Autonomic neuropathy is the condition involving autonomic nerves. The autonomic nervous system controls the involuntary functions. These functions are very much essential for life and thus any problem in this system requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms experienced by the patient with autonomic neuropathy include abnormal blood pressure, poor temperature regulation, dizziness, and poor bladder control. The condition is caused due to various disease, the most common being diabetes. Various ways are available to prevent or delay the occurrence of autonomic neuropathy.
What Are The Ways To Prevent Autonomic Neuropathy?
Autonomic neuropathy is caused due to various diseases. Although the occurrence of disease cannot be completely prevented, their development and progression may either be prevented or delayed through various measures. Following are some of the measures that can help to reduce the risk of autonomic neuropathy:
Maintaining The Blood Sugar Within The Desired Level: High blood sugar level is considered as the most common reason for autonomic neuropathy. The diabetic patient should strictly follow the prescription of the doctor to keep the sugar level under control.
Stop Drinking Alcohol: It has been found through studies that alcohol harms autonomic and peripheral nerves3.
Exercise: Exercise increases blood circulation and improves the health of autonomic nerves. It also helps in maintaining cardiac health.
Avoid Smoking: Smoking has shown to increase blood pressure and heart rate. Increased cardiovascular risk in smokers impacts autonomic nerve health.
Manage Blood Pressure: The patient should maintain his blood pressure as increased blood pressure negatively affects nerve health. If the patient has a family history of blood pressure, he should follow all the possible management tips to prevent the development of this condition. For this, the person should drink the optimum quantity of fluid, exercise regularly and avoid stress2.
Get Your Autoimmune Disease Treated: Autoimmune disease may also lead to autonomic neuropathy. The patient should keep the immune system under control by taking the prescribed medications.
Maintain A Healthy Weight: Studies indicates that in an otherwise healthy obese person, autonomic neuropathy may be present4. Further, obesity also increases cardiovascular risk.
Recurrence Of Autonomic Neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy has been divided into three categories based on sensory and motor dysfunction. These are pure autonomic neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy with sensory and motor impairment, and autonomic neuropathy with sensory impairment5. In a case of recurrence of autonomic neuropathy, the patient suffers from gastroenteritis and experiences the symptoms such as weakness and numbness in lower extremities. The patient also has a loss of consciousness, hyperhidrosis, and diarrhea.
These symptoms were immediately resolved but later recurred. The symptoms occurred due to degeneration in autonomic and sensory nerves. The patient was found to have an autoimmune disease. Infections have provoked the autoimmune disease which resulted in impairment of autonomic nerves.
The autonomic nervous system is that part of the nervous system that controls the activity of those organs which are performing the involuntary functions. These organs include blood pressure, digestion, sweating, temperature control, sexual function and bladder control. Any damage to this nervous system results in the condition known as autonomic neuropathy. Autonomic neuropathy results in abnormal control over the involuntary organs as the transmission of information between the brain and these organs get disturbed. This is due to damage to the nerves that innervate these organs. Although the most common reason for such condition is diabetes1, other disorders also lead to autonomic neuropathy. The severity of symptoms largely depends upon the extent of damage to these nerves. Symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include dizziness, poor bladder control, sexual dysfunction, digestion problems, poor temperature control, and exercise intolerance.
Causes of autonomic neuropathy include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, infection, and autoimmune diseases. The condition can be provoked by smoking and drinking alcohol. Thus, to prevent the occurrence of autonomic neuropathy, blood sugar level should be controlled and blood pressure should be regulated. Exercise and weight management also help in preventing autonomic neuropathy.
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