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Dysautonomia --Can Natural
Remedies Help?
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May 3, 2015
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors, Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other
members of our Editorial Board.]




You may not have heard of dysautonomia but it’s not rare.
Globally over 70 million people suffer from various forms of
dysautonomia, according to Dysautonomia International, and
one million people in the US have a primary autonomic system
disorder (National Dysautonomia Research Foundation).

What exactly is dysautonomia? Imagine if the automatic
functions of the body like heart rate, blood pressure,
temperature control and digestion start to fail. This is the
problem at the core of dysautonomia, a set of different medical
conditions that affect your autonomic nervous system.
Dysautonomia results in
fainting, heart rate problems, and
more. What causes dysautonomia? Is there a cure for
dysautonomia?

What is Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia is not strictly a condition. Rather, the term
covers a variety of different illnesses that all affect how your
autonomic nervous system works.

Your autonomic nervous system controls the functions of the
body that we do not have to think about. You never have to
think about making your blood pressure work or the pupils of
your eye dilate, for example.

Your autonomic nervous system control functions such as your
blood pressure, digestion, heart rate, the dilation of the pupils,
perspiration, and kidney function.

If you suffer from a form of dysautonomia you have trouble
regulating these systems.

Various forms of dysautonomia cause different symptoms
including fainting, impotence, unstable blood pressure,
malnutrition, and abnormal heart rate. Dysautonomia can be
fatal.

Different Forms of Dysautonomia

Dysautonomia may occur as  a secondary condition of another
primary disease such as
diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,
Parkinson’s, MS or Sjogren's syndrome.  Or, dysatonomia can
be the primary disorder.


For example, Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS) is the most
common form of dysautonomia. The main symptom of this
condition is fainting, and sufferers may have only one or two
incidences during their lifetime or alternatively could be fainting
every day.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) impacts 1
in 100 teenagers and also affects adults.
POTS causes fainting,
tachycardia, chest pains, lightheadedness,
shortness of breath,
intolerance to exercise, shaking, temperature sensitivity and
more.

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a fatal type of dysautonomia
that has similarities to Parkinson’s disease. Sufferers usually
become bedridden within two years of a diagnosis and die
within 10 years.

What are the Causes of Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia is not one disease. Consequently there is a wide
variety of underlying causes that can result in autonomic
nervous system dysfunction.

Here is the list of possible causes:

Amyloidosis ( a group of rare disorders caused by the buildup
of protein in tissues in the body),

antiphospholipid syndrome (an autoimmune blood clotting
disorder),

Celiac disease,

Chiari malformation (a brain condition),

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis,

de-conditioning (a physical change in the way the body works
due to a decrease in activity),

delta storage pool deficiency ( a clotting disease resulting in
severe bleeding),

diabetes,

Ehlers-danlos syndrome (a hereditary connective tissue
disorder),

mastocytosis,

mitchochondrial diseases,

Sarcoidosis,

Sjogren's syndrome, toxicity, physical trauma, pregnancy, and
vitamin deficiencies.

Needless to say, this is quite a long list of potential causes,
which underscores the difficulty both in getting a proper
diagnosis of dysautonomia and in getting a good treatment.

There is no cure for dysautonomia but depending on the
underlying cause or the associated disease, dysautonomia can
often be managed and treated so sufferers lead a more normal
life.

We looked at recent scientific research and found the following
7 tips for people living with a dysautonomia condition:




























1.
Stay Upright --Don't Take to Your Bed Too Long

De-conditioning is a physical change to how the body works
due to a decrease in activity, mainly as a result of bed rest.

Bed rest may be intentional – following surgery, for example,
or in pregnancy, or unintentional due to a viral illness.

One of the worst consequences of bed rest is that it bring
about de-conditioning, which in turn can cause  dysautonomia.

This is why, if you for any reason are confined to bed rest, it
should be handled carefully to prevent autonomic problems.

The human body is meant for motion. Staying still for too long
simply causes confusion and lack of coordination among many
systems of your body, all of which depend on movement and
muscles to help them long.

A 2012 study by Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute, at
the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine shows
that prolonged bed rest over five weeks contributes to
dysautonomia conditions.

On the other hand, short-term bed rest of 24 hours does not
cause problems.

However, it's always a good idea in terms of your general
health to stay active. You needn't lie flat on your back in bed to
be considered sedentary. Staying still, being sedentary also
invites problems with your autonomic nervous system. (Read
more about
10 simple ways to become more active.)

2.
Yet Another Reason to Control Diabetes ---It Could Prevent
Dysautonomia

One of the most identifiable causes of dysautonomia
symptoms, according to Dysautonomia International, is
diabetes.

The risk of dysautonomia symptoms increases with your age
and duration of diabetes but anyone can suffer from these
conditions.  For example, a 2013 study from Starship
Children's Hospital, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland,
New Zealand documented the case of postural orthostatic
tachycardia syndrome (POTS) in a child with type 1 diabetes.

Effective control of blood sugar can minimize the risk of
suffering from the neurological symptoms of diabetes-induced
dysautonomia. And even if you already have dysautonomia,
maintaining healthy blood sugar  levels helps you to manage
your condition.

3.
Treat Celiac Disease, an Underlying Cause of Dysautonomia

Up to 10 percent of people with Celiac disease suffer from a
neurological disorder such as a dysautonomia condition,
according to Dysautonomia International.  

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the small
intestine and occurs when a sufferer eats gluten.

Fatigue and digestive disorders are symptoms of Celiac disease,
which can cause dysautonomia.

A 2007 study from the University Federico II, Naples, Italy
found that taking 2 grams of L-carnitine a day helps resolve
symptoms of fatigue in this condition.


4.
Natural Remedies for Dysautonomia Caused by Crohn's
Disease

Crohn's disease often causes autonomic symptoms and
dysautonomia conditions. Research shows up to 50 percent of
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis sufferers have these
complications, and a 1991 study from the University of Lund,
Sweden demonstrates that autonomic nerve dysfunction is a
significant feature of Crohn's disease.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition.  Remedies
to treat Crohn’s disease include the avoidance of foods that
cause inflammation and an allergic response. In addition,
certain supplements and foods may help such as boswellia,
glutamine, plaintains and probiotics. (Read more about
natural
remedies for Crohn's disease.)

5.
Can You Treat Sarcoidosis to Avoid Dysautonomia?

A 2010 study from the Maastricht University Medical Centre,
The Netherlands shows that autonomic symptoms are often
present with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disorder. Sarcoidosis
occurs when the immune system produces too much
inflammation, which results in a build-up of immune cells in the
eyes, lungs, and liver. When sarcoidosis also impacts the
nervous system, it causes symptoms of dysautonomia.

Fortunately, there is good news. According to Dysautonomia
International, 60 to 70 percent of sarcoidosis patients go into
remission without treatment. In rare cases, sarcoidosis can be
fatal.

6.
Remedies for Dysautonomia Caused by Sjogren's Syndrome

Up to half of people with Sjogren’s syndrome experience
symptoms of dysautonomia.  

A 2012 study from Newcastle University in the UK
demonstrates that autonomic dysfunction symptoms are
commonly experienced by Sjogren’s syndrome patients.
Sjogren’s syndrome is a common autoimmune disease in the
US and causes
dry eyes, dry mouth, joint pain, and fatigue.

Natural remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome include N-acetyl
cysteine, aloe vera, citrus bioflavonoids, dandelion, Echinacea,
fish oil, flaxseed oil, garlic, and vitamin supplementation. (Read
more about
natural remedies for Sjogren's disease.)

7.  
Vitamin B-12 May Help Dysautonomia

Vitamin deficiency, particularly deficiency in vitamin B12, is
associated with dysautonomia. Vitamin deficiency may also be
caused by problems with digestion, which can also affect the
risk of developing dysautonomia symptoms.

Vitamin deficiencies can be corrected with an amended diet, or
supplementation.  Foods rich in Vitamin B-12 include organ
meats (especially liver), egg yolk, and almonds. For vegans, try
nooch, a nutritional yeast which contains Vitamin B-12.


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Becoming more active and eating foods rich in Vitamin B 12 such as egg yolks
can help in many cases
of dysautonomia.