POTS is an abbreviation for Post Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.
This syndrome is a form of dysautonomia or an autonomic disorder of the autonomic nervous system.
It is a blood circulation disorder in which a change from lying to standing causes an uncommonly significant increase in the rate of change of heartbeat.
A significant characteristic of POTS is the exaggerated increase in heart rate when standing.
The severity of the syndrome varies among individuals.
It might be severe for some and mild for others.
Like many health disorders, living with POTS is an inconvenience that could limit a person’s activities and restrict interactions with others.
Table of Contents
- Types of POTS
- Is POTS a Disability?
- Applying for Disability Benefits for POTS
- Can You Work with POTS?
- General Recommendation for POTS Patients
Types of POTS
1. Neuropathic POTS
This is the most common form of POTS.
Neuropathic POTS is also referred to as partial dysautonomia. It occurs when the nerve supply to the lower limbs doesn’t function properly.
The lack of function of the nerve leads to a pooling of blood in the lower part of the body rather than a return to the heart.
Partial dysautonomia causes an increase in heart rate, known as Tachycardia, and dizziness upon standing, which is Orthostatic.
2. Hyperadrenergic POTS
This appears genetic and is a less common form of POTS. It is associated with higher levels of norepinephrine, which is a stress hormone.
Hyperadrenergic implies a high level of adrenaline.
This leads to an increased heart rate and blood pressure when standing.
3. Secondary POTS
Secondary POTS occur as a result of an underlying condition.
These conditions are autoimmune disorders such as lupus or autonomic neuropathy like diabetes.
The conditions lead to damage of nerves that influence the redistribution of blood.
As a result, the patient suffers from POTS.
4. Hypovolemic Pots
This is associated with hypovolemia, a condition in which there is a low blood level in the body.
Is POTS a Disability?
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a disability is defined as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairments(s).
This can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
Due to the variance of symptoms in patients, stating POTS as a disability cannot be done generally.
It greatly depends on you and the symptoms you’re exhibiting.
Some extreme symptoms make living with POTS extremely difficult. On these claims, you can apply for disability benefits as an individual with the syndrome.
Applying for Disability Benefits for POTS
This medical condition is not listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book.
Regardless of this, you can apply for the disability benefits provided you give evidence that your symptoms still qualify you for these benefits.
Qualify and Apply
The process of qualification for this requires that you meet all the requirements.
You need to apply by submitting your medical records from your doctor and completing the residual functional capacity (RFC) assessment.
Ensure that you properly document your medical condition and its disabling syndrome.
Make Necessary Documentations
A significant symptom of POTS is orthostatic intolerance, which results in light-headedness and sickness. Other symptoms can occur suddenly, depending on the individual.
If you live with these severe symptoms, ensure that they are documented alongside test results to prove your diagnosis.
Also, ensure that the restrictions to activities you have due to the symptoms are all listed.
You can include the activities you cannot carry out at home and those related to your job. Your objective is to provide as much information about your condition and the specific limits that affect you.
Make sure that every information provided is thorough and consistent.
Get an Attorney
To ease the stress of application, you can work with an experienced disability attorney.
Ensure that there is proper and adequate documentation of the restrictions the syndrome has caused for you.
On the occasion when your application for disability benefits is denied, you don’t have to give up. You can appeal the denial and follow through with a competent disability lawyer.
Can You Work with POTS?
With proper accommodations in your workplace, you might be able to work with POTS.
It would help if you considered work opportunities conducive to your specific syndrome.
You can request periodic breaks while working, lighting adjustments, and temperature adjustments for your workspace.
It is not recommended that people with POTS work shifts because it is easier to stick to a routine.
Bear in mind that you are responsible for managing your syndrome based on recommendations from your doctor like maintaining a proper diet or exercise routine and taking medications.
Working from Home
If working from home is a better option for you, you can opt for remote work opportunities.
This option will save you the stress of a daily commute to work.
You also can adjust your workspace at home as it suits you.
General Recommendation for POTS Patients
Although there is no present cure for the syndrome, it is a condition one can live with.
You must adhere to the instructions given by your doctor and make lifestyle changes as recommended.
Increase fluid intake
It would be best if you never were dehydrated as it could cause a trigger of some symptoms.
Increasing water intake is a POTS treatment strategy, and it has been found to help maintain blood pressure. Other fluids can also be taken, like soup.
Increase salt intake
The increase of sodium intake has been found to reduce heart rate and increase plasma volume.
You can increase your salt intake by taking salt supplements or directly increasing it in your diet.
Studies have shown that patients with high carbohydrate content in meals have a lower blood pressure while those with low carbohydrate content have higher blood pressure.
Avoid meals high in refined carbohydrates.
Avoid large meals
Eat your meals in small amounts throughout the day. Plan your meals properly.
Seeking help from a nutritionist or dietician if you cannot plan your diet adequately will go a long way.
Don’t overlook exercise
You must keep your body working as efficiently as you can. Take part in physical activities you enjoy. But ensure that you know your limits.
Avoid strenuous activities
Also, avoid heavy liftings and chores that require a lot of energy.
Stay in a temperature-regulated place
Heat is a common trigger for POTS. You can avoid this by effectively regulating the temperature of your environment as much as possible.
Monitor your posture
Don’t stand or sit for too long. You can alternate postures to prevent a trigger.