“I’m bloated, swollen and I’ve gained 4 lbs in 3 days because my body is desperately hanging on to any water it can,” the Real Housewives of New York City alum, 52, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, February 23, alongside a video of herself discussing her symptoms. “A while back I shared what has been a serious battle with POTS. This is an autoimmune disorder that seems to have been drastically exacerbated since COVID. I know there are many of you out there, so thanks for all of the information. It’s certainly a condition to manage.”
“When you comment on someone’s physical appearance, you may not know exactly what they’re enduring personally, physically and emotionally,” she wrote on Thursday.
The Skinnygirl founder further explained that she is “messed up” and “not doing that great,” while she deals with her dehydration struggles and chronic pain.
“I have had liters of Pedialyte and water and Kombucha and coconut water and it just goes right through me,” she said in her social media upload. “And I’ve gained, like, four pounds while being here [in Aspen] because my body’s trying to hold onto any water it can. Dehydration is so real. This is, like, very intense and it’s gotten really bad in the last few years since this autoimmune thing I’m dealing with.”
The former Bravo star added: “So that’s why I look f—ked up.”
Frankel — who coparents daughter Bryn, 11, with ex-husband Jason Hoppy — noted that she’s been waking up every two hours in excruciating pain and “dying of thirst,” which her doctors believe is related to her Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) diagnosis. (According to the Cleveland Clinic, POTS is a condition that causes your heart to beat faster than normal after transitioning from sitting down to standing up.)
Frankel has continued to make a “tremendous effort to stay hydrated” by getting IVs and cutting alcohol from her diet, though the altitude and dry climate of Aspen present additional challenges.
“I value self-care very much and I value sleep. I don’t exercise really very much at all, so that hasn’t been great, but really I try to sleep as much as possible and make that such a priority,” Frankel exclusively told Us Weekly in September 2021. “I’ve now convinced myself that sleep is exercise. I tell everybody that and no one seems to agree with me, but I’m going to continue to push that forward. I wake up sweating sometimes, so I think it’s exercise.”