What is dysautonomia?
Dysautonomia is a broad term for a group of disorders that share a common problem – that is, an autonomic nervous system (or the vegetative nervous system) that is not functioning as it should. The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls body functions which can be very important and which are not under your voluntary control such as heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, digestion, body and skin temperature. , hormonal function, bladder function, sexual function, etc.
A good chiro montreal could really help you with that. This clinic is really recommended for its good chiropractic care.
When the autonomic nervous system isn’t working as it should, it can cause heart and blood pressure problems, trouble breathing, loss of bladder control, and many other problems.
What are the symptoms of dysautonomia?
There are many symptoms of dysautonomia that can vary from person to person. Symptoms of dysautonomia may be present from time to time, go away and return at any time. They can be light or very disabling. Some symptoms may appear at a time of physical or emotional stress, or may appear when the person is perfectly calm.
A common sign of dysautonomia is orthostatic intolerance, which means that the person has difficulty standing for long, without feeling weak or dizzy. Other signs and symptoms of dysautonomia that the patient may experience include:
- Balance problems, dizziness, lightheadedness
- Sensitivity to noise / light
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Changes in body and skin temperature
- Persistent fatigue
- Visual disturbances (blurred vision)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting,
- Gastrointestinal problems (constipation)
- Fast or slow heart rate, heart palpitations
- Brain “fog” / forgetfulness / lack of concentration
- Large variations in heart rate (with movement or standing) and blood pressure
- Mood swings
- Fainting, loss of consciousness
- Sweating less than normal or not at all
- Sleep problems
- Frequent migraines or headaches
- Frequent urination, incontinence
- Difficulty of erection
- Low blood sugar level
- Exercise intolerance (heart rate does not adjust to changes in activity level)
- Low blood pressure
There are different kinds of dysautonomia including Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or STOP Syndrome (POTS) on which we will do a separate article.
Diagnosis of Dysautonomia
One of the most widely used tests for dysautjomia is the tilt test. During this test, the patient is lying on an examination table that can be raised and lowered at different angles and the clinician measures the blood pressure, oxygen level, and electrical activity of the heart while the table is tilted up and down.
Other tests that can help in diagnosing dysautonomia may be sweat tests, breathing tests, lab tests (blood tests), and a heart checkup (electrocardiography).
What to do for dysautonomia?
There is no specific cure for this disease, but it is possible to manage or work on the different symptoms. In our practice and by combining chiropractic and functional neurology care with the Cerebrostim program (vestibular rehabilitation, oculomotor rehabilitation and especially neuromodulation and photobiomodulation), we have helped many people with different symptoms of dysautonomia and in particular of STOP syndrome.
Some tips can also help at home to manage some symptoms of dysautonomia such as:
- Drink more water every day. Additional fluids maintain your blood volume, which helps your symptoms.
- Adding extra salt (3-5 grams/day) to your diet. Salt helps your body maintain normal fluid volume in your blood vessels, which helps maintain normal blood pressure.
- Sleep with your head up in your bed (about 6 to 10 inches higher than your body).
- Wearing compression stockings
- Certain medications prescribed by your cardiologist may help raise blood pressure
You have a wealth of information and advice that you can find on the website of the association “Dysautonomie Internationale” that you can consult in French
IMPORTANT: The dysautonomia may not be trivial and you must have a consultation and follow-up with a cardiologist, rhythmologist
Long form of Covid 19 and dysautonomia
For several months, I have more and more patients suffering from dysautonomia and STOP among patients who have been infected with Covid-19. I have already talked about the neurological sequelae (including dysautonomia) following a Covid-19 infection in two articles on my blog: one in June 2020 and another in September 2020 . As much care must be taken that the symptoms present in patients with long-form covid are not linked to pathological sequelae of the virus on the heart or lungs; more and more testimonials, articles and case studies in the scientific literature also point to dysautonomia syndromes in patients who have had covid.
A study is also currently underway by Dr Mitchel Miglis from the department of neurology at Stanford University to determine the neurological sequelae, in particular of dysautonomia, in patients with the long form of Covid. You can participate by clicking here: Study in English
Reichgott MJ. Clinical Evidence of Dysautonomia. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 76.
Ghosh R, Roy D, Sengupta S, Benito-León J. Autonomic dysfunction heralding acute motor axonal neuropathy in COVID-19. J Neurovirol. 2020 Sep 11:1–3.
Rubin R. As Their Numbers Grow, COVID-19 “Long Haulers” Stump Experts. JAMA. 2020;324(14):1381–1383.
Eshak N, Abdelnabi M, Ball S, et al. Dysautonomia: An Overlooked Neurological Manifestation in a Critically ill COVID-19 Patient. Am J Med Sci. 2020;360(4):427-429.
Khalil Kanjwal, Sameer Jamal, Asim Kichloo, Blair P. Grubb. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Following Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection, Innovations in Cardiac Rythm Management, October 2020 – Volume 11 Issue 10