What are the different types of Dysautonomias?

As we have outlined on our other pages, dysautonomia is the name used to describe a number of disorders where the nervous system no longer works the way it should. This means that there are a number of different types of dysautonomia. Each type of dysautonomia differs in terms of the type of symptoms experienced. Before you can begin treatment, or even when you are trying to support someone else with a diagnosis of dysautonomia, it is important to have a good understanding of the type of dysautonomia you are dealing with. As there is such a vast array of different dysautonomias (at least 15), we won’t be able to discuss them all. However, this article will give you a quick rundown of the most common dysautonomias.


Source: theoicenter.com

Over the years others have focused more on behaviors — while you can’t directly control what you feel (you can’t right now make yourself happy) you can learn to control your thoughts — what you say to yourself — and you absolutely can control your behaviors. — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

The most common…. Neurocardiogenic Syncope
Neurocardiogenic syncope can be called NCS for short. The symptom that is most prevalent within NCS is fainting (which is also called syncope). Generally, what happens in the body is that when a person stands up, the blood will naturally flow downwards — heading towards their feet and legs. For most people (those without NCS), the automatic nervous system (the system involved in dysautonomias) will take measures to make sure that the blood will not pool down in the lower parts of your body so there is still a good amount of blood fueling your brain. This is done by tightening the muscles in your veins and adjusting your heart rate. However, because dysautonomias involve problems with the automatic nervous system, this process tends not to work properly for people with NCS and as a result of blood draining away from the brain, they faint. The frequency of fainting can vary between people with NCS and can range from relatively rarely, to so regularly that it makes daily living difficult.

However, the autonomic nervous system tends not to work properly for people with NCS. As a result, the blood is drained away from the brain that causes fainting. The frequency of fainting can vary between people with NCS and can range from relatively rarely to regularly which makes daily living difficult.


Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Source: clinicaladvisor.com

That is a mouthful, right? Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome can be called POTS for short. This is a dysautonomia that is characterized by a number of different symptoms including strange or fast heart rate, problems with breathing, fainting, nausea, stomach problems, chest pain, problems with exercising, problems with temperature and shakiness.

POTS is relatively common in teenagers and more often found in females opposed to males. Generally, POTS does not occur in isolation and is often caused by another medical concern. These can include autoimmune diseases, genetic disorders, infections (such as Hepatitis C), multiple sclerosis, diabetes, problems from poisoning, medications, alcohol use or surgery. It can often be difficult to isolate exactly what causes POTS. There is still significant research being conducted to investigate this.

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

Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy

This type of dysautonomia is quite commonly found in people with a diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy impacts the sections of the heart that helps to manage blood pressure and the level of glucose in the blood. When these processes do not work properly due to problems with the automatic nervous system, you can experience increased heart rate, problems with digestion such as constipation, problems with sexual arousal, breathing, excessive or restrictive sweating and generally more difficulty managing diabetes.


Multiple System Atrophy

Source: verywell.com

Another more well-known type of dysautonomia is multiple system atrophy. This type of dysautonomia is more likely to impact individuals over around 50 years of age. Unfortunately, it can be commonly misrecognized as Parkinson’s disease when it is in its early stages. This makes treatment difficult without an accurate diagnosis.  Multiple system atrophy is characterized when parts of the person’s brain begin to disintegrate (atrophy). The symptoms of this type of dysautonomia can include rigid muscles, poor flexibility, problems with balance, coordination, speech, problems swallowing, difficulty focusing or blurred vision.

For some persons, even the slightest restriction leads to difficulty. Some of us need an aisle seat in a theater rather than one in the middle of the row. — Tom Bunn L.C.S.W.

And the rare… Familial Dysautonomia

Although this is not a common form of dysautonomia, it deserves a mention given the significant impact it can have on sufferers of this disorder. It is one of the least frequent types of dysautonomia but can have the worst outcomes including premature death (with the chance that the person will live to 40 years old being only 50%). This type of dysautonomia can be detected from a young age and is characterized by a number of symptoms including problems with temperature, under-sensitivity to pain, cycles of vomiting, excessive sweating, spinal difficulties, poor growth, kidney problems, issues with the heart, problems with sleep apnea and frequent lung infections to name a few.

We have only mentioned a few of the types of dysautonomia here. But, you can clearly see from those discussed just how detrimental these disorders can be to someone’s life. There is hope for ways to help manage these disorders and treat the symptoms. Head over to our page on treatment {how are dysautonomias treated} for more information on this.

This article was only able to touch on a few of the types of dysautonomia. Therefore, further information on the different types of dysautonomias is needed. Please see the links below.