Dysautonomia is not a single disorder, the term describes a number of conditions which affect the autonomic nervous system. This section of the nervous system controls automatic body functions, like heart rate and breathing.
dysautonomia affects an estimated 70 million people worldwide.
In this article, we will describe some of the different types of dysautonomia, their symptoms, and treatments.
What are dysautonomias?
Dysautonomias come in many forms, but they all involve the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
The ANS controls automatic activities in the body.
For instance, the ANS is responsible for maintaining a constant internal temperature, regulating breathing patterns, a steady blood pressure and heart rate, and, appropriate pupil dilation, sexual arousal, and excretion.
Symptoms of dysautonomia, therefore, generally manifest themselves as problems in those particular body systems.
Although there is a range of dysautonomias, they all share certain symptoms, including
- unstable blood pressure, and
- an abnormal heart rate.
Some dysautonomias are inherited or due to a degenerative disease, these are called primary dysautonomias
Others are because of an injury or a separate condition, these are referred to as secondary dysautonomias
There is currently no cure for primary dysautonomias
Types of dysautonomia
There are at least 15 distinct dysautonomias; the most common are neurocardiogenic syncope and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
Below is a summary of some of the more frequent dysautonomias.
The article (follow link at top of post) contains more detailed information about the following types:
- Neurocardiogenic syncope
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
- Multiple system atrophy
- Autonomic dysreflexia
- Baroreflex failure
- Diabetic autonomic neuropathy
- Familial dysautonomia