Diagnosis: Unusual

A doctor said it was all in her head, but it was 'the most common condition you've never heard of'

Tori Foles, left, and her husband, Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles, celebrates after the NFC Championship game in January 2018.

Story highlights

  • POTS is a little-known disorder causing heart palpitations and fainting
  • It's mistaken as a "teenage syndrome" but affects ages 12 to 50, mostly women

(CNN)Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is ecstatic about leading the Philadelphia Eagles to victory, but that's not the triumph he celebrates daily. He gives that medal to his wife, Tori Foles, for what he calls her "amazing strength" in fighting a little-known disorder called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS.

"They told me I had a virus," said Tori, "but I had never heard of one where you are dizzy all the time. There were a lot of times I couldn't get out of bed."
    POTS is a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, which controls the involuntary functions of the body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, breathing, blinking and urination. While it can and does affect any part of that system, the most frequent symptoms are profound fatigue, gastrointestinal issues and frequent, almost constant lightheadedness.