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Dysautonomia symptoms & treatment

red question mark bubble and green text dysautonomia quiz by dr. hugh wegwerth

Understanding Dysautonomia

I have personally helped hundreds of people with dysautonomia. Many people go from doctor to doctor trying to find what is causing their neurological problems and end up being given anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications to no avail.

model of brain showing where dysautonomia occurs

So what is dysautonomia?

According to the organization, Dysautonomia International, dysautonomia describes several medical conditions causing a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. This part of the nervous system is what controls the body functions our bodies do without us thinking about it. This can include heart rate, blood pressure, pupils, kidney function, etc.

Because this condition affects your brain’s ability to automatically perform tasks, you might see symptoms from any organ or system that you do not consciously need to regulate. The problem is in your brain but shows symptoms in your organs and systems, including your:

  • Heart

  • Blood vessels

  • Kidneys

  • Spleen

  • Skin

  • Stomach

  • Bladder

  • Pancreas

  • Lungs

  • Gallbladder

  • Small and/or large intestines

  • Eyes

  • Immune system

Since the symptoms are caused by neurological issues but expressed in other symptoms, it can be extremely difficult to diagnose dysautonomia as the cause.


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You DON'T want FAST

pie chart with 75% stop and 25% go on dysautonomia

Symptoms of Dysautonomia

While there are many possible symptoms of dysautonomia, the most common symptoms include:

dysautonomia symptoms and treatment by dr hugh wegwerth

Dysautonomia, the Midbrain, and the Cerebellum

The central portion of the brain, aptly called the midbrain, is what controls these automatic regulations. If it is not functioning properly, you will likely be experiencing neurological issues that you (and likely your doctors) do not understand.

Similar to the midbrain, the cerebellum is directly connected to your body through the spinal cord. The cerebellum alone has more neurons than the rest of your entire brain combined and acts as a sort of “gatekeeper” between the brain and the body. It regulates the signals and information being passed both ways.

The cerebellum is directly connected to the rest of the body through the spinal cord and nerves. If there is something wrong with the cerebellum, it will have immediate effects on the rest of the body.

This takes the form of problems caused within your parasympathetic and sympathetic nerve systems. The former controls functions related to relaxation and digestion, while the latter is related to your “fight or flight” responses. Dysautonomia often causes problems by activating your sympathetic systems.

What Causes Dysautonomia?

I can confidently say that 100% of the clients I work with have some level of dysautonomia. The causes can be minor or major, including:

Examples of Dysautonomia

While there are many ways these causes may present themselves, here is a simple example of how dysautonomia might be affecting your body.

Let’s say your stomach is not using enough acid to break down food. This keeps the food in your system longer, which allows it to ferment. This fermentation brings with it higher bacteria growth than is necessary. That higher level of bacteria results in more protein being passed into the blood, which can create major inflammation problems throughout the entire body.

Your nervous system is an “all or nothing” system. That means it either is firing completely, or not at all. Dysautonomia lowers your threshold for your nerves to fire, meaning that less stimuli is needed for your brain to act. An example of this might be light or noise sensitivity.

Things to get checked out

how to tell if i have dysautonomia by dr hugh wegwerth

What Can You Do?

The first thing to do is get tested and look for the root causes listed above. Finding out what problems are going on in your body will give you a clear idea of how to approach your treatment.

Finding out you suffer from chronic low blood pressure, or subclinical anemia will help you treat your individual problems and allow your body to function properly.

Not all situations require testing. For example, if you consistently suffer from bloating, diarrhea, or other digestive problems then you can likely ascribe your dysautonomia to a GI issue without testing.

You can look for resources on my website or schedule a call with me, and we can discuss what issues you are experiencing. Together we can come up with a treatment plan that can help you on the way to health.

Research citations for further reading


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