Autonomic neuropathy is a condition that develops due to the damage of the nerves. These nerves regulate the functions of the organ and organ systems. It is characterized by disturbance of signals between the autonomic nervous system and brain. It alters blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, bowel movements, digestion and emptying of the bladder. It is caused by damage to the nerves lead by certain diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, lupus, etc. Its symptoms include dizziness, nausea, bowel movements, bladder movements, etc. It can be managed with medicines and lifestyle modifications. If underlying diseases are managed well, this condition can be regulated.
How Do You Stop Autonomic Neuropathy From Spreading?
Autonomic neuropathy is a bunch of symptoms that appear when nerves controlling the involuntary functions of our body are damaged. It may happen due to other conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc. In this condition, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is affected. It may affect one organ or more than one organ. It can affect a single part of ANS or complete ANS. (1)
There is no cure for autonomic neuropathy. Its effects on the body may range from mild to severe. The nerve damages that happened in this condition cannot be reversed. But, certain measures can be followed to prevent the spread of Autonomic neuropathy to vital parts such as heart, liver, etc. These measures are following-
Quit Smoking– to control the progress of autonomic neuropathy, one should stop smoking as it has bad effects on the overall health and also affects the action of medicines. Certain treatment options can help you to quit smoking. (2)
Avoid Alcohol– Alcohol is a stimulant that may relax you for time being. But, it has bad effects on the liver. It should be avoided to prevent further damage to the liver. A counselor may help you with this. (2)
Maintain Blood Pressure- blood pressure should be maintained to the normal levels. High salt food and high fluid intake are recommended for serious patients who have low blood pressure. But, it may cause a sudden increase in blood pressure or swelling in the feet. A high salt diet is not at all recommended for patients with heart failure. (3)
Control Of Sugar- if diabetes is the triggering cause of autonomic neuropathy, then good management of glucose can treat Autonomic neuropathy. Avoidance of high sugar food is suggested for diabetics. High fibrous food help to control blood sugar levels at normal levels. A healthy diet with lots of vegetables, plant proteins are considered good for diabetics. Regular physical activities and monitoring of sugar levels can help to prevent autonomic neuropathy or delay a new set of problems. (4)
Regular Exercises- regular exercises can help to maintain a healthy weight and manage some health problems. (2)
Dietary Changes- high fiber diet with high fluid intake can help in improving digestion if you have gastrointestinal problems. Optimal fluid intake also improves bladder ailments mediated by Autonomic neuropathy. (2) Low-fat food with low levels of lactose and gluten helps in delaying the progress of autonomic neuropathy.
Fluid Intake- high fluid intake is recommended to prevent high blood pressure. (2)
The risk factors for Autonomic neuropathy include-
- Old age
- High cholesterol levels
- Parkinson’s disease
If a person has diseases or conditions such as lupus, sclerosis, diabetes, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, amyloidosis then he is more likely to develop Autonomic neuropathy. If nerve injury is caused by a bruise, burn, and cut, there is also a risk of developing autonomic neuropathy.
Autonomic neuropathy can be prevented if underlying causes are managed properly or risk factors are prevented. Dietary changes, regular exercises, proper fluid intake, control of blood pressure and diabetes, avoidance of smoking and alcohol may help in the prevention of progression of Autonomic neuropathy.
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