Do you feel lightheaded when you stand? Does your heart suddenly race? POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) is a problem with the way that your autonomic nervous system regulates heart rate.
There are multiple triggers or root causes of this syndrome, and genetic variants can increase your risk for POTS.
A genetic mutation in the SERPINA1 gene causes alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. This increases a person’s susceptibility to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and, in some cases, cirrhosis of the liver. Knowing that you carry this mutation can be a great incentive to avoid smoking and to be kind to your liver.