Treatment of Dysautonomia
Treatment of dysautonomia depends on the type of dysautonomia and the underlying disease. In primary forms of the disorder, treatment is symptomatic and supportive. Some people may be treated with orthostatic hypotension measures (elevating the head of the bed) and a high-salt diet. Other treatments may include drugs such as fludrocortisone and midodrine.
Multiple system atrophy
Multiple system atrophy, or MSA, is a progressive neurological disorder. It usually begins in older adults. Symptoms first appear at about age 55 and get worse with time. It can be fatal in some cases; patients usually live less than ten years after the first signs of the disease.
Symptoms of MSA include prolonged movement, muscle rigidity, tremors, inability to stand upright, and postural instability. In severe cases, patients may experience difficulty controlling eye movements, speech, or balance. It can also be challenging to detect in the early stages. However, an expert can confirm the diagnosis with specific tests.
Multiple system atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting the autonomic nervous system. It results in the progressive death of nerve cells and affects movement. While there are no known treatments for the disorder, it is essential to consult with a doctor if any new symptoms appear or if existing ones worsen.
Genetic dysautonomias are hereditary and reflect a problem during the development of the autonomic nervous system. Familial dysautonomias cause elevated blood phenylalanine levels. A similar mutation causes Menkes disease, while a different one causes Hirschsprung’s disease.
Treatment for multiple system atrophy due to dysautonomia includes lifestyle changes. Increasing your water intake and avoiding sugary and caffeine-based beverages may help reduce symptoms. In severe cases, medications are needed.
Postprandial hypotension and orthostatic hypotension are both physical conditions. They are caused by impaired autonomic control of the heart, and both may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. Orthostatic hypotension occurs when the heart fails to pump blood adequately after sitting or standing for three minutes. It occurs because the heart’s one-way valves fail to properly pump blood back to the dependent parts of the body. Patients with orthostatic hypotension often complain of lightheadedness and discomfort after standing.
Postprandial hypotension is frequent and represents a significant source of morbidity and mortality. After meals, several physiological and neural changes occur, resulting in changes in regional blood pressure. Some of these changes result from releasing pancreatic and gastrointestinal peptides, which may directly or indirectly affect the cardiovascular system. The increased splanchnic blood flow during meals may signify vascular dysfunction.
The OH can increase the risk of falling, leading to physical damage. This condition has also been linked to cardiovascular disease. As the blood pressure rises and falls continuously, postprandial hypotension symptoms often worsen in the morning. In some cases, the symptoms of OH occur within 30 minutes to two hours after eating.
Postprandial hypotension is also a common cause of falls in elderly patients. It is also associated with a higher risk of syncope in patients with autonomic insufficiency. However, the exact mechanism behind postprandial hypotension is not known.
The prevalence of orthostatic intolerance increases with age and is associated with chronic diseases. It is also associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality. Most patients are asymptomatic during normal conditions. However, symptoms may be more pronounced in cases of severe orthostatic intolerance. The disorder primarily affects women between the ages of fifteen and forty and is often accompanied by non-specific symptoms. Treatment usually includes non-pharmacological methods, although medications may be prescribed for severe cases.
In treating orthostatic intolerance syndrome, a range of interventions is used, including increasing intravascular fluid volume, sodium, and water intake and using sympathomimetic amines. A high-salt diet and the administration of corticosteroids may also be helpful. In the long term, administering a1-adrenergic agonists (ACE inhibitors) is sometimes used to compensate for decreased sympathetic activity in the legs. However, this therapy has side effects, including diuretic and hypotensive effects.
The most common orthostatic intolerance symptoms are heart rate abnormalities and a fall in blood pressure. The resulting hypotension and rapid heart rate may cause many other symptoms, including sudden loss of consciousness, falls, and fractures. Although the causes of orthostatic intolerance and dysautonomia are still unclear, several factors may contribute to the development of the condition. Some of these include hyperactive autonomic nerves, hypovolemia, and lower extremity sympathetic denervation.
Orthostatic intolerance and dysautonomia symptoms are not consistent and often change over time. The most common treatment for these conditions focuses on relieving the initial injury. Patients who experience these symptoms may benefit from mindfulness techniques.