About the disease
Vegetative dystonia is a condition that is characterised by the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This malfunction results in a drop in supply of oxygen to tissue and organs. According to Med USA News, vegetative dystonia is a relatively common condition, affecting approximately 80% of all people worldwide at some point in their life. This condition can come and go and can last for a very short time, meaning it can be possible to have had it without even realizing.
Located in the brain and spinal cord, the autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating all the bodily functions that are largely unconscious (such as heart rate, digestion, respiration and body temperature) and helps the body to adapt automatically to environmental factors.
There are different types of vegetative dystonia. Permanent vegetative dystonia makes no noticeable change to the person’s health. Paroxysmal vegetative dystonia is a recurrent form of the condition, whereby the person only experiences symptoms during the intermittent attacks. The latent form of vegetative dystonia can be brought on by stress or by other illnesses.
People with vegetative dystonia tend to feel weak very often, even if they have not engaged in any physical activities. They also sleep longer and may suffer from dizzy spells. The most common causes of vegetative dystonia include stress, having a genetic predisposition or changes in dietary and sleeping habits.
- Fainting episodes
- Panic attacks
- Fever in some cases
- Shortness of breath in some cases
- Mood swings
- During a general examination, the doctor will ask the patient about their symptoms, in particular if they have experienced long periods of weakness or dizziness.
- The doctor will measure the patient’s blood pressure and order a blood test. This can rule out infections, low blood count or anemia as the causal factor.
- An electrocardiogram and an echocardiography may be performed on patients who are experiencing a slow heartbeat or blood pressure.
- Imaging tests are also useful in checking the lungs of patients who are experiencing shortness of breath.
- Hormone tests are performed in some cases, to check the thyroid and other glands.
In most cases, treatment of vegetative dystonia comprises of eliminating the cause that brought it about. For example:
- Making lifestyle changes that adapt around the person’s biorhythm (work-life balance).
- Exercise, healthy eating and avoiding stressful situations can also be very effective.