Is Autonomic Neuropathy A Serious Condition & Can It Be Reversed?

Autonomic neuropathy refers to a condition in which the nerves that regulate the involuntary body functions like temperature control, blood pressure, digestion, bladder control, sexual function, etc. are damaged. The damage to the nerves may lead to abnormal or improper signals being sent between your brain and your organs. This condition affects the autonomic nervous system. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of autonomic neuropathy.(1)

Is Autonomic Neuropathy A Serious Condition?

Autonomic neuropathy is caused due to damage to the nerves that control the involuntary functions in your body. if this damage is not checked and controlled on time, it can lead to severe dysfunction of various involuntary functions. There may be sudden death too, due to dangerous arrhythmias or ischemia setting in as heart muscles get affected. Autonomic neuropathy may turn to be serious at times.

Can Autonomic Neuropathy Be Reversed?

The damage caused to the nerves due to neuropathy cannot be reversed. This is because the damaged nerves in your body do not know how to repair themselves. Though the neuropathy or the damage to the nerves cannot be repaired or reversed, there are many ways by which you can manage the condition.(2) The treatment of autonomic neuropathy may comprise of-

Treatment Of The Underlying Disease-

  • The focus of the treatment in autonomic neuropathy is to tackle the disease or condition that causes damage to the nerves.
  • For instance, we can say that, if the cause of autonomic neuropathy is diabetes, then the treatment would be properly controlling the blood glucose levels. This will ensure that the autonomic neuropathy does not progress further and cause any more damage.
  • However, that said, in fifty percent of the cases, no cause for autonomic neuropathy is detected.

Treating Symptoms-

  • Some treatments may be able to relieve or manage the symptoms of autonomic neuropathy.
  • The course of treatment will depend upon which part of the body is the most affected by nerve damage.

For Digestive Or Gastrointestinal Symptoms-

The doctor may ask you to-

  • Make changes to your diet
  • Take medicines that will help in emptying your stomach
  • Take medicines to relieve constipation
  • Take medicines to relieve loose motions

For Urinary Symptoms You May Need To-

  • Restrain your bladder
  • Take medicines to help evacuate the bladder
  • Take urinary assistance or go for catheterization
  • Take medicines to act on an overactive bladder

For Sexual Function Symptoms-

In men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction, you may take-

  • Medications that will enable an erection
  • External vacuum pump to maintain a blood supply to the penis to hold an erection

For Women Who Are Experiencing Problems With Sexual Function, You May Take-

  • Vaginal lubrication so that the dryness in the vagina can be tackled and the sexual intercourse would be comfortable and enjoyable
  • Flibanserin to increase sexual desire, especially in premenopausal women

For Blood Pressure And Heart Rhythm, Symptoms You May Need To Take-

  • medicines that may elevate your blood pressure
  • medicines that may regulate your heart rate
  • a diet that is high in salt and high in fluids

For Symptoms Related To Sweating-

if you sweat too much, you may need to-

  • take medicines that decrease or reduce sweating or perspiration
  • undergo a surgery that will sever the nerves in the sweat glands

Conclusion

Autonomic neuropathy is a condition that affects the autonomic nervous system. can progress and cause extensive damage to the nerves all through the body. It can cause several life-threatening conditions and can even cause sudden death, for example, due to serious arrhythmias or ischemia of the heart. It is essential to start the treatment promptly to prevent any further damage to the nerves. Autonomic neuropathy cannot be reversed. However, the symptoms can be controlled and the condition can be managed with proper treatment planning

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