As we are aware of the fact that the human body is a combination of various organs and organ systems. Each and every organ system of our body has an important role to play in our well being. Where all these organ systems have a significant role, the nervous system is said to be the most important one as it coordinates the behavior by transmitting signals amongst the different parts of the body. As the central nervous system controls the function of the entire body, a complication can impact the wellbeing of a person and function of various other organ systems. Dysautonomia refers to a group of medical conditions that cause issues related to the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary body functions like your breathing, heartbeat and digestion. When this Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) doesn’t work in a proper manner, it can cause conditions related to heart and blood pressure along with troubled breathing and loss of bladder control.
Read along to know more about the condition of Dysautonomia along with its symptoms, causes and treatment options with Dr. Nitisha Goyal, Associate Consultant, Neurology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
What is Dysautonomia?
Dysautonomia is a term that is generally used to refer to a group of medical conditions that impacts a person’s nervous system. Where this condition does not affect the nervous system as a whole but has to do a lot with the Autonomic Nervous System or the ANS. This autonomic nervous system is responsible for controlling the involuntary actions of the body such as breathing, maintaining the internal body temperature, heart beat, keeping blood pressure steady, execration, pupil dilation, sexual arousal, etc.
Reports indicate that about 70 million people are affected by this neurological disorder worldwide. Where this condition can be present in a person of any age and gender, some people suffer through Dysautonomia since birth whereas others develop this condition with an increasing age. This disease can be very mild and not very bothersome for some people whereas it can be really severe and life threatening for others.
Causes of Dysautonomia
Dysautonomia is an Autonomic Nervous System disorder that comes in 15 different types. When this condition occurs on its own then it is termed as primary Dysautonomia but when present with some other condition or diseases then is known as the secondary Dysautonomia.
Some of the other diseases that affect a person in the case of secondary Dysautonomia are-
- Sjogren's syndrome.
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Lyme disease
- Muscular sclerosis.
- Lambert-Eaton syndrome.
- Vitamin B and E deficiencies
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Symptoms of Dysautonomia
As mentioned, Dysautonomia is a neurological condition that has 15 different types and hence narrowing down the types of Dysautonomia you have been affected with can be pretty difficult just based upon the symptoms. Where symptoms can not help you to narrow down the condition, they surely work as an alarming sign that would help you in a timely treatment that will prevent any further complications. In order to treat the condition of Dysautonomia at time and avoid any complications of this condition, look out for these early signs and symptoms-
- Low blood pressure
- Frequent urination
- Chest pain
- Breathing difficulty
- Poor diet
- Overactive senses
- Disrupted sleep pattern
Ways to treat Dysautonomia
Dysautonomia is a quite serious issue that tends to affect a person’s Autonomic Nervous System, which then affects various necessary involuntary actions that are crucial for life. As Dysautonomia is a condition that can even be life threatening in some cases, it becomes very important to seek for a timely treatment for this condition. Here are some of the treatment options available to treat Dysautonomia as suggested by Dr. Nitisha Goyal-
Water: Drink ample amounts of water everyday and include food items in your diet that are rich in water content. Adequate amounts of fluids in the body will help you to keep the blood volume up and will ease out the symptoms.
Pillows while sleeping: Stack some extra pillows under your head while sleeping so that your head is elevated for about 6-8 inches.
Salt: Consume about 3-5 grams of salt each day as it will help in maintaining normal blood pressure levels by keeping the levels of fluids normal inside the blood vessels.
Keep In Touch With doctor: Consult your physician and take your medications such as midodrine and fludrocortisone to increase the blood pressure
With inputs from Dr. Nitisha Goyal, Associate Consultant, Neurology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.