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Expert care to help you enjoy life and live safely
Frequent dizziness or lightheadedness that affects a child’s daily activities might be a sign of POTS.
POTS is a condition where too little blood reaches the brain when moving from a lying to a standing position. It’s a form of dysautonomia. This term refers to disorders that affect the part of the nervous system in charge of involuntary actions like blood pressure and heart rate control. These are actions that we don’t consciously control.
UW Health Kids offers a special clinic for kids 18 years of age and younger with autonomic disorders like POTS. We can evaluate your child’s symptoms. Based on our findings, we make sure they get the expert care they need to control those symptoms, enjoy life and live safely.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Putting the pieces together to make a diagnosis
We’ve treated hundreds of children with POTS and the symptoms associated with it. Our experience helps us diagnose children quickly and get them the help they need.
Many kids experience POTS symptoms when they stand up from a lying position. These symptoms can include:
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Fast, pounding heartbeat
Other symptoms children with dysautonomia may have include:
Abnormal sweating (too much or too little)
Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or feeling full quickly
Inability to exercise like they once could
Purple and splotchy arms and legs
Sensitivity to heat or cold
To evaluate symptoms, we do an exam and ask about your child’s medical history. If needed, we might do tests such as:
Measures your child’s heart rate and blood pressure when they move from lying down to standing up
Uses sound waves to create moving pictures of your child’s heart
Looks at the electrical activity of your child’s heart
Evaluates how your child’s heart responds to exercise while they walk on a treadmill
Allows us to record your child’s heart activity while they are at home
Evaluates your child’s blood and urine to look for medical conditions
Treatment and research
Treatment helps your child have a childhood
POTS can make the daily activities most kids take for granted very difficult. UW Health Kids specialists focus on improving symptoms so kids can be kids.
We look at each child to determine how best to help them. If needed, we can bring in additional specialists to address specific concerns. We work hard to try and have you meet with all the providers your child needs in one visit to our clinic.
Most patients will follow a general treatment plan (pdf).
It focuses on:
Drinking a lot of fluids
Adding extra salt to the diet
Getting regular exercise (pdf)
Wearing compression stockings
Sometimes we also prescribe medicines to help control symptoms.
Patient support and services
Help for you to help your child
Meet one of our patients
Meet our team
Child-centered expertise and experience
Our team specializes in POTS and dysautonomia. Your child will get the best possible care from us.
Care close to home
Many families can see a UW Health Kids pediatric cardiologist in a location closer to home than Madison. Aside from American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, UW Health Kids teams are located in pediatric cardiology clinics in seven Wisconsin communities and Rockford, Ill.