What Are Some Strategies for Living With Autonomic Dysfunction?


Quick Answer

Living with autonomic dysfunction requires lifestyle changes to minimize symptoms and target specific causes. Autonomic dysfunction, also called dysautonomia, is a condition in which the body has problems regulating basic bodily functions, such as temperature, breathing, blood pressure and digestion. According to Healthline, the specific causes and symptoms of autonomic dysfunction vary from person to person.

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Full Answer

Healthline lists orthostatic hypertension, the inability to regulate blood pressure, as one of the most common symptoms of autonomic dysfunction. Drinking plenty of water, wearing prescription compression stockings and elevating the head of the bed while sleeping are three ways to minimize the symptoms of blood pressure irregularities. Rising slowly and using walking aids, such as canes or walkers, reduce the risk of falls due to rapid blood pressure changes when rising. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that eating frequent small meals helps control both blood pressure and digestive issues caused by dysautonomia. In some cases, a high-salt diet also improves blood pressure regulation.

The Mayo Clinic maintains that diabetes is a common cause of autonomic dysfunction. In that case, carefully following a diabetes treatment plan that keeps blood sugar close to normal improves symptoms and prevents new symptoms from developing. Eating a diet high in fiber and low in fat particularly reduces digestive symptoms in some patients.

Healthline adds that chronic alcoholism is another cause of dysautonomia. Abstaining from alcohol and eating a healthy diet to improve nutrition help improve symptoms in chronic alcohol abusers.

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