Autonomic neuropathy is a known common problem, which arises as a complication of diabetes mellitus. This health problem displays various symptoms as a result of nerve damage causing a problem in performing day to day activities. Some of the body functions that are affected by autonomic neuropathy include; heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, sweating (for maintaining body temperature), bladder functioning and so on.
What Is The Prognosis For Autonomic Neuropathy?
When the damaged caused to the nerve is very severe, then this leads to many risky complications in the later stage. Hence, the timely prognosis of autonomic neuropathy is very essential for preventing these complications. It is often observed that for theoretical reasons doctors may not find the symptoms very relevant. However, the complications associated with other severe diseases like diabetes help in establishing relevance for the doctors to identify the problem.
Doctors also identify the share with the patients the anticipated side effects of anesthesia and other medication. Some of the common side effects include dizziness, diarrhea or at times even death of the patient. Hence, it is the responsibility of doctors to conclude the prognosis and make patients aware of all the possible outcomes of the problem and also the best possible treatment approach. (1)
There are various health conditions that can lead to autonomic neuropathy. In addition, there are some treatments that can also cause this nerve damage. Some of the common causes of autonomic neuropathy are as follows:
- Amyloidosis is a condition in which the abnormal protein starts building up in the organs, which in turn affects the organs and also the nervous system.
- Autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system of the body starts attacking and destroying the different body parts, which also includes the nerves.
- Further, the immune system of the patients suffering from cancer also abnormally attacks different body organs causing autonomic neuropathy.
- Strong chemicals used in chemotherapy are one of the most common causes for this type of nerve damage.
- Diabetes is also a prominent cause as poorly controlled glucose levels slowly cause damage throughout the body.
- This is an inherited disorder i.e. it is passed from one generation to another.
Symptoms Of Autonomic Neuropathy
The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy vary from one patient to another. The symptoms mainly depend on the nerves that are affected. Some of the common symptoms include:
Urinary Problems – The patient experiences difficulty and pain in starting urination. In addition, they also face difficulty in sensing the full bladder condition. Patients find it difficult to completely empty the bladder, which in turn causes urinary tract infections.
Digestion Problem – patients find it difficult to digest the food. Loss of appetite, abdominal bloating, heartburn, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, etc. is some of the symptoms caused as a result of problematic digestive function.
A Drop In Blood Pressure: Sudden drop of blood pressure that can lead to dizziness or even the patient faint
Sexual Problems –This includes ejaculation problems i.e. difficulty in achieving the right erection (in men). Difficulty in attaining orgasm, dryness in the vagina and low libido are some of the problems faced by affected women.
Sweating – too much or too little sweating effects in maintaining adequate body temperature.
Intolerance To Exercise – while performing the exercise the heart rate of the patients fluctuates depends on the intensity of exercise.
Eye Problems – The pupil of the eye finds it difficult to adjust the fluctuation to light. For instance, eyes become difficult to adjust from dark to bright light. (2)
Prevention Of Autonomic Neuropathy
Unlike other inherited diseases, the progression of autonomic neuropathy symptoms can be controlled by taking proper medication and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One should discuss with their doctors about the various ways to control the problem. Some of the suggestion includes:
- Strict no to smoking and alcohol
- Keep a check on blood sugar level
- Daily exercise or workout
- Get proper treatment for autoimmune disease
- Keep a check on the blood pressure (Avoid high or low blood pressure).
- Maintain a healthy weight (2)
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