Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)


Conducted by K. Churnetski, J. Dougherty 2021-2022, Student Scholar Symposium Winner  

Background: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a form of dysautonomia, impacts approximately 3 million Americans. POTS is an orthostatic intolerance in the presence of excessive tachycardia and can involve a variety of autonomic system-related symptoms.

Objective: The goal of the study was to examine the relationship between vitamin D intake and severity of POTS symptoms. It is estimated that over half of POTS patients are deficient in vitamin D, and studies indicate that a vitamin D deficiency may cause worsening of POTS symptoms.

Design: Participants were recruited via social media. A 26-question electronic survey collected demographics, a 24-hour diet recall, and daily usage of vitamin D containing supplementations. Participants were also asked to rate the severity of common POTS symptoms. Data was analyzed with MyFitnessPal and JMP.

Results: Study participants (N = 392) had an average age of 31 and 97.7% were female. Mean vitamin D intake was 2510.4 IU (+ 3063.1) with 2035.4 IU (+ 2888.8) coming specifically from vitamin D supplementation. The fewest reported POTS symptoms were excessive sweating while the most reported were exhaustion/fatigue. Two small, significant negative correlations were found (with outlier removed), between vitamin D supplementation (r = -0.116, p = 0.0221) and total vitamin D (r = -0.1043, p = 0.0397) in relationship to exhaustion/fatigue symptoms.                      

Conclusion: Results suggest that daily vitamin D supplementation is common in those with POTS, and may slightly reduce the severity of exhaustion/fatigue symptoms. Registered dietitians can use these results to support vitamin D nutrition education in individuals with POTS.

POTS Research Poster, Dysautonomia and Vitamin D

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