For people with autonomic disorders, finding treatment can be difficult. With only a few specialized programs in the country, getting care can require traveling a long distance.
However, patients in Georgia can access this crucial care close to home. Wellstar Cardiovascular Disease Specialist Dr. Howard Snapper, who sees patients in Woodstock, is one of fewer than 50 physicians in North America certified to diagnose and treat autonomic disorders.
Autonomic disorders, including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), involve the autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary body functions like heart rate, temperature, sweating and digestion.
When people with POTS move from sitting down to standing up, their heart rate increases by about 30 beats per minute, but their blood pressure doesn’t change. This sudden increase can lead to dizziness or fainting. Most patients with POTS are younger women about 13 to 50 years old.
“Autonomic disorders are not that rare — about 2 to 3 million people in the country are affected — but they are often underdiagnosed because the symptoms can indicate other conditions,” Dr. Snapper said. “It can also be difficult to get the proper diagnosis and treatment to start improving these conditions.”
Dr. Snapper sees patients from as far as California, and Wellstar has one of only two autonomic disorder programs in the Southeast. With the addition of two new advanced practice providers, Wellstar’s program now has increased capacity and can help more patients live healthier and more comfortably.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Snapper, call (678) 324-4400.