Sjoggie Katherine asks:
I have been diagnosed with Pandysautonomia/P.O.T.S. Which means that my exercise ability has been squashed by my very own Dr. Young Guy. Since January I've been told that even if I CAN drag myself off the sofa I am only allowed gentle stretching activities. Hello Grabber!
So my question is: Since Sjogren's is one of the primary causes of Dysautonomia how many of your readers have been diagnosed with Autonomic Dysfunction? It is a new field of research so even the specialists such as cardiologists and neurologists don't seem to be up to speed. I had to push to have the Tilt Table testing done as the cardiologist wasn't interested in exploring the causes of the tachycardia since my heart was in good shape. Luckily I have two very good Dr. Young Guys (Neuro & Rheumy) who suggested the testing on their own.
This study aimed to determine the prevalence of autonomic symptoms in a large cohort of patients with PSS and to investigate whether there is a relationship between autonomic symptoms and biological and psychosocial variables commonly found in PSS. We have demonstrated that symptoms of autonomic dysfunction are common among patients with PSS, with 55% fulfilling the criterion of dysautonomia. Furthermore, autonomic dysfunction is independently associated with ESSPRI, disease activity (ESSDAI) and symptoms of anxiety, and possibly mental fatigue.
Many case reports, case series and other studies have reported a link between autonomic dysfunction and PSS. However, the sample sizes of these studies were relatively small, rendering estimation of the prevalence and analysis of the relationship between autonomic dysfunction and other clinical features of PSS less reliable. Analysis of the data of over 300 patients with clinically well-characterised PSS in this study enables a more robust interrogation of the relationship between autonomic symptoms and other clinical features of PSS. The multicentre design also increases the ecological validity of our data compared with those derived from single-centre studies. To our knowledge, this is the first large, multicentre study to examine the prevalence, severity and predictors of autonomic symptoms in PSS. Continue reading here.
Dysautonomia is an umbrella term used to describe various conditions that cause a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls most of the essential functions of the body that we do not consciously think about, such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, dilation and constriction of the pupils of the eye and temperature control.
The ANS is made up of two branches: the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). The SNS controls the more active "fight or flight" responses such as increasing heart rate and blood pressure.The PNS can be thought of as the "rest and digest" part of the autonomic nervous system, as it slows down the heart rate and aides in digestion. The endocrine and metabolic systems are involved as well. These systems are in balance in a healthy person, and react correctly to outside stimuli, such as temperature, stress, and gravity. When they are out of balance and do not function properly for any number of reasons, autonomic dysfunction - or dysautonomia - occurs. People living with various forms of dysautonomia have trouble regulating these systems, which can result in symptoms such as lightheadedness, fainting, unstable blood pressure, tachycardia or bradycardia, gastoparesis and more.