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What Is Dysautonomia? Explaining Why Is It Important

Published: October 6th, 2020
October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month. This becomes increasingly important as we are now seeing individuals with dysautonomia after COVID-19. But what is dysautonomia? Why haven’t I heard of it before? And is it common or rare?
Dysautonomia is a general term used to describe a group of conditions that cause malfunctioning of a part of the nervous system called the Autonomic Nervous System. This the subconscious or “automatic” part of our nervous system that controls organ functions, digestion, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature control to list a few.
Though common, it is an often-overlooked diagnosis in the health care system. Over 70 million worldwide have this condition and up to 3 million in the U.S. In my clinic, I see several cases of this every month, yet it is largely overlooked and under-diagnosed. This is due to its varied and amorphous presentation. Sometimes people just have problems maintaining their temperature. At others, they have heart racing and palpitations and at other, it presents as lightheaded episodes of near passing out. For a few parts of their GI tract shut down, including the gallbladder, stomach, and even the small intestines.
Where it gets even more interesting is that we are now seeing cases of this after COVID-19.
Our course Building Resilience: Preventing and Overcoming Chronic Illness in a Post-COVID World launches tomorrow: https://richmondfunctionalmedicine.com/resilience-course
If you’d like to learn more about this condition, please visit the Dysautonomia International website below.