What is Autonomic Neurapathy?
The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls the essential functions of your body, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, pupil dilation, temperature control and more. It is also known as the involuntary nervous system. This is also known as Dysautonomia, dysfunction of the ANS.
Autonomic Neuropathy refers to the damage to the autonomic nerves. This disrupts the signals between the brain and parts of the Autonomic Nervous System, causing decreased or abnormal performance of the ANS.
My Autonomic Neuropathy is likely due to my immune system destroying my nerves, an autoimmune issue.
What Treatments Have I Tried?
In my case, stopping my immune system from destroying my nerves any further would be the ideal treatment, which is known as immunosuppression.
I have tried IVIg treatment, where healthy antibodies from 3000 – 10000 people are infused into my blood stream, to calm down my rogue antibodies. However, my immune system tried to destroy the new antibodies by destroying my blood. Clearly, the treatment angered my immune system rather than calming it down. I had to stop this treatment and get a blood transfusion.
I have tried steroid treatment, which suppresses your immune system. It helped for a couple of days, but then my immune system managed to lash out even harder.
Because I could not tolerate these treatments, my doctors agreed that my body could not withstand stronger immunosuppressive therapy – I can no longer treat the root of my condition. I am only pursuing symptom management at this point. It is going poorly with prescription medication.
I am currently trying Traditional Chinese Medicine. I cannot speak much about it, because I truly do not know much about it. What I do know is that it is helping to control my blood pressure, heart rate and shortness of breath. I have a lot more energy now. It is not a cure, but it is making my condition more manageable.
How Does Autonomic Neuropathy Affect My Life?
Well… the better question is how doesn’t it affect me. It is causing POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), Gastroparesis, chronic pain and other symptoms, which I am elaborating on in other pages, linked above.
To summarize, it affects my blood pressure, pulse, vision, light sensitivity, body temperature, pain sensitivity, the rate of digestion, bladder, breathing, sweat glands, headaches and more. They are all very unstable and typically leaves me in a state of bed rest most of the time, unfortunately. I’m somewhat okay as long as I don’t eat, move or encounter bright lights.