Dysautonomia is not a diagnosis. It is a term used to describe any disorder of the autonomic (automatic) nervous system.
Dysautonomia (Dis-auto-NO-mia) is a general term used to describe any disorder of the autonomic (or automatic nervous) system. These disorders usually involve abnormal symptoms in many organ systems, including cardiac, gastrointestinal, neurological, and pulmonary, as well as others. Dysautonomia, an invisible illness, may be one of the most misdiagnosed medical conditions of all time. The biggest problem in autonomic medicine today is the lack of knowledge about dysautonomia in communities and especially community based physicians.
Dysautonomias are classified as any kind of dysfunctions of the autonomic nervous systems. The dysfunction can be Primary or can be a secondary condition associated with another disease process happening. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that regulates functions that happen automatically or that you don’t have to think about like heart rate, BP regulation( Especially changing from a supine to a standing posture), digestion, excretion, sweating and temperature regulation, blinking and pupil dilation, brain fog, sensory hypersensitivities and neuropathies. These dysfunctions can be mild for some, or disabling, and/or even life threatening. The most important challenge is to find a local doctor who is educated on Dysautonomias or is willing to become educated in order to channel the patient to the right Doctor or facility for the best treatment options that are currently available. There is no cure but underlying conditions need to be diagnosed and the symptoms from the Dysautonomias have to be managed.
The Dysautonomia Project is a not-for-profit collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteer physicians, patients, and community leaders. Our aim is to bridge the wide knowledge gap between community-based physicians and decades of validated clinical research about Dysautonomia.
Top 7 Signs and Symptoms of Dysautonomia
1.) Difficulty Standing Still
4.) Nausea and Other GI Symptoms
5.) Brain Fog or Mental Clouding
6.) Palpitations or Chest Discomfort
7.) Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
Autoimmunity (AAG or autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, Autoimmune Encephalopathy, Guillian-Barre’syndrome, Sjogrens, Celiac Disease, Systemic Lupus, Erythematosus, Paraneoplastic autonomic neuropathy), Chronic regional pain syndrome, Diabetes, Ehlers-Danos syndrome, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, Small Fiber Neuropathy
There are at least 15 distinct dysautonomias; the most common are postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and neurocardiogenic syncope. Please find below some quick facts concerning Dysautonomia.
- The effects of dysautonomias may range from lightheadedness to premature death
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and Neurocardiogenic syncope and are the most common of dysautonomias
- There are some researchers whom believe POTS may be an autoimmune condition
- Many dysautonomias often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed
The Mayo Clinic assesses autonomic severity based on six categories called the Compass 31:
1. Orthostatic intolerance
2. Gastrointestinal disturbances
3. Vasomotor functioning
4. Secrets motor regulation
5. Bladder function
6. Pupils motor function
Tilt table test
QSART Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test
The Valsalva Maneuver
The Cold Pressor Test
Heart Rate Variability
Blood Volume Testing
• Increased sodium intake and Water to stay hydrated and maintain electrolyte balance and fluid levels per MD recommendation avoiding stress and pain
• Energy drinks and Alcohol should be avoided
• Compression garments i.e. Abdominal binder, compression hose, compression sleeves during activities, not at rest.
• Diet and Supplements, eating small frequent meals limiting carbohydrates, sugar, highly processed foods, artificial dyes and chemicals, body posturing or counter maneuvers to keep the blood from pooling down into the feet and legs. Elevating the legs while sitting, sitting cross legged, contracting the thighs, gluteals, sleeping with the head elevated approximately 50 degrees, using a shower chair vs standing, purchasing a seat cane if standing is difficult.
• Beta- Blockers
• Amphetamines or Methyphenidate
• SSRI’s Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors
• IV Saline
The Dysautonomia Project
info@TheDysautonomiaProject.org (727) 304-1547