November 14, 2019
Autoimmune Disease & Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome(POTS)

Autoimmune Disease & Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome(POTS)

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A number of studies have now suggested that Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome(POTS) may have an autoimmune etiology.

I developed Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome myself in my late teen years and ended up progressively disabled over the next ten years, due to living with this debilitating condition.

Having suffered from POTS personally and seen the myriad of lifestyle and dietary factors which can trigger this condition, I don’t doubt at all that POTS may well be rooted in autoimmune etiology.

Autoimmune disorders are partially caused due to adrenal gland dysfunction, which I also believe to be a very common factor in individuals with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, dysautonomia, CFS/ME and orthostatic intolerance.

It is the adrenal glands, which produce steroid hormones such as cortisol, which in turn modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.

A fairly recent study from 2015 examined whether the prevalence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA), other markers of autoimmunity and co-morbid autoimmune disorders is higher in patients with POTS than in the general population.

The study concluded –

Patients with POTS have a higher prevalence of autoimmune markers and co-morbid autoimmune disorders than the general population.

One in four patients have positive ANA, almost one in three have some type of autoimmune marker, one in five have a co-morbid autoimmune disorder, and one in nine have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Another study from 2014 tested the hypothesis that individuals with POTS harbor functional autoantibodies to adrenergic receptors (AR).

The study concluded –

POTS patients have elevated α1AR autoantibodies exerting a partial peripheral antagonist effect resulting in a compensatory sympathoneural activation of α1AR for vasoconstriction and concurrent βAR-mediated tachycardia.

Coexisting β1AR and β2AR agonistic autoantibodies facilitate this tachycardia.  These findings may explain the increased standing plasma norepinephrine and excessive tachycardia observed in many POTS patients.


[1] Autoimmune markers and autoimmune disorders in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

[2] Autoimmune Basis for Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

The information in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and should not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any disease, implied or otherwise.

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