • Electrocardiogram : Measures the electrical activity of the heart and can identify arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation.Echocardiogram: An imaging test that allows doctors to view the size, shape, and relative function of the heart.
  • Cardiac stress test: With the use of a treadmill and ECG, the heart can be stressed to varying degrees, looking for changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Tilt table test: Allows for careful measurement of the heart rate and blood pressure in response to varying degrees of tilt while laying down on a table. It is often used to investigate the causes of repeated and unexplained fainting.

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How Do I Take Care Of Myself If I Have Pots

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome can be challenging to live with. Here are some things you can do to take care of yourself:

  • Be open and honest with loved ones about your diagnosis of POTS. Talk about your fears, hopes, struggles and challenges with the condition. Encourage the people who support you to learn more about POTS.
  • Get enough sleep and eat well to help manage stress.
  • Consider attending POTS support groups . They can help reduce the feeling of being alone.
  • Be very cautious of quick solutions from nonmedical sources and people. Quick solutions usually dont help POTS and can even cause more emotional distress.
  • Consider counseling to help you learn to cope with a chronic health condition. Counseling may help manage other coexisting mental health conditions that may negatively influence POTS.
  • Meditate or take even just a few minutes of a time-out to help reduce some of your POTS symptoms.
  • Emotions can have a significant influence on your daily life and health. Identifying them can be useful if youre talking with a counselor or POTS support group.

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What Are The Causes Of Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

Most of the time, POTS has no clear cause, but it can sometimes be triggered by a viral infection, traumatic event or pregnancy.

POTS has also been linked to some medical conditions, including:

  • autoimmune conditions, like
  • poisoning with alcohol or some metals

It also seems to be more common in people born female than male although POTS can affect anyone.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pots

What explains a narrowed blood pressure upon standing? (Diastolic goes ...

POTS affects people differently. Some may have mild symptoms, while others may have symptoms that noticeably affect their daily life. These symptoms may appear as soon as you stand or sit up, or they may take a few minutes to begin.

These symptoms include:

  • difficulty concentrating and thinking

While many symptoms of POTS are triggered by changing position, you may also have some symptoms that are there at other times of the day. These include:

  • your skin becoming red
  • trouble sleeping

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What Causes Low Blood Pressure With A High Heart Rate

Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onOctober 24, 2017

Having a condition characterized by low blood pressure and high heart rate may be cause for concern, prompting a visit to your local physician. Tachycardia, also known as a high heart rate, is a term used to refer to a pulse rate greater than 100 beats per minute and may be a reflex when the body senses a fall inblood pressure. This is generally considered a normal transient physiologic response that occurs to help correct an abnormality in blood pressure.

However, there are pathological conditions causinglow blood pressureand high heart rate, such as when the neural connections between the heart and the brain become dysfunctional, often leading to fainting spells. This condition, as well as others, should be assessed by a trained physician to find the underlying cause.

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Three Clues: Lightheadedness Changes In Heart Rate And The Effects Of Gravity

Before our firefighter, whom Ill call David, became sick, he kept track of his heart rate on his smartwatch. It was typically about 60 to 70 beats per minute at rest. Now, however, his resting heart rate was in the 80s and spiked into the 130s after one flight of stairs. Merely standing up caused lightheadedness and a racing heartbeat. He could no longer get through his usual spin class. He stopped taking hot showers because they made him feel dizzy.

While most of us take for granted the simple act of standing upright, a person with POTS may find it extremely uncomfortable. Why does POTS cause orthostatic intolerance? It helps to first understand the normal response to standing:

  • Gravity causes about one-third of blood volume to instantly pool below the waist.
  • Less blood returns to the heart, so less blood is then pumped out to the body.
  • This leads to a drop in blood pressure to the brain .
  • The drop in blood pressure is detected by sensors in the heart.
  • These sensors activate the sympathetic nervous system , instructing the adrenal glands to release an adrenaline-like substance called norepinephrine into the bloodstream to help solve the problem.

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What Are The Possible Causes

Tachycardia is usually caused by anything that creates a problem with the electrical impulses, which control rate of the pumping action of the heart. There are multiple things that can disrupt the electrical system of the heart. Some of these are:

  • Damage to tissues of the heart due to heart disease
  • Congenital disease or abnormality of heart
  • Electrical pathways that are not normal and present in the heart at birth
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Sudden stress, for instance fright
  • Drinking excessive caffeine containing beverages
  • Side effects of medicines
  • Recreational drug abuse, such as cocaine
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Use of drugs of recreation

Certain other factors, which may raise your risk of getting tachycardia, are:

  • Older age: Elderly are at an increased risk of getting tachycardia due to wear and tear of the heart related to age.
  • Family: Positive family history of heart rhythm disorders and tachycardia in particular increases your risk.

Medical Tests

What Can I Expect In The Long Term With Pots

Visible heartbeat while standing up

Most people with POTS notice their symptoms get better on their own in time or with lifestyle changes and/or medication.

If you find that your symptoms arent getting better or theyre getting in the way of your daily activities, speak to a doctor for advice on the best way to manage your symptoms. They may also be able to put you in contact with support groups in your local area if youd like to connect with other people with POTS.

In the meantime, some support groups you may find helpful are

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When To Contact A Doctor

If the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat becomes irregular or is causing distressing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention.

Even if there does not appear to be any danger, a doctor can provide assistance in reducing the risk of complications.

If a person is experiencing the , all of which are symptoms of a heart attack, someone needs to call 911:

Here are some questions people often ask about changes in heart rate.

Why Does My Heart Rate Go And Stay Above 100 When I Am Standing

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Can Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Be Fatal

While POTS can be life-changing, it is not life-threatening. One of the biggest risks for people with POTS is falls due to fainting. Not everyone who has POTS faints. And, for those who do, it may be a rare event. But, if you dont know that you have POTS, you may not take precautions against trauma from falls.

What Should I Do If My Heart Rate Is High

Answered: Stage Stage Speed Grade Heart Blood

Ways to reduce sudden changes in heart rate include:

  • practicing deep or guided breathing techniques, such as box breathing.
  • relaxing and trying to remain calm.
  • going for a walk, ideally away from an urban environment.
  • having a warm, relaxing bath or shower.
  • practice stretching and relaxation exercises, such as yoga.
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    When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Pots

    If standing up causes unusual symptoms, such as lightheadedness and a pounding heart rate, see a healthcare provider.

    If you have POTS, try to see a healthcare provider who specializes in POTS to get the best care. Youll also need a primary care physician to go to for routine care and health wellness management.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    Learning that you have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome can be overwhelming. Know that there are several treatments and lifestyle adaptations that can help manage your symptoms. No two people with POTS are affected in the same way, so its important to receive individualized care thats unique to your situation. Dont be afraid to ask your healthcare provider questions about POTS. Theyre available to help you.

    • Dysautonomia International. General Information Brochure on Orthostatic Intolerance and its Treatment Accessed 9/9/2022.
    • Dystautonomia International. Lifestyle Adaptations for POTS. Accessed 9/9/2022.
    • National Institutes of Health. NINDS POTS Accessed 9/9/2022.
    • NHS. Postural Tachycardia Syndrome PoTS. Accessed 9/9/2022.
    • Zhao S, Tran VH. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. . In: StatPearls . Treasure Island : StatPearls Publishing 2022 Jan-. Accessed 9/9/2022.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

    Reasons Your Heart Rate Is High

    Youve probably noticed that your heart rate rises when you exercise and that it drops when youre lying in bed. But does your heart rate ever feel elevated for no apparent reason?

    Having an increased heart rate isnt a health condition in and of itself rather, its a symptom caused by any number of circumstances. It may be a reaction to something thats happening in your life, or it may be caused by a health condition.

    When you feel your heart pounding in your chest unexpectedly, dont jump to conclusions that theres something wrong with your heart, but if the problem continues without an explainable and simple cause, see a doctor to discuss your concerns, says interventional cardiologist, Ali Moosvi, M.D.

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    Is A Fast Heart Rate Always A Cause For Concern

    There are several different possible causes of an elevated heart rate. While some causes are more worrisome to cardiologists, there are other causes that can be addressed by making lifestyle changes. Some of these include excitement , dehydration, and even the consumption of nicotine or energy drinks.

    There are times that having an elevated heart rate makes sense. For instance, if you are fighting a fever or getting over the flu, or are in the process of recovering from a surgery, a fast heart rate is your bodys way of saying it is working. Its important to monitor your heart rate during these times, but do not become immediately alarmed.

    What Can I Do To Manage Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

    If Your Heart Rate Drops Below 150bpm, You LOSE!

    Aside from exercise and dietary changes, other things you can do to manage POTS include frequently monitoring your pulse and blood pressure and getting quality sleep.

    Monitoring pulse and blood pressure

    Taking and writing down your blood pressure and pulse can provide insight into POTS and helps your healthcare provider fine-tune your treatment.

    Check your blood pressure and pulse at the same time daily . Its very helpful to do this for the first few months of your diagnosis. Also, check your blood pressure and pulse when you arent feeling well.

    You can get a blood pressure monitor at most drug stores, online or at a medical supply store

    Managing sleep with POTS

    POTS can disrupt your sleep. As sleep is very important for overall health, you should prioritize it. These general guidelines may help you:

    Talk to your provider if POTS is significantly disrupting your sleep.

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    Who Treats Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

    In many cases, your primary care physician is qualified to treat POTS. For complex POTS cases, it is often helpful to have input from a neurologist or cardiologist experienced in this condition. Rehabilitation physicians can help as well in developing an exercise plan that works for you.

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    What Exactly Is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Or Pots

    POTS is a form of dysautonomia, which means dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system regulates the bodily processes that happen automatically, without any thought on our part . Normally, when we stand up, our body performs automatic responses to compensate for this positional change so that we remain conscious. In someone with POTS, this response doesnt quite work as it should. And guess what happens then? Their heart races when standing up.

    While there are several different subtypes of POTS , the orthostatic intolerance that occurs in POTS is because of inadequate circulation. Poor tightening of blood vessels in the lower body when upright leads to heightened and rapid blood pooling in the pelvis and legs.

    And guess where blood needs to be to maintain consciousness? Your brain! When you have POTS and you ask yourself why your heart races when standing up its because your brain is shouting at your heart to pump more blood, faster. This rapid increase in standing heart rate is your body trying desperately to pump more blood up to your brain because too much of it is pooling in your lower body.

    Make sense so far?

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    What Is Considered A Fast Heart Rate

    The definition of a fast heart rate differs depending on the age of the person experiencing it. Typically, it is defined as have a resting heart rate faster than 100 beats per minute for adults.

    A fast heart rate is one that is unexpected for a certain level of physical activity. Usually, most adults resting heart rate usually lies in the range of 60-80 beats per minute, with some heart rates approaching 100 beats per minute.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Sudden Increase In Heart Rate

    Cardiovascular Physiology and Shock

    When the heart beats too quickly, it is not able to effectively pump blood to the other organs of your body. This may deprive the tissues and organs of your body of oxygen and may result in the following symptoms and signs related to tachycardia:

    • Lightheadedness
    • Heart palpitations, irregular, uncomfortable or racing heartbeat or flopping sensation in chest
    • Fainting or syncope

    In some individuals, tachycardia may produce no symptoms and signs and the condition is discovered when a physical exam is conducted or during an electrocardiogram .

    When to Visit Your Physician?

    Symptoms of tachycardia and increased heart rate can be caused by numerous medical conditions. Its imperative to get accurate and prompt diagnosis of the condition and appropriate treatment. You should visit your physician if either your kid or you develop any symptoms of tachycardia.

    If you develop a fainting episode, have difficulty in breathing or develop chest pain that lasts longer than few minutes, it is imperative to get immediate emergency medical care or you should call your local medical emergency number or 911. You should seek immediate emergency care if anyone else is having these symptoms.


    The severity of complications of sudden increase in heart rate varies, depending on several factors including the kind of tachycardia, the duration and rate of tachycardia and presence of other problems of heart. Some of the possible complications are:

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    Diagnosing The Underlying Cause

    Your doctor may use a variety of diagnostic tools to help diagnose your condition, including:

    • Holter or event monitor. This is a smaller, portable EKG machine you wear for a set amount of time to help your doctor monitor your electrocardiographic signals.
    • Electrocardiogram. Also referred to as an ECG or EKG, this diagnostic tool uses small electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart. Your doctor can use the information collected to determine if heart abnormalities are contributing to your condition.
    • Stress test. Sometimes called a treadmill test or excercise test, this can help diagnose people whose symptoms may be exercise related.
    • A tilt-table test. This measures how your blood pressure and heart rate respond when you go from lying down to standing up. People dealing with fainting spells are usually candidates for a tilt-table test.
    • Imaging tests. Imaging can be used to assess if there are any structural abnormalities in your heart that may be contributing to your condition. Possible imaging tests can include echocardiogram, CT scan, and MRI scan.
    • Electrophysiologictesting. Done under local anesthesia, this procedure involves temporary electrode catheters being threaded through veins or arteries into the heart to record the hearts electrical signals.

    Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will work with you to develop a plan to treat and manage your condition.

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