Dysautonomia is a collection of disorders that interfere with the function of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls automatic bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and digestion. This article explains what dysautonomia is and its potential to kill you. Regardless of age or gender, people living with dysautonomia face serious challenges. These conditions also have a range of symptoms and different diagnoses. No two people experience the same level of severity from these conditions. While some people live with mild symptoms that can be managed through medication or lifestyle changes, others struggle to maintain an acceptable quality of life. Autonomic dysfunction impacts both the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. Each branch controls specific bodily functions, impacting them differently depending on which branch is affected. Improved understanding helps dispel many common myths about dysautonomia in general.
Can Dysautonomia Kill You?
The short answer is: Yes, it can. Dysautonomia can be life-threatening if not properly treated. There is no cure for dysautonomia, but there are treatments to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
What Causes Dysautonomia?
Dysautonomia is a genetic disorder. It occurs in around half of the people with dysautonomia. In some cases, the gene responsible for dysautonomia is located on the X chromosome. In other cases, there are two different genes that cause dysautonomia. In either case, there is a 50% chance that one of your parents has dysautonomia.
2. Environmental factors
Dysautonomia is a condition that can be caused by an environmental factor. Some of these environmental factors are:
3. Inborn errors of metabolism
Inborn errors of metabolism include genetic conditions such as galactosemia and maple syrup urine disease. These conditions involve abnormal levels of metabolic enzymes that break down certain substances or help metabolize certain substances in the body. If a person has an inborn error of metabolism, their body cannot break down or metabolize sugar properly. This can cause diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). A person with dysautonomia may have an inborn error of metabolism that affects the autonomic nervous system. This can lead to autonomic dysfunction, which causes symptoms such as heart arrhythmias and fainting spells., which can lead to dysautonomia.
Trauma or injury to the head, neck, or spine can also cause dysautonomia. If there are any signs of injury to the nervous system, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.. Dysautonomia is a condition that can be caused by an environmental factor. Some of these environmental factors are:
Infections like the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and varicella zoster can lead to increased inflammation, which is one of the causes of dysautonomia. Increased inflammation can also lead to multiple conditions such as allergies and autoimmune diseases.
6. Autoimmune disorders
Autoimmune disorders are conditions in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues and organs in the body. These conditions include:
Trauma or injury can cause stress on the nervous system, leading to dysautonomia symptoms. This is especially true for people who experience frequent trauma or injury, such as athletes and military personnel who experience frequent concussions or other head injuries.
Types Of Dysautonomia
1. Primary Dysautonomia
This is the most common type of dysautonomia. It affects about 80% of all people with dysautonomia. It means that a problem of the autonomic nerves has started from birth or early childhood. There are three types of primary dysautonomia. The first type is called “congenital primary dysautonomia”. The second type is called “acquired primary dysautonomia”. The last type is called “idiopathic primary dysautonomia”.
2. Secondary Dysautonomia
Secondary dysautonomic problems develop as a result of an underlying disease, injury, or other event such as drug reaction, stroke, and infections that affect the nervous system. Secondary dysautonomic problems are relatively rare in adults but are more common in children and young adults because they tend to have more severe underlying diseases and injuries that can cause their symptoms to worsen. Symptoms usually develop after the underlying disease or injury. The most common types of secondary dysautonomia are called “postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome” (POTS), “neurogenic bladder”, “neurogenic bowel”, and “neurogenic dysphagia”.
3. Tertiary Dysautonomia
Tertiary dysautonomia is usually a result of brain damage, either from a stroke or other brain injury or from an injury to the spinal cord. Symptoms may be present before the brain damage occurs. The most common type of tertiary dysautonomia is called “cerebral palsy”. Sometimes symptoms develop after a stroke or other brain injury. Symptoms in this type of dysautonomic problem can include weakness and ataxia (unsteadiness) in the arms and legs and problems with balance, coordination, and vision. Some people with cerebrovascular disease may also have problems with their speech, memory, headache, double vision, and problems with walking.
4. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
POTS is a disorder that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure when an individual stands up suddenly. POTS can cause dizziness, fainting, and lightheadedness. Symptoms usually develop after many years of standing up suddenly or lying down suddenly. A person with POTS may also experience shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting when they stand up quickly.
5. Neurogenic Bladder
A neurogenic bladder is one that is caused by damage to the nerves that control urination in the bladder (the urinary tract). Symptoms in neurogenic bladder include painful urination, incomplete emptying of the bladder, or frequent urge to urinate even though there is no need for it because nothing will come out of the bladder. The symptoms are usually due to spasms of the muscles that move urine out of the bladder during urination (the ureth also be caused by an underlying heart condition, but it is not always associated with an underlying heart condition. POTS causes symptoms that include.
How To Treat Dysautonomia?
The first step to treating dysautonomia is getting educated. This means learning everything you can about your condition, how it affects your body, and what you can do to manage it. This will make you less fearful of your condition and give you the tools you need to treat it better. There are many ways to get educated. You can start with reading articles on this website and other similar ones. You can also attend support group meetings to speak with others who understand what you are going through. Talking with others who have dysautonomia can be hugely beneficial. You can also speak with your doctor about your condition and what you can do to treat it better.
Create a Solid Support Network
One of the best ways to treat dysautonomia is to create a strong support network. You don’t have to do this alone. In fact, you shouldn’t. You should surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. You may have friends and family members who have no idea what you’re dealing with, or they may just not be the best match for you. This is okay. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your condition. You just need people who get it. There are many ways to find your support network. You can attend support group meetings, join online support groups, find local support groups, or even start your own support group with people you meet in real life. You can also speak with your doctor about finding support groups in your area. You can also consider a pet as part of your support network. There are many positive benefits from having a pet, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved health outcomes, and reduced feelings of loneliness.
Exercise Your Way to Better Health
Exercise is a great way to treat dysautonomia. It has many benefits on the body, including reducing stress, easing anxiety, increasing your energy levels, improving your sleep, and even stimulating your appetite. There are many different types of exercise you can do, so find one that works best for you. If you have dysautonomia, there are certain types of exercise you should avoid, such as high-intensity workouts or heavy sweating. This can cause dehydration and increase your heart rate. Instead, opt for low-intensity workouts. You can even do activities like walking or swimming, which are great for people with dysautonomia. Your doctor may also prescribe exercise for you, so follow their advice.
Eat Well to Treat Dysautonomia
One of the best ways to treat dysautonomia is to eat a balanced diet. This means eating a variety of healthy, whole foods. Healthy foods can help with many aspects of dysautonomia, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes, improving your sleep, and more. There is no one “dysautonomia diet.” What works for one person may not work for you, as every person is different. However, there are a few things that often show up on almost every “dysautonomia diet” list, such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, and avoiding processed foods as much as possible.
Try Supplementation and Medications
While healthy eating can help you treat dysautonomia, it doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, many people with dysautonomia need supplementation and medication to treat their symptoms. You may have heard about people who recommend supplements like zinc and magnesium, but there are many others you can try. Your doctor can help you determine which ones you need. You can also find supplements online, such as this store. You may also benefit from certain medications. Talk with your doctor about the options that are available to you and which ones may be best for you.
Dysautonomia is a complex condition that includes many different disorders. Symptoms vary depending on which organ systems are affected and which type of dysautonomia you have. The best way to treat dysautonomia is to discover the underlying cause and treat that. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications, and in rare cases, surgery.