What is Dysautonomia?

The automatic nervous system (ANS) controls & regulates automatic bodily functions & is not consciously controlled.

Dysautonomia is a condition in which there is dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and is sometimes referred to as:

  • Autonomic Dysfunction
  • Autonomic Failure
  • Autonomic Neuropathy

Bodily functions controlled and regulated by the ANS include:

  • heart rate
  • the digestive tract
  • dilation and constriction of the pupil
  • urinary and bowel functions
  • temperature regulation
  • the endocrine system
  • the reproductive system
  • the metabolic system

Dysautonomia is associated with a number of disorders & syndromes. These disorders may affect some of the automatic bodily functions listed above. Associated disorders include:

  • Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS)
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse Dysautonomia
  • Multiple System Atrophy (Shy-Drager Syndrome)
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Pure Autonomic Failure (PAF)
  • Diabetes Mellitus

These disorders fall into one of two categories; Primary and Secondary Dysautonomia.

Primary Dysautonomia
- these include Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) & Multiple System Atrophy (Shy-Drager Syndrome)
Secondary Dysautonomia
- also known as Acquired Disorders an example being Diabetes Mellitus.