Frequent dizziness, flushing, fast heartbeat upon standing, or near-fainting in a child can be signs of autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Also called “dysautonomia” and “postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS),” autonomic dysfunction can also cause symptoms including weakness, headaches, vomiting, bowel changes, difficulty concentrating, increased sweating, sensitivity to heat or cold and more. These can happen alone or together and affect a child’s daily activities.
The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary body function such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and digestion. A problem in the autonomic nervous system is like a software problem in a computer. The "hardware" of the body (the bones, muscles, organs) is healthy. But the "software" (the nerve signals controlling dizziness and pain) is not working like it should.
Nemours Children’s dysautonomia team is part of our award-winning care at heart centers in Delaware and Florida. We partner closely with experts in the autonomic nervous system including psychologists, cardiac exercise physicians, rehabilitation therapists, and others to care for your child.
We work together to restore your child’s quality of life and get them back to the fun of being a kid.