Cleveland Clinic doctors see increase of POTS in pediatric patients after COVID-19

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Posted at 9:41 AM, Sep 27, 2022

CLEVELAND — 16-year-old Eva LaBeau loves hanging out with her friends and she is passionate about art.

“Any art, music, painting, drawing, macrame. Anything I can get my hands on since I can’t do the physical things,” explained LaBeau.

The high school junior used to be involved in gymnastics until one day, “when I was a gymnast, one time I passed out on the bar,” said LaBeau.

The Michigan teen traveled to the Cleveland Clinic for help finding answers to her health issues. Doctors discovered a genetic disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS.

“Everything will get dark, and I feel really, really light headed and I can feel my heart beating way too fast,” said LaBeau.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, it’s a lot of words but what it means is there is an out-of-control effect on the heart in response to trying to regulate blood pressure so the brain can function appropriately, said Dr. Gary Butchko, Cleveland Clinic pediatric cardiologist.

Getting COVID-19 made LaBeau's POTS symptoms worse. Now, doctors are seeing more cases of POTS in children and teenagers who had COVID-19.

“There has definitely been an uptick,” said Butchko. Butchko said between 30-40% of his patients have some of the symptoms of POTS.

For LaBeau getting a diagnosis has been key to managing her condition and living the life of a normal teenager.

This article was written by Tracy Carloss for WEWS.

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