POTS Or Dysautonomia Symptoms Can Be The Result of COVID-19
Some Long Covid patients are experiencing “Dysautonomia.” POTS, (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) is a subset of Dysautonomia. It is an umbrella term used to describe several different medical conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System.
“The Autonomic Nervous System controls the “automatic” functions of the body that we do not consciously think about, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, dilation and constriction of the pupils of the eye, kidney function, and temperature control.
“People living with various forms of dysautonomia have trouble regulating these systems, which can result in lightheadedness, fainting, unstable blood pressure, abnormal heart rates, malnutrition, and in severe cases, death.” Cf: https://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/index.php and https://www.dysautonomiainternational.org/page.php?ID=30
POTS was estimated to impact one out of 100 teenagers and a total of 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 Americans, including adult patients, even before the pandemic. In addition to the above symptoms, POTS can cause tachycardia, chest pains, shortness of breath, GI (gastrointestinal) tract upset, shaking, exercise intolerance, temperature sensitivity and more.
While POTS predominantly impacts young women who look healthy on the outside, researchers have been comparing the disability seen in POTS to the disability seen in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patients and are alarmed by the commonalities.
Yet, it is no wonder that Long Covid patients display many of the same lingering symptoms of POTS given the fact that POTS has been associated with a previous infection. The increased influx of COVID-19 survivors with dizziness, intense fatigue and inability to exercise correlates with the virus’s infectious appearance in March 2020.
An article by Stacey Burling appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 28, 2021. It was entitled “POTS is a mysterious disorder with a striking resemblance to long-haul COVID-19. Pandemic research may provide treatment clues for both.”
The author refers to Dr. Tae Chung of Johns Hopkins University in the article. Dr. Chung “knew what was coming when he started reading last summer about COVID-19 patients who had lingering symptoms.” As a specialist in neuromuscular medicine he “immediately saw that the baffling array of symptoms that so-called long haulers were reporting was strikingly similar to what had seen for years among patients with a condition called POTS…”
POTS patients may also display other symptoms which may include fainting when patients sit or stand, fatigue, brain fog, palpitations, nausea, insomnia, headaches, and feeling worse after exercise. Hands and feet often turn purple when they are below heart level. Many patients feel worse after exposure to hot weather or showers.
Treatment of POTS is still an imperfect process. Patients are advised to drink fluids and eat salt to increase blood volume. Wearing compression stockings and garments that compress the abdomen followed by a gradual exercise regime while lying down and then sitting are also recommended.
Any essential employee who has been diagnosed with the POTS syndrome or Dysautonomia months after a Covid virus infection should consider engaging our firm to evaluate entitlement to Workers’ Compensation benefits in New Jersey.
Call or email Joshua Friedman, recently retired New Jersey Workers Compensation Judge or any member of this law firm, Taenzer, Ettenson & Aberant, p.c., at 856-235-1234 for a free evaluation of your case.