Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) causes the heart rate to spike when a person changes position, e.g. from sitting to standing. Read our blog to learn whether POTS is life-threatening and what impact it has.

Is POTS life-threatening?

POTS can be frightening, but it’s not life-threatening.

While the exact causes are often unclear, POTS symptoms are often due to a sudden surge in heart rate and the body struggling to pump blood back to the heart quickly enough.


You may experience symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness. Some people experience back-outs and fainting (syncope). We understand the condition can be distressing and debilitating, but there are many ways to treat POTS.

Here, our Consultant Cardiologist and POTS specialist Dr Syed Ahsan explains more in this video:

Here, our Consultant Cardiologist and POTS specialist Dr. Syed Ahsan explains more in this video.

How serious is POTS?

As we previously mentioned, POTS is not life-threatening. But POTS can impact your quality of life and well-being, so we must address and manage the condition appropriately.

Getting a professional diagnosis is necessary. Many of the symptoms associated with POTS overlap with other conditions, including other heart problems and arrhythmias, which may need to be ruled out. Our information video explains further: How is POTS diagnosed?

What impact does POTS have?

POTS can affect anyone but is most common in young women in their teens, 20s and 30s. The severity can vary. As well as the acute symptoms triggered by standing, people with POTS often experience ongoing tiredness and fatigue.

Anxiety is also common for people with POTS – this can be a factor in triggering or exacerbating symptoms. But it can also arise as a response to the condition. Understanding more about POTS can help alleviate some of this anxiety. Our Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome page explains more.

You can find plenty of information in our POTS information video playlist too.

How is POTS managed?

As Dr Ahsan explains, managing POTS usually means taking a “multifactorial” approach. Sometimes other underlying conditions might play a part, so addressing these can help. Some drugs can help lower or control heart rate, but these aren’t always necessary and are only part of the picture.

When it comes to managing POTS, lifestyle measures are key. Making simple but lasting changes, particularly through a structured exercise programme and increased fluid intake, can have a profound effect. Because of the overlap with anxiety, taking steps to manage stress and other psychological elements can also be very helpful.

Some people find compression garments and dietary changes help too. Our ‘How is POTS syndrome treated?’ information video explains more.

Book a consultation

Remember, while POTS can be distressing, getting an accurate diagnosis and specialist advice can help us manage your symptoms – so you can carry on living life to the full.

Are you experiencing palpitations, dizziness, or struggling to manage symptoms that may be POTS?

Book a consultation to find out how Dr Syed Ahsan can help.