Dysautonomia – Autonomic Dysfunction – Management
HOTV has one of the busiest programs for the assessment and long-term management of patients with dysautonomia on the West Coast. Our physicians are skilled in the interpretation of complex histories that become common with dysautonomia, family medical histories, and neurocardiovascular examinations.
Two major focuses involve extensive investigation to uncover an underlying etiology, and management of the wide array of dysautonomia symptoms.
Management of dysautonomia symptoms is through a program that is specifically tailored to each patient. But every program includes the essential elements of lifestyle management which includes;
- Nutrition management (via Kids in Action)
- Hydration management
- Salt therapy
- Sleep/wake cycle management
- Physical therapy (see our network of physical therapist)
- Compression garments
- Counseling on avoidance and rescue
- Biofeedback therapy (see our network of biofeedback therapists)
Management may also include one or more medications. Our program focuses on minimizing medication use and medication safety when multiple medications are to be used. This is through the use of pharmacogenetic testing.
See Education on Dysautonomia for full details.
About Dysautonomia or Autonomic Dysfunction is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms that results from the autonomic nervous system not working quite right.
The consequence is an inappropriate pooling of blood volume (usually to the lower half of the body), inappropriate rapid drops and elevations in blood pressure, and inappropriate distribution of blood flow throughout the various organs of the body (too much to some and too little to others).
The most notable organ affected is the brain and momentary interruptions in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain leads to dizziness or light-headedness, tunnel vision, black-out vision (complete loss of vision), hearing perception changes, and sometimes to loss of consciousness (fainting). These most commonly occur when getting up from lying or sitting and this is known as (orthostatic intolerance).
Other common effects on the brain include foggy thinking, attention deficit, insomnia, mood disturbances and depression.
- Orthostatic Intolerance
(inability to remain upright)
- Syncope (fainting/near fainting)
- Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
- Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
- Chest Discomfort
- Low Blood Pressure
- Gastrointestinal Problems
- Excessive Fatigue
- Exercise Intolerance
- Visual Disturbances
- Shortness of Breath
- Mood Swings
- Noise/light sensitivity
- Frequent Urination
- Temperature Regulation Problems
- Brain fog/forgetfulness
- Inability to concentrate
- Difficulty with recall
- Appetite Disturbance
- Hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation