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Bethenny Frankel opens up about battle with POTS post-COVID, says it's changed her face

“Many of you are asking why my face looks different in my makeup videos and it’s because I am messed up. I am not doing that great,” she said in an Instagram video.
/ Source: TODAY

Bethenny Frankel has shared raw, emotional updates about her health with her fans and followers on social media in response to recent comments about her changed appearance. 

The 52-year-old entrepreneur first took to Instagram Feb. 23 and detailed her experience with dehydration, which she said her doctor has attributed to POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, a condition that causes the heart rate to increase rapidly upon standing.

“Only because I love you will I share this with you,” she said at the start of the clip. “Many of you are asking why my face looks different in my makeup videos, and it’s because I am messed up. I am not doing that great.”

In the video, she explained that she has been struggling with dehydration, aches and pains. 

“I have had liters of Pedialyte and water and kombucha and coconut water, and it just goes right through me and I’ve gained like four pounds while being here because my body’s trying to hold on to any water it can,” said Frankel, who is currently on a trip in Aspen, Colorado. 

The former “Real Housewives of New York City” star said her dehydration problems are “very intense” and have gotten worse over the last few years. She described waking up every two hours feeling parched and in pain. 

“So that’s why I look f—- up because I’m a little f—- up,” she shared.

Frankel added, “My doctor said it’s definitely connected to this POTS syndrome that I have," and that her condition "seems to have been drastically exacerbated since COVID."

The heart condition called POTS has been linked to a COVID-19 infection in some patients diagnosed with long COVID, findings published in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research in December showed. The journal also found signs that POTS was linked to the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine as well, but to a much lesser degree.

In the Instagram caption, Frankel further explained how the symptoms she has been dealing with are linked to her diagnosis. 

“I have always experienced extremely low blood pressure and dehydration, but it’s gotten exponentially worse,” she wrote. “I make a tremendous effort to stay hydrated, get IV’s, and I haven’t had liquor for 6 months. I’m basically on the case.”

She ended the post with a message directly to the social media users who made comments about her face. 

“PS. When you comment on someone’s physical appearance, you may not know exactly what they’re enduring personally, physically and emotionally,” she concluded. 

In two candid videos shared to TikTok shortly after her Instagram post, Frankel continued to discuss the condition and how it's impacting her life.

“I know most people wouldn’t show themselves looking like this,” she said in the first of the clips. “It’s part of my whole feeling about not filtering and not editing. I posted a picture of myself to Instagram today. I would have loved to filter the black circles and the creases under my eyes, but this is me today.”   

And while she attributed her appearance to POTS, in her second video, she wept as she explained that her looks are far from her biggest concern.

“The real thing is the terror of just not being healthy for my daughter,” the reality star, who shares 12-year-old Bryn with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, noted. "That’s the biggest thing. Who cares about the rest of it? I just want to be healthy for her, want to go on Aspen vacations and take her snowboarding, want to live a long life because I had a child later in life. I’m absolutely scared, because I don’t like that I do everything to be healthy and still, sometimes, this thing is winning."