Throughout the last several months of the coronavirus pandemic, many COVID-19 patients have been able to recover either at home or with shorter hospital stays compared to when the virus first presented itself in early 2020. However, some people have found that even after an initial state of recovery, they have lingering symptoms that resemble postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a form of dysautonomia.
What is POTS?
POTS affects involuntary nervous system functions, which are in charge of —among other things—regulating the heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and body temperature. Irregularity symptoms usually present themselves upon standing from a reclining position. These symptoms include brain fog, tachycardia (increased heart rate), and severe chronic fatigue. Patients that the coronavirus has infected have also reported similar symptoms during recovery from COVID-19.
Due to the similarity of symptoms and the fact that viral or bacterial infections can cause POTS onset, some researchers see evidence that COVID-19 could trigger POTS.
First Confirmed COVID Associated POTS
“The first reported patient with COVID-associated POTS10 awoke with palpitations and shortness of breath on day 7 of her acute illness. On day 22, she noted hyperactivity, pressured speech, and a feeling of inner restlessness, and on day 24, episodic ‘adrenaline surges’ characterized by diarrhea, tremors, and worsening restlessness. On day 45, she had episodic facial flushing, dermatographia, and nonpruritic hives.”
Goldstein, D. (2021, April). The possible association BETWEEN COVID-19 and postural TACHYCARDIA syndrome. Retrieved April 08, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7729277/
With innumerable data available in the medical world and still even more unknowns, doctors who are not familiar with POTS could associate these symptoms as prolonged side effects of COVID-19. However, if POTS is at work, an accurate diagnosis is critical as it can be very debilitating.
Is it POTS?
If you have had COVID-19 and are experiencing these ongoing symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
- Severe fatigue
- Brain fog
- Memory problems
- Suddenly increased heart rate with minimal physical activity
- Chronic nausea and vomiting
As with any diagnosis, consult your physician to get personalized care and treatment tailored to your specific needs. If POTS is confirmed to be the cause of your symptoms, you and your doctor(s) will devise a treatment plan that may consist of dietary modifications, medications, hydration, and perhaps physical therapy. In any case, healthy lifestyle habits such as proper nutrition, sleep, stress relief, and physical activity can help to alleviate symptoms when recovering from or managing an illness. Take care of yourself by taking care of your whole self.
POTS Symptoms after Covid?Tweet