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What To Expect From My First Pots Appointment?

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I think it really depends on the doctor you're seeing, what their specialty is (neurology or cardiology), and whether you just have a single appointment with a POTS doc for consultation, or whether you have a full several day long autonomic workup at one of the major medical centers.

If it's just one appointment with a POTS doc, it will probably just be an initial consultation. Most of the tests needed when diagnosing dysautonomia are very specialized, and can't be done same day or in office (unless you're traveling to a major medical center specifically for that purpose). Most of my initial consultations were about an hour long. They'll probably ask you lots of questions about your symptoms, when and how they started, etc. Taking a symptom list or symptom journal is really helpful. It's also helpful to bring a HR/BP log with at-home poor man's tilt data.

The doctor may have you do a poor man's tilt in the office (take vitals lying down and standing up) and may also do a thorough neuro or cardio exam (depends on what type of specialist you're seeing). After that, they'll probably determine what type of tests you need. They may order more bloodwork, autonomic testing (like a tilt table), a cardiovascular workup, and/or other tests that help rule out underlying causes (like EMGs, CTs, MRIs). What you need depends on your individual presentation and medical history. In some cases, they may be able to prescribe or modify your medication regimen, again, depending on your circumstances.

However, if you have a full autonomic workup scheduled at a major medical center that spans a few days to a week, you may have a battery of consultations and tests (they typically send you an itinerary explaining what tests you'll be having and when).

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