Neuropathy – autonomic
Definition of Autonomic neuropathy
Autonomic neuropathy is a group of symptoms that occur when there is damage to the nerves that manage every day body functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, bowel and bladder emptying, and digestion.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Autonomic neuropathy is a form of . It is a group of symptoms, not a specific disease. There are many causes.
Symptoms vary depending on the nerves affected. They usually develop gradually over years. Symptoms may include:
Signs and tests
The doctor will perform a physical exam. A neurological exam may show evidence of injury to other nerves. However, it is very difficult to directly test for autonomic nerve damage.
Treatment is supportive and may need to be long-term. Several treatments may be attempted before a successful one is found.
The outcome varies. If the cause can be found and treated, there is a chance that the nerves may repair or regenerate. The symptoms may improve with treatment, or they may continue or get worse, even with treatment.
Daniel Kantor, MD, Medical Director of Neurologique, Ponte Vedra, FL and President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/4/2010