A dizzying case of post viral PoTS
At 24, Mandy should have been in the prime of her life, yet since a bout of glandular fever a couple of years ago, she was barely managing to lead a normal life. Her legs were covered in bruises. "Whenever I walk it feels like I'm on a boat at sea. I keep fainting all over the place these days, I'm starting to do myself real harm".
The glandular fever seemed to have triggered in Mandy a cascade of deeply disturbing symptoms including dizziness or sudden fainting when standing or sitting for long periods, as well as when making any sudden movements like getting out of bed or standing up. Moving about brought on the 'at sea' feeling, and she regularly suffered breathlessness, a racing heart beat and palpitations.
Her other symptoms included daily exhaustion with weak and heavy legs, terrible digestion (Gastroparesis) involving nausea, heartburn, bloating and constipation, severe alcohol intolerance, random intense hot flushes and perspiration, twitching muscles, throat infections, blurred vision, brain fog, insomnia or recurring nightmares to name but a few. It took her months to have her symptoms taken seriously and even longer to get a diagnosis.
Finally, a year after the glandular fever, Mandy was told she had PoTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). This is a relatively common disorder (1 in 100 young people) but it is not yet well understood (or easily identified). The syndrome involves a disruption to the Autonomic Nervous System, in other words the backroom of our nervous system that controls blood pressure, blood supply to the brain, our digestive system and many other 'automatic' functions of the body like sleep and body temperature control. As yet, there is no known cure.
Months of trying different drugs like Midodrine from the hospital followed, but all of them made Mandy feel even worse - both agitated and sick, with the PoTS symptoms only slightly improved. Mandy made the decision to stop the meds altogether and try to find natural alternatives. When she came to see me she was pretty desperate.
While I have witnessed a fair few homeopathic miracles in my practice, I have to put my hands up here and confess that two months ago, when Mandy came through my door, I wan't totally sure that I could help her situation. With such a deep seated all encompassing disturbance in the body like PoTS, could homeopathy even touch the sides? I asked Mandy to give me three months to make a difference, knowing I would probably need a series of remedies rather than just one magic bullet. And the result?
Within two weeks of taking her first indicated remedy Sulphur, Mandy called me to say that the dizziness was almost gone and she had been happily walking to work daily as her 'at sea' feeling had more or less disappeared. She'd even gone clothes shopping and managed to stand in a queue for the changing rooms without fainting (a first). Neither had she collapsed at the table in any work meetings (a regular occurrence in the past). Best of all, she'd even enjoyed a glass of wine without the usual one week hangover, and she was digesting food well with barely a glimpse of the usual bloating, nausea and heartburn. In fact, all her symptoms were 50-75% better. I don't know who was more amazed, Mandy or myself.
As the weeks have passed Mandy's progress continues. While some of her symptoms have disappeared, others are still fluctuating or changing (a sign that the remedy continues to stimulate her system to reorder itself). Crucially her energy is almost back to pre glandular fever days, and her main symptoms of vertigo and fainting are currently a rare occurrence. No more bruises!
It's early days but the trajectory is looking good. I'll be seeing Mandy soon for a follow up appointment. Watch this space.
December 2017 UPDATE. Read about Mandy progress here.
If you are looking for support and information on all things natural for POTS please come over and say hi at my Facebook support group 'Natural Treatment for POTS'
If you're living with POTS or other post viral symptoms then please get in touch or make an appointment. I work internationally via Skype and face-to-face in Brixton, London, UK.
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