A LONG Covid sufferer was advised that eating Hula Hoops could ease her debilitating heart condition as docs warn of a tide of new cases.
Salted peanuts were also recommended to the Anglesey woman to boost her blood pressure as she suffered from a “racing heart”.
Hoopla over Hula Hoops – which were recommended to a Long Covid suffererCredit: Alamy
Sian Griffiths, 43, who was infected with coronavirus in May 2020, said that since tucking into Hula hoops and salted nuts, her condition is “improving, my heart doesn’t race now”.
And she has been eating them every day.
The salty snacks have been touted by the Long Covid sufferer, who is adamant that her symptoms, including breathlessness, dizzy spells and terrifying heart palpitations, have eased as a result.
Previously fit and healthy, the physiotherapist suffered long-term, post-viral effects, and was eventually diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome, or PoTS.
The syndrome is where the functioning of the nervous system becomes abnormal.
This results in an excessive rise in heart rate, a spike in norepinephrine – a hormone and neurotransmitter – in the blood and altered blood flow to the brain.
But, according to PoTS UK, “many healthcare professionals do not know that PoTS exists and so may not think of the diagnosis”.
Griffiths told the Daily Mail that for “months” she struggled to walk five minutes to her parents’ home – and had to sit on the kerb to catch her breath despite the short stroll.
After researching her health woes on social media, she stumbled on a PoTS support group on Facebook, and watched a doctor’s lecture which “perfectly described my symptoms”.
A major turning point was when she went to a private PoTS specialist in Stoke, “as the wait on the NHS was really long”, and was started on some tablets after tests confirmed she had PoTS.
Griffiths also began a new regime: “Before I go to bed, I mix a teaspoon of salt into fruit juice, which I keep by the bed and have when I wake up.
“My specialist recommended I start adding salt to my food and eating Hula Hoops and salted nuts, to push my blood pressure up.”
Thirty per cent of patients have low levels of sodium expelled in the urine, which may indicate a low blood volume, according to the PoTS charity.
Although she still suffers brain fog, Griffiths said she was “determined to get my life back”.
Ex-GP Dr Lesley Kavi, who leads PoTS UK, told the Mail that specialists in the field fear the coronavirus pandemic “may have caused an explosion in cases”.
Specialist services for PoTS in the NHS have been reporting that “many of their new referrals are patients who first started having problems after catching Covid,” he added.
However, some Long Covid sufferers are being misdiagnosed, as clinics do not all routinely testing for the syndrome.
Dr Kavi said that patients – like Griffiths – are stumbling on their possible PoTS diagnosis when searching for help on social media.
The medic added that as nerve problems triggering the syndrome come from a “viral infection, the Covid link hasn’t come as a surprise to specialists”.
Although the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has for months urged doctors to test Long Covid patients for PoTS, patients have reported “this isn’t being done”, he said.
My specialist recommended I start adding salt to my food and eating Hula Hoops and salted nuts, to push my blood pressure up.
PoTS can be a life altering and debilitating health condition.
Simply standing up can be a challenge for affected people as their body is unable to adjust to gravity.
Symptoms include palpitations, lightheadedness, fatigue, sweating, nausea, fainting and headaches.
They are associated with a persistent increase in heart rate from the lying to upright position.
It usually affects young and middle-age women, according to Study Finds.
The website added that researchers from Sweden reported that the “rare heart condition”, which can cause patients to pass out when they stand up – and even leave some to use a wheelchair – may be one of the long-term consequences of contracting Covid-19.
PoTS could be the latest in a long list of bizarre complications stemming from a coronavirus infection, the researchers added.
Hula hoops have helped ease Sian Griffiths’ symptomsCredit: Nick Obank