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What is POTS, a disease which affected 1 million Americans after Covid

POTS or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome has affected around three million Americans before Covid-19 and at least one million new patients after the pandemic. Many people are still not familiar with the disease. A study reveals that around 2% to 14% of people with covid develop POTS.

Each word of “postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome” has a meaning:

  • Postural: Related to the position of your body.
  • Orthostatic: Related to standing upright.
  • Tachycardia: A heart rate over 100 beats per minute.
  • Syndrome: A group of symptoms that happen together.

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Who does POTS affect:

The majority of people with POTS are women and people assigned female at birth aged 15 to 50 years. But men and people assigned male at birth can also have POTS.

You’re at a higher risk of developing POTS after experiencing the following stressors:

  • Significant illnesses, such as viral illnesses like mononucleosis or serious infections.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Physical trauma, such as a head injury.
  • Surgery.

People who have certain autoimmune conditions, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus and celiac disease, are also more likely to develop POTS.

What is POTS disease:

When your heart rate increases very quickly after getting up from sitting or lying down, this is what the National Health Service, UK called POTS. It can get better with changes to your lifestyle, but some people may need treatment with medicines.

POTS symptoms:

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One may feel dizziness or light-headedness, fainting or almost fainting, noticeable heartbeats (heart palpitations), chest pain, shortness of breath, shaking and sweating, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, tummy pain, etc.

What causes POTS

It is not yet clear what are the causes of POTS disease. It can develop suddenly or maybe over time. Some people witness mild symptoms, some have a big impact on their lives due to this disease.

How POTS is diagnosed:

According to NHS UK, one should refer to a specialist if he faces the POTS symptoms mentioned above. The specialist will recommend you get blood tests, urine tests, and heart and blood pressure tests done.

How to get POTS treatment:

If you are diagnosed with POTS, the specialist will suggest you change lifestyles such as eating and drinking at regular times and trying to manage stress, first. However, there is no known cure for POTS. But physical therapy, medications, and diet changes can help you.

Experts said that there is a shortage of medical professionals who are aware of POTS treatment. “POTS cases have doubled since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the number of specialists are same, but patients are more,” said Lauren Stiles, president, and chief executive of Dysautonomia International.

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