“This Has Been Hard to Accept”: Tiffiny Hall Reveals 20-Year Long Health Battle
Known for her bubbly and bright personality, trainer Tiffiny Hall has opened up about a difficult health battle that has plagued her for over 20 years. Taking to Instagram to share the personal news, Hall described how after taking “a gazillion tests to figure out what could be wrong”, she was recently diagnosed with “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME and POTS – a blood pressure condition which in my case is genetic,” Hall wrote on Instagram.
While keeping a positive outlook has been important for Hall, she revealed it has been tough to accept her diagnosis and in order to focus on her recovery, Hall has decided to take a break “to get well again”. “For now, I’m prioritising recovery and family, and hopefully will be back in no time,” Hall wrote.
Since announcing the news, Hall has been inundated with support — something she says is thankful for, given the serious nature of what she is currently dealing with.
“I’m feeling truly grateful for all of the support and love I’ve received since sharing this very sensitive news,” Hall told POPSUGAR Australia. “I also understand that people may have questions for me. Chronic fatigue (CFS)/ME (myalgicencephelitis) is still something I am coming to terms with myself.”
“I first developed CFS in high school, which has now triggered the emergence of POTS – in my case, a genetic blood pressure condition. It’s very common for CFS to re-present itself over time, but after being in remission for over 20 years up until now, I’m confident I can beat it again.”
Hall went on to say that both conditions have their own complexities and affect individual people differently — there’s no one-size-fits-all experience in this case.
“Right now, I’m choosing to focus on my own recovery, but as someone who has dedicated themself to helping people be healthy, I would never want to give information or advice that may not be suitable for others,” Hall said. “My heart goes out to anyone else going through similar struggles. I wish for them to have a supported recovery as I also undertake mine.”
Chronic fatigue syndrome (or CFS as it’s commonly referred to as) is an illness characterised by extreme fatigue and tiredness that doesn’t go away, no matter how much you rest. This disorder can also be referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), as Hall has herself labelled it.
According to Healthline, the causes of CFS aren’t fully known yet, but common theories include viral infection, psychological stress, a weakened immune system, hormonal imbalances, or a combination of a number of factors. As there is no one single cause, it can make CFS difficult to diagnose and there are no standard tests for this illness.
Symptoms of CFS include chronic insomnia, feeling unrefreshed when waking from a night of sleep as well as loss of memory, concentration issues and physical manifestations like muscle pain, frequent headaches and muscle-joint pain.
Given the tricky nature of this illness, it’s also incredibly hard to treat and it really comes down to what the individual responds to. POTS, on the other hand, is a condition that affects blood flow in the body. Officially known as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, the Cleveland Clinic refers to it as “the development of symptoms that come on when standing up from a reclining position, and that may be relieved by sitting or lying back down”.
The most common symptoms associated with POTS are lightheadedness and fainting as well as a rapid increase in heartbeat. It’s also common to experience chest pain, fainting, fatigue, and headaches. For people without POTS, the heart rate and blood pressure work together to keep blood flowing through the body — no matter the position you may be lying in.
For those with POTS, the body can’t coordinate the act of “blood vessel squeeze and heart rate response. This means the blood pressure can’t be kept steady and stable.” Unlike CFS, there are a few more straightforward treatment options when it comes to POTS.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are a number of medications which can prove helpful in the treatment of POTS including salt tables and beta blockers. Thigh-high medical compression stockings can also prove useful and help to push the blood up the legs to reduce the symptoms.
While Hall has a difficult recovery ahead of her, we have no doubt that she’ll come out the other side even more positive and inspirational. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this article, make an appointment to discuss with your doctor. While it’s easy to push away niggling health issues, it’s incredibly important to be up-to-date and informed on your body.