Understanding dysautonomia Understanding dysautonomia

Understanding dysautonomia

Current living 5 July, 2016 María Alejandra Tavera


Standing up, doing exercise and going to bed require the body to be able to adapt, an ability controlled by the autonomic nervous system. Dysautonomia occurs when this system does not adapt.

Being familiar with how the autonomic nervous system works is key to understanding this disorder. This system is in charge of controlling the involuntary functions of the body such as heart rate, body temperature or blood pressure. When this system does not perform correctly some serious illnesses may occur. According to the website Medline, these illnesses can include heart problems, difficulties with breathing and swallowing as well as erectile dysfunction in men, among several other conditions.

Interestingly, in the 19th century dysautonomia was known as neurasthenia, a condition that was present in individuals that experienced weakness and who were unable to perform daily activities. Much progress on understanding this disease has been made and currently there are more specialists that can recognize its symptoms through a thorough physical exam and detailed record of one’s medical history; a greater number of treatments for this condition has also been discovered.

 

How to recognize dysautonomia

Symptoms of this condition can appear during childhood, but for some parents, these symptoms may not be noticeable. Constant dizziness, excessive sweating, a tendency to faint and an increase in body temperature are some of the main warning signs of dysautonomia.

According to specialists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke there is no cure for this condition. The steps to follow after being diagnosed with this disease is to fight the symptoms by following your doctor’s instruction. These indications may vary from drinking plenty of water, elevating the upper part of one’s bed, maintaining a diet that has a high salt content (unless otherwise indicated), not standing for too long and avoiding standing up quickly. Receiving proper medical attention and the patient’s knowledge of the disease are very important for treatment.