October is dysautonomia awareness month, and here we are in October! (Isn’t Autumn lovely?) People seem to talk about, and be aware of, the more typical symptoms of the different dysautonomia illnesses; low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, blood pooling, fainting, dizziness, bad circulation, but here are some of the more surprising (or lesser known) symptoms people have experienced:
- Sudden blood sugar drops. One minute you’re fine, next you’re irritable, brain foggy and in dire need of sugar.
- Temperature sensitivity/problems regulating temperature. Once you’re cold, that’s it, heat pads, fluffy socks and several blankets won’t warm you up, or once you’re warm, that’s it you’re a sweaty mess, constantly getting warmer instead of cooler.
- Craving salty foods. This is a strange one, consisting of sudden overwhelming urges to eat salt and vinegar crisps, or y’know to just lick salt straight from the shaker…
- Incontinence. Loss of bladder control, also called neurogenic bladder. Maybe don’t make us laugh, cough, or sneeze too hard.
- Flushing. Kind of like a hot flush except your skin is literally pink or red and burning to touch. Often across the cheeks, but a flush can make a lot of your body turn red.
- Bradycardia (low heart rate). Normally dysautonomia illnesses are associated with tachycardia (rapid heart rate), but it’s possible to have either brady or tachycardia, some people end up with both.
- Delayed gastric emptying or gastroparesis (partial paralysis of your stomach). Leaving you feeling constantly full, bloated and with a lot of acid reflux.
- Brain fog. Particularly bad days/moments can leave your head feeling foggy and cause memory loss and confusion.
- Exercise intolerance. Even walking up the stairs or down the street can leave you feeling winded and completely out of breath.
- Seziure-like activity. Some people can have seziure-like activity, like convulsions or jerking movements, after fainting.
Who knew that the autonomic system was controlling so much in our bodies? Do you get any other lesser known symptoms? Get sharing this dysautonomia awareness month!