Hi, ever since I was 6 years old I seem to have various symptoms of a condition that I was once diagnosed with but my parents don’t seem to remember the name. At the age of six it started off as me just passing out out of nowhere and everyone would assume it was just the heat form the Florida weather, because it would always happen in the summer. Eventually after years and years of tests, I got told at around the age of 13 that I had a condition in where my parasympathetic nerve and my sympathetic work as if they were inversed. They stated that it also had to do with my blood pressure in where one was supposed to lower it if it was high and the other raise it if it was low, but they would act in reverse. Since they would act in reverse, it would happen so fast in my system that I would pass out. At the time I also remember that they said that people with my condition also love salt and it’s because the body craves it because of the condition. That we seem to like salty things over all and that Gatorade helps. When the doctor told me mom the diagnosis, he wrote it down on a business card for her, which she eventually lost (hence my reason for this post). I also recall they said my body would go through changes and that by 21 it would have regulated itself. Years have passed and I am about to be 24 and the conditions still persist. Not only does it still exist, but over the years it has escalated to me hyperventilating, tingling of fingers, lips, feet, feeling blood rushing down my face, to where I have just fallen to the floor because I passed out. I can be walking, writing, doing anything non exertive or strenuous in any way and it just happens; although there have been times when it happens as I am having intercourse as well. I recently had an attack at work, and everyone freaked out and I didn’t know how to explain it since I don’t remember the name. Can anyone please help me? I do recall that the person who did diagnose me was a cardiologist. I also suffer form a very mild mitral valve prolapsed, so I don’t know if that also has to do with it.
Diagnosis: Dysautonomia (autonomic dysfunction). The autonomic nervous system loses balance and at various times the parasympathetic or sympathetic systems inappropriately predominate.
Dysautonomia is a broad term that describes any disease or malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This includes postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST), vasovagal syncope, mitral valve prolapse dysautonomia, pure autonomic failure, neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS), neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), autonomic instability and a number of lesser-known disorders such as cerebral salt-wasting syndrome.
The primary symptoms that present in patients with dysautonomia are:
Excessive thirst (polydipsia)
Lightheadedness, dizziness or vertigo
Feelings of anxiety or panic (not mentally induced)
Rapid heart rate or slow heart rate
Orthostatic hypotension, sometimes resulting in syncope (fainting)
Other symptoms frequently associated with dysautonomia include: headaches, pallor, malaise, facial flushing, salt cravings, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, acid reflux, visual disturbances, orthostatic hypotension, numbness, nerve pain, trouble breathing, chest pains, in some cases loss of consciousness and seizures.
Regular physical activity helps to stabilize the autonomic nervous system, and in the long run makes "relapses" of symptoms more rare and of shorter duration. Measures to combat orthostatic hypotension include frequent small meals, maintaining proper fluid intake, a high salt diet, and drugs such as fludrocortisone, midodrine, and ephedrine. There is no way of predicting whether symptoms of dysautonomia will resolve over time or continue indefinitely.
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