3 heart and vascular conditions

Would you believe there are actual medical conditions called Christmas Disease, Nutcracker Syndrome, and Grinch Syndrome? We promise, we’re not being naughty and making it up.

Although they’re rare, these conditions are real, and they affect the blood, heart, and blood vessels, causing serious symptoms like pain, bleeding, and fainting. Find out more about these disorders below.

christmas diseases infographic

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What is Hemophilia B (Christmas Disease)?

Hemophilia B, also known as “Christmas Disease,” is a rare genetic disorder that does not allow blood to properly clot due to insufficient levels of blood protein called Factor IX. This is the second most common type of hemophilia.

What is Nutcracker Syndrome?

Nutcracker Syndrome is a vascular compression disorder where the vein from your kidneys is pinched between your aorta and another smaller artery in your abdomen. Symptoms of nutcracker syndrome include blood in urine and left flank pain.

What is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS or Grinch Syndrome)?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), also referred to as “Grinch Syndrome,” causes a rapid increase in heartbeat when standing up from a lying position. Many times this is accompanied by light-headedness and dizziness. Most patients have small hearts; POTS affects about 500,000 Americans, primarily young women.

Concerned you’re exhibiting symptoms of one of these conditions? Contact your primary care physician or visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute website for more information on treatment options.

About Heart and Vascular Institute

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine. We strive to provide the most advanced, cutting-edge care for our patients, treating both common and complex conditions. We also offer services that seek to improve the health of our communities, including heart screenings, free clinics, and heart health education. Find an expert near you.