Tonight on Beating Neuropathy & Chronic Pain, we’ll talk about autonomic neuropathy. Autonomic neuropathy is neuropathy that affects the “automatic” functions of the body, such as the heart, breathing, sweating, and digestion. Most cases of autonomic neuropathy is caused by diabetes, but it can also happen with injuries and inflammatory conditions.
There is a screening you can do at home to test for autonomic neuropathy. Take your blood pressure while in a seated position, then stand and immediately take it again. Your blood pressure should rise by 10 points both systolic and diastolic. Though it is possible to get a false positive while doing this, it can be an indicator that autonomic neuropathy is happening.
Making sure you are well-hydrated is important for everyone, but especially in autonomic neuropathy. Add a bit of salt to your water for electrolytes. Diet is important as well. Consuming enough water and fiber will help your digestive system stay healthy. Eat small, frequent meals instead of two or three large ones.
Autonomic neuropathy requires careful evaluation and close supervision. We do not know if there is a significant or long-term cure for it right now. However, the types of treatment we advocate for peripheral neuropathy can also be useful.
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