Mystery Illness Strikes Young, Highly Trained Athletes

We found an interesting report published by the Washington Post about a condition that is affecting young athletes.

The syndrome is called POTS – postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome – which strikes suddenly, leaving a “healthy person” unable to function, and there’s almost no clear reason as to what caused the reaction. Patients are diagnosed with POTS when their heart rate “goes berserk” when a person goes from lying down to standing.

Doctors have seen a surge in POTS cases in young adults and Teens who are at peak fitness since the pandemic.

From the Washington Post:

The syndrome has proliferated since the coronavirus pandemic. Before 2020, 1 million to 3 million people suffered from POTS in the United States, researchers estimate. Precise numbers are difficult to come by because the condition encompasses a spectrum of symptoms, and many people have still never heard of it. Recent studies suggest 2 to 14 percent of people infected with the coronavirus may go on to develop POTS.

The syndrome tends to strike suddenly, leaving previously healthy people unable to function, with no clear cause. In recent years, doctors specializing in the condition have noticed a curious and disproportionate subset of patients: young, highly trained athletes who are female.

Kaleigh Levine was training with her team at Notre Dame College when “everything turned black.”

“The coach wanted me to get back in the line, but I couldn’t see,” she remembered.

After a few minutes, her vision returned, and the 20-year-old goalie had to go through several medical specialists only to be diagnosed with POTS.

An early finding of a POTS research study has found that 90 percent of diagnosed patients had been ” exercising regularly before being struck with the condition. Only 28 percent of Americans exercise regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Well, isn’t this fascinating.

A syndrome that attacks healthy people surges after a pandemic.

The report didn’t conclude what exactly caused the increase, but we do know when it started.

You can read the complete report here. 


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