Bethenny Frankel, 52, Is ‘Not Doing Great’ Amid POTS Syndrome Battle: ‘I Am Messed Up’

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Bethenny Frankel, 52, Details POTS Syndrome BattleDia Dipasupil - Getty Images
  • Bethenny Frankel shared a candid health update on Instagram.

  • She made the post in response to followers saying her face “looks different.”

  • She revealed that she’s swollen due to extreme dehydration connected to POTS syndrome and exacerbated by a dry, cold climate.

While vacationing in Aspen, Colorado last week, Bethenny Frankel shared an unplanned health update with followers after receiving an influx of messages claiming her face “looks different” in the makeup videos she’s known for sharing. The former Real Housewives star knew she didn’t owe an explanation but decided to open up anyway, revealing that she was ultra dehydrated and retaining water due to Aspen’s dry climate combined with her ongoing POTS syndrome battle.

“Only because I love you will I share this with you,” she began the Instagram video. “Many of you are asking why my face looks different ... and it’s because I am messed up. I am not doing that great. I am so dehydrated and riddled with aches and pains.”

She went on to explain that she had “liters” of hydrating liquids but couldn’t seem to feel replenished. She added that she was puffy, bloated, and gained four pounds in three days because her body was “desperately hanging on to any water” it could.

“This is like, very intense,” she continued. “And it’s gotten really bad in the last few years since this autoimmune thing I’m dealing with ... I wake up every two hours in such pain and dying of thirst.” Her doctor confirmed that her condition was connected to POTS syndrome, which she said has worsened since having COVID. “I have always experienced extremely low blood pressure and dehydration, but it’s gotten exponentially worse,” she said.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), is a condition of the automatic nervous system (a.k.a. the body’s involuntary functions). Cases vary, but it typically affects the ability to regulate blood pressure, heart rate, and sometimes, digestion, resulting in symptoms like dizziness, fainting, headache, fatigue, and bloating, among others. In serious cases, patients’ heart rates can skyrocket upon standing too quickly or walking long distances, triggering the aforementioned symptoms.

POTS can be exacerbated by viral infection, and a November 2022 study published in Heart Rhythm confirmed that COVID-related cases are on the rise.

“It’s certainly a condition to manage,” Frankel continued in her caption. “I make a tremendous effort to stay hydrated, get IVs, and I haven’t had liquor for six months. I’m basically on the case. Altitude and a dry climate (in my favorite place in the world to do my favorite sport) present additional challenges.”

Finally, she reminded viewers to think twice before blindly commenting on a person’s appearance because “you may not know exactly what they’re enduring personally, physically, and emotionally.”

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