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Neurologist


Tammy
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Hi! My regular physician would like to me also see a neurologist, even though most of my care is followed by a electrophysiologist. I'm wondering how a neurologist could be of help with POTS? Anyone with experience or information as to how this fits into this would be of help... Also, what type of tests may they perform in analyzing POTS symptoms? Thanks.

Tammy

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Tammy,

POTS affects so many areas of our bodies that many times we have to see several different specialists. POTS, though diagnosed based on a rise in heart rate of 30bpm or more within 10 minutes of standing, is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

It is hard to find a physician that specializes in POTS, so we end up going to lots of docs. They all see our symptoms from a little different perspective, which can be very beneficial. There isn't a cure, so treatment focuses on the wide variety of symptoms. A cardiologist or an electrophysiologist can help with the heart stuff. A neurologist can help to treat some of the nervous system symptoms. An endocrinologist can help to find out what's going on with hormones (like epinepherine) and offer treatment. A sleep specialist can help with some of the sleep disorder issues (which overlaps back into the neurological stuff). And an internal medicine doctor (or a good family practice doc) can help put all the pieces of the puzzle together and make sure that there isn't a "hole" in your treatment.

Here's a link to the patient handbook on the NDRF site. http://www.ndrf.org/NDRFHandbook.htm You can read it all for free online. Just click on which section you want to read. I think you'll find it helpful. There are sections that explains the Autonomic Nervous System and it's function, tests, treatments, and more.

When you go to see a neurologist he'll perform a neurological exam. It's really easy and non-invasive. You do stuff like touch your fingers to your nose, walk a few steps so that the neurologist can observe your gait, and sit still while the doctor checks reflexes. Here's a link that gives more details about the exam: http://www.neurologychannel.com/neuroexam.shtml And if you really like details, here's a site that gives instruction to medical students on how to perform a neurological exam! http://edinfo.med.nyu.edu/courseware/neurosurgery/index.html After an exam and a thorough consultation a neurologist will know if you need further tests to analyze specific neurological symptoms.

I hope that all goes well for you, that you find a good neurologist, and that he'll be able to suggest a good treatment option.

Rachel

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