What Is POTS??

What Is POTS??

Monday, August 15, 2016

TILT TABLE TEST: What is it?

A tilt table test is also sometimes called a head-up tilt test. During one, your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored by the minute. You lie down on the table and are strapped down while it is in a flat horizontal position. The table is gradually tilted up to different levels and you are monitored for changes in BP and HR.  You will have an IV inserted during the test in case medications are needed.

The purpose of the test is to help your doctors figure out what is causing your light-headedness and/or fainting spells, sometimes called syncope.

Syncope is when you lose consciousness due to a decrease in blood flow to your brain. This can be caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure or an increase in heart rate or by a large amount of your blood volume shifting to your lower extremities. It is frequently due to some medical condition related to your nervous system, heart or the amount of blood flow to your brain.

Depending on what the results are, your doctor can then determine the best course of treatment for you and if other tests might be needed.

A couple of things can happen when you have a Tilt Table Test or when you stand up. Depending on how your sympathetic nervous system reacts, you can have either POTS or NMH,(Neurally Mediated Hypotension).

NMH is most likely to occur is you have a decrease in norepinephrine and an increase in epinephrine. POTS is the opposite, it is most likely to result from an increase in norepinephrine and a decrease in epinephrine. These hormones are sometimes referred to as catecholamines.

Don't forget to watch the POTS videos at the bottom of the blog. You have to scroll down for them.

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