This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


What Diseases Affect The Autonomic Nervous System?

Autonomic neuropathy is one of the diseases or disorders related to the autonomic nervous system in humans. In simple words, autonomic neuropathy implies a group of certain conditions caused primarily because of damage to the nerves. Because of this, it results in various other symptoms, like night sweats, dizziness, and constipation.

Moreover, the nerves involved in the disorder belong to the patients’ autonomic nervous system and control various body functions, such as-

  • Blood pressure
  • Body temperature
  • Digestion
  • Heart rate
  • Urination
  • Bladder and bowel movements

In general, when damages take place to the nerves belonging to the autonomic nervous system, they affect the signals between your body organs and your brain.(1)

What Diseases Affect The Autonomic Nervous System?

Until now, doctors have found many underlying conditions and diseases, which often result in autonomic nervous system disorder or autonomic neuropathy. Accordingly, we have categorized the diseases into two different categories, as discussed here.

Primary Causes Of Autonomic Nervous System

  • Riley-Day syndrome also known as familial dysautonomia
  • Progressive type of autonomic failure, also as idiopathic orthostatic hypotension
  • Shy-Drager syndrome i.e. the atrophy of multiple systems combined with autonomic failure
  • Combination of autonomic failure with the syndrome of Parkinson’s disease

Secondary Causes Of Autonomic Nervous System

  • Abnormal build-up of protein i.e. Amyloidosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barre syndrome, along with other types of autoimmune neuropathies Deconditioning i.e. reduction in body functions because of illness or inactivity
  • Injury in the brain and/or spinal cord
  • Carcinomatous autonomic neuropathy, about which doctors refer as lungs cancer in the small cells
  • Pre-diabetes and diabetes condition
  • HIV i.e. human immunodeficiency virus
  • Certain nutritional deficiencies, especially the deficiencies of Vitamins B i.e. Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12
  • Viral problems, pregnancy, surgery, and physical trauma
  • Paraneoplastic diseases or syndromes i.e. disorders caused because of any immune response to a particular type of cancer
  • An enzyme disorder of porphyria, which results in a wide range of nerve and skin disorders
  • The chemical reaction from any heavy metal and acrylamide(2)

Symptoms Of Autonomic Neuropathy

Symptoms in case of autonomic neuropathy patients depend on the affected or damaged nerves and involvement of the respective organs. These include-

  • Digestive Symptoms
  • Constipation i.e. hard bowel movements
  • Diarrhea i.e. loose bowel movements
  • Bloating, feeling full or less hungry even only after two or three bites of food
  • Throwing upward the digested food
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty in swallowing of food
  • Blood Vessel And Heart Symptoms
  • Fainting or dizziness while standing up
  • Relatively faster heart rate, particularly at the time of doing physical exercise
  • Urinary Symptoms
  • Difficulty in starting to pee or lacking control on peeing
  • Experiencing a hard time while emptying the bladder
  • Frequent urinary tract infections

Sweating Or Body Temperature Related Symptoms

  • Sweating excessively or very less
  • Sweating while having food
  • Night sweats
  • Sex-Related Symptoms
  • Low sexual drive for both men and women
  • Problems related to orgasm
  • Drying of the vagina in women
  • Difficulty in getting an erection in men
  • Vision Symptom, in which a person faces difficulty in adjusting between a dark and a bright room(1)


To conclude, we should say that autonomic neuropathy and disorder related to the autonomous nervous system may take place because of many other diseases. Hence, cure, in this case, lies mainly in the treatment of the individual condition.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2019

Recent Posts

Related Posts