That really is a good question. Most often the initial symptoms experienced by individuals with POTS are racing heart, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, “brain fog,” visual or abdominal disturbances. Like most patients with these symptoms, POTS patients usually start by taking their complaints to their family physician, pediatrician or internist. Rarely does the primary care provider recognize that your presenting complaints are related to POTS. Unfortunately, the majority of health care providers know nothing or very little about POTS. So, rarely will you get useful help from your first visit with a heath provider.
You suspect that you may have POTS. So, with whom do you make your next appointment? That depends upon your symptoms. In general, the most “tuned in physicians,” knowledgeable about POTS, are a limited number of health care providers. Therefore, before making your appointment, call the office and ask whether this physician takes care of patients with POTS. If the office knows nothing about POTS, try to find a caretaker that does. Make more calls!
Cardiologists and neurologists knowledgeable in the care of POTS are the best specialists for managing POTS patients with usual complaints such as palpitations, headaches, low energy, dizziness, poor concentration, forgetfulness and visual disturbances. Visual disturbances may need to be evaluated by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) and dizziness may need to be evaluated by an ear nose and throat specialist. Those with abdominal complaints such as nausea, pain, bloating and weight loss benefit most when evaluated by gastroenterologists.
So, you’ve selected the type of specialist you want to make an appointment with. You’ve called several health providers’ offices and none know anything about POTS. What do you do next?
Several possibilities exist for you. One is to call a nearby hospital associated with a medical school seeking names of doctors who treat patients with POTS. Another is to make an appointment with a well-respected local physician and bring a copy of POWER over POTS with you to share with this physician. This book provides guidance for locating POTS knowledgeable physicians.
Whatever you do, don’t give up… Keep trying till you find the right health-care provider that can help you.
For more info on my book Power Over POTS – visit www.poweroverpots.com