October 18, 2011

Ailment Can Steal Youth From the Young


Patrick Fox, now 14, considers himself lucky. It took only a year to find out why he was always tired, his heart raced and he ached all over, why he became overheated easily and had terrible headaches almost every day… Instead, after his racing heart caused chest pains that felt like an impending heart attack, his mother whisked him off to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where in just two hours he learned he had a form of autonomic dysfunction known as POTS, short for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome… But in POTS, explained Dr. Philip Fischer, a pediatrician at the Mayo Clinic, “blood vessels are too dilated, and the blood puddles in the lower part of the body. When you stand up, not enough blood gets to the brain,” leaving one dizzy and lightheaded.

NY Times, Jane Brody, 10/18/11

Tags: Cardiology, Pediatrics

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