Posted 8/24/2011 12:18 AM (GMT -6)
A bit of background, though I know mine may seem pretty silly to those of you who are facing much more challenging problems with your hearts. I just turned 19 and have been having a number of problems this summer, especially constant dizziness, occasional fainting, extreme heat sensitivity, unable to exercise, and other things like dilated pupils and mixing up words and easy bruising. I was told these were probably caused by an antidepressant so I never really looked into it until I was taken to the ER last week when I passed out again. The doctor thought the bedside ultrasound looked weird, so they admitted me and had me to lots more EKGs, an echo, stress test, bloodwork, chest xray, etc. Eventually they thought my heart looked okay, though not fabulous, but finally noticed that my heart rate goes up at least 30bpm when I stand up, and is always at least 100 or so.
They said I could possibly have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, so I saw a cardiologist today who took my pulse once, looked at my chart for five minutes and said I had inappropriate sinus tachycardia. He said this is the same thing as POTS, though from what I've read, that isn't quite true. He said I would get a 24 hour Holter to confirm, and then would start Atenolol, and probably a BP medicine afterwards as my BP is low to begin with. The problem is that I'm going to school out of state next week and won't be able to go in for a follow-up and I'm very uncomfortable with where we left it. I don't even know if I should go to the ER if I pass out again, or how I'm supposed to ascertain when/if/how to start BP drugs, much less who to call with concerns! Is anyone familiar with the POTS/IST distinction? Is it weird that he didn't order a tilt-table test or anything? What should I expect from beta-blockers?
I'm extremely new to the world of heart health and extremely clueless. Any help or insight is appreciated!