Treatment and Management of Dysautonomia

Our most basic way of regulating emotion is approach/withdrawal. — Tom Bunn L.C.S.W.

Dysautonomia, as you may already know, is just a general term used to describe several medical conditions that affect the Autonomic Nervous System. ANS is that part of our body that controls the automatic functions or the functions which we are not conscious about. These body functions include digestion, heart rate, respiration, pupil of the eye, and temperature regulation. People with Dysautonomia have problems with these functions.

 

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Since Dysautonomia involves different medical disorders, the treatment and management require multiple approaches. It is a combination of pharmacological and medical modalities, physical therapy, long-term illness counseling, and caregiving.  This treatment is divided into two – the pharmacological and non-pharmacological approach.

Transforming one’s thoughts will ultimately result in positive actions and behaviors in difficult moments. — Greta Gleissner LCSW

Consult a Physician

Finding a good physician who has in-depth knowledge of the nature of your condition is also important. It’s necessary for the patient to consult a specialist physician regarding their specific type of dysautonomia so that proper treatment can be recommended. The treatment for these patients usually takes time to work since it’s done through a trial and error approach. Whatever will work for the patient best is the approach to consider.

Physical Therapy

Regular physical activities or exercises that the patient can tolerate will improve the stability of the autonomic nervous system (ANS).  When the ANS stabilizes, the possibility of symptom relapse is lesser and the duration of the symptoms also shortens. That is why physiological and physical adaptation to the treatments and therapy are needed. A commitment to a healthier lifestyle is a must, as well.

Nutrition and Diet

The whole treatment and management of this condition involve nutrition or dietary adjustments. An adjustment in the fluid intake must also be observed. The inclusion of sodium, as prescribed by the physician, is also needed in the fluid maintenance of the body. Some dietary restrictions will be strictly followed. Caffeine and high sugary foods are restricted or to most, not well tolerated.

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Awareness is the front door to change, and by being aware of your reactions, you now can begin to change them — both the thoughts and the behaviors. — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

Pharmacological Approach

Drug therapies to control or lessen the symptoms are also being utilized. Some of the drugs used for treatment involves the following:

  • anti-low blood pressure drugs
  • anti-anxiety drugs
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory,
  • antidepressant drugs

The goal of the treatment is to control the symptoms of the disorder. Sometimes, a physician will conduct a “trial and error” approach in treating your symptoms to a tolerable level. The physical therapy that the patient undergoes will help strengthen their body. Mind conditioning is also important during the course of their therapy. Since it may be a chronic management type of illness, these therapies will require a lot of determination and motivation for the patient’s road to recovery.

Prognosis

With proper medical management, healthy lifestyle, and adherence to physical therapy, a majority of those with Dysautonomia will see significant improvement, especially with patients in the secondary form of the condition. Patients also need to remember that their condition will improve, as time goes by.

There are now funded international research studies being conducted for the development of better treatments on this condition. Hopefully, someday, scientists will find a cure.

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