A British woman who suffers from a rare condition that made her faint six times a day says people used to think she was drunk. Beth Joyce, 22, suffers from a condition called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, which is an abnormal response to being upright. Joyce’s symptoms started when she was at college in Sheffield, and passing out in bars and clubs meant a lot of people assumed she was simply worse for wear.
But since her diagnosis four years ago she now faints just once or twice a fortnight and despite struggling to leave the house, Joyce managed to finish her degree in graphic design. Joyce, from Runcorn, Cheshire, said: “I had never fainted before and suddenly I was fainting five or six times a day. It was terrifying. “I learnt to recognize the symptoms and once on a night out I was on my way to the toilets to sit down when I fainted. “My friends had to explain to the staff that I wasn’t just drunk and they needed to call an ambulance.
“I woke up in the hospital covered in wires. To be in one place and then to wake up somewhere completely different was a nightmare.” The 22-year-old’s symptoms first appeared when she returned from a year out in Corfu. While on the Greek island, Joyce had contracted pneumonia which triggered the viral onset of PoTS. She said: “My friend was great and he dragged me to the doctors three or four times before I eventually went to hospital. “The doctors made me feel like it was all in my head, but my friend was convinced it was something more serious. “I was in agony. My head couldn’t touch anything without me being in extreme pain, but this was just one of many symptoms.” Once Joyce eventually went to hospital, she was diagnosed with PoTS almost straight away.