Autonomic Neuropathy is a group of symptoms which occur when the nerves that manage the day to day functioning of the body are damaged. These functions involve digestion, sweating, blood pressure, bladder and bowel emptying, and heart rate. Such nerve damage troubles the signal processing between the brain and the nervous system. It is also known as Automatic Nerve Disease.
Autonomic Neuropathy is commonly associated with other diseases and medical conditions. Symptoms of the disease may vary depending on the cause of neuropathy and location of the nerve damage.
As the condition is associated with a group of symptoms, it is not a peculiar disease. There are many causes which can lead to Autonomic Neuropathy. It can also be an adverse effect of treatment made for other diseases like cancer.
Some common causes that might lead to injury of the autonomic nerves are:
People with a higher risk of the disease include:
Factors that may lead to higher risk of the disease include:
Symptoms and indications of Autonomic Neuropathy may vary as they depend on the affected nerves. The symptoms may include:
Medical care must be sought immediately if a person experiences any of these indications or symptoms especially if that person has poorly controlled diabetes.
The tests needed to diagnose Autonomic Neuropathy usually depend on the risk factors and symptoms of the disease.
Indications of autonomic damage to the nerves are not always seen at the time of examination by a doctor. The heart rate and blood pressure of the patient might change while sitting, standing or lying down.
Special tests that measure heart rate and sweating might be done. This process is called autonomic testing. Other types of tests may depend upon the symptoms experienced by the patients.
Autonomic Neuropathy treatments target the underlying condition that has caused nerve injury and the damaged nerves. Separate treatments are available for the disease depending on the symptoms experienced by the patients.
- Scheduling the drinking pattern and urinating for retraining the bladder
- Taking prescription medicines for the overactive bladder
- Taking prescription medicines for emptying the bladder
- Inserting a catheter through urethra for draining the bladder
- A high fluid and high sodium diet for sustaining blood pressure
- Beta blockers that regulate the heart rate
- Prescription medicines to increase the blood pressure in order to combat faintness
- Prescription medicines for reducing dizziness while standing or rising
- Sleeping with the elevated head for reducing dizziness
- Taking laxatives for the problem of constipation
- Consuming small and frequent meals
- Taking prescription medicines that aid digestion
- Taking tricyclic antidepressants for loose stools or stomach pain
- Increasing the fluid and fiber intake
- Taking prescription medicines for reduction of excess sweating.
- Using lubricants to combat vaginal dryness
- Taking medicines for bringing an erection
- Using vacuum pump for forcing blood in the penis that may cause an erection.