June 13, 2024

What is POTS? And its Connection to Long COVID

2 min read
What is POTS? And its Connection to Long COVID

Title: Understanding the Relationship Between POTS and Long COVID

In recent times, a condition known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is gaining attention due to its significant impact on individuals’ daily lives. POTS is characterized by a rapid heart rate and other symptoms that occur when a person stands up or changes position. People with POTS often experience fatigue, dizziness, and difficulty performing everyday tasks.

Previously, POTS was not widely recognized, but its association with long COVID has brought it to the forefront. Long COVID, a term used to describe individuals experiencing prolonged symptoms after recovering from COVID-19, has been found to be strongly linked to POTS. Research indicates that over three-quarters of people with long COVID also exhibit symptoms of POTS.

Viral infections, including COVID-19, are known to be common triggers for POTS. Notably, many individuals experiencing long COVID display similar symptoms to those with POTS. In fact, a recent study found that almost 80% of people with long COVID also had POTS, and their symptoms were indistinguishable from those with POTS caused by other factors.

Experts believe that POTS can develop as a result of a hyper-vigilant immune response to a virus or another trigger, affecting the autonomic nervous system. Consequently, daily tasks become challenging for individuals with POTS, and their overall quality of life diminishes.

Unfortunately, the road to diagnosing POTS can be long and frustrating. Many individuals struggle to be taken seriously by medical professionals. However, an early and accurate diagnosis is crucial. General practitioners (GPs) can perform a simple ten-minute standing test to help identify POTS.

While there is no known cure for POTS, managing the condition is possible. Management techniques involve increasing fluid and salt intake, using compression tights, and avoiding triggers. However, accessing specialist services for POTS can be complex and expensive, with limited availability in public clinics and reliance on the private sector.

Treating POTS often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, psychologists, or occupational therapists. However, access to diagnosis and treatment can be challenging, often depending on financial resources and navigating the healthcare system.

For individuals experiencing symptoms of POTS, seeking assistance from a GP for assessment is essential. The Australian POTS Foundation website offers valuable information and resources for those seeking further guidance.

In conclusion, the recognition of POTS as a result of its association with long COVID has shed light on this debilitating condition. Understanding the triggers, symptoms, and management techniques for POTS is vital in providing optimal care and support to affected individuals.

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