October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month. It aims to increase awareness about dysautonomia, educate people about the condition, and raise funds for dysautonomia research.

Dysautonomia is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). According to Dysautonomia International, over 70 million people have various forms of dysautonomia globally.

Dysautonomia can be the result of genetics or underlying conditions, such as diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.

This article provides an overview of Dysautonomia Awareness Month and details how a person can get involved. It also includes information on dysautonomia, including symptoms and management of dysautonomia.

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Dysautonomia International founded Dysautonomia Awareness Month in 2012 to advance the following for those who have the condition:

Education: Dysautonomia Awareness Month aims to improve people’s understanding of the condition. A better understanding can facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. It is also an opportunity for people with the condition to have open discussions about its effect on their lives.

Support: Many people with dysautonomia often require help navigating the challenges related to the condition. The awareness month is another opportunity to connect people with dysautonomia and their families with the needed resources.

Advocacy: There is no cure for dysautonomia, but treatments aim to prevent the severity of symptoms. Treating underlying symptoms, however, can help alleviate symptoms. Advocacy can improve research and funding to help scientists find timely therapies and interventions for dysautonomia.

People can take part in Dysautonomia Awareness Month in numerous ways:

Educate: Learning about dysautonomia by reading books or articles and watching videos from credible sources can advance conversations, support, and advocacy. Dysautonomia International and The Dysautonomia Project provide valuable information on dysautonomia.

Share information online: People can raise awareness about dysautonomia through personal stories and educational materials on various social media platforms. Individuals can also participate in the #31DaysOfDys social media campaign by downloading informational graphics and using the hashtag on all social media posts.

Connect with organizations: Dysautonomia International is a nonprofit organization that leads campaigns and initiatives during Dysautonomia Awareness Month. People can contact these organizations to inquire about volunteer opportunities and ways to contribute.

Participate in donations and fundraising events: Making donations and participating in fundraising campaigns can help fund research, education, and support.

Enlist in clinical trials: Participating in a clinical trial can help clinicians and scientists learn more about dysautonomia and related disorders. It can also help them find better ways to safely diagnose, treat, or prevent dysautonomia.To participate in clinical trials, people or their loved ones can find more information on the National Institues of Health (NIH) website.

The following are some facts and statistics about dysautonomia:

  • Dysautonomia is a group of neurological conditions affecting over 70 million people worldwide.
  • Dysautonomia is a collective term for dysfunctions of the ANS, which regulates biological processes, including temperature, breathing, heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, and sleep cycle.
  • Different types of dysautonomia exist.
  • Conditions, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), celiac disease, and Parkinson’s disease, can cause dysfunction of the ANS, leading to dysautonomia.
  • Doctors recommend helping people with dysautonomia lie flat on their backs to reduce symptoms and restore normal blood flow to the brain and chest areas.
  • People with dysautonomia may experience different forms of disabilities ranging from mild to severe.
  • Some people with dysautonomia can recover well by learning to manage their symptoms effectively.

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is the most common form of dysautonomia. It can cause an abnormally high heart rate and affect multiple organs and systems in the body.

In the United States, experts estimate that POTS affects about 1 out of every 100 teenagers.

According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), symptoms of POTS include:

  • headaches
  • fainting
  • sweating
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • blurred vision
  • heart palpitations
  • extreme tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • brain fog or memory problems
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach aches

There is no cure for dysautonomia. However, the following tips may help manage the symptoms of POTS:

  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • trying gentle exercises, such as walking, pilates, or swimming
  • avoiding drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
  • trying not to stand for too long
  • trying not to get up too quickly from lying down
  • raising the head of the bed, if possible, to avoid lying completely flat

An individual should speak with a healthcare professional about the most effective ways to manage their specific condition and symptoms.

The following are some questions people frequently ask about dysautonomia.

What are the signs of dysautonomia?

According to health experts, various types of dysautonomia, including POTS, neurocardiogenic syncope (NCS), and multiple system atrophy (MSA), have different symptoms, including:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • impaired vision
  • heart palpitations
  • lightheadedness
  • difficulty standing
  • difficulty breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • abnormal blood pressure, which may be too high or too low

What is the color of dysautonomia?

According to Dysautonomia International, turquoise is the official color for Dysautonomia Awareness Month. The charity also encourages people to wear the color turquoise to show their support.

However, the Dysautonomia Youth Network of America (DYNA) recognizes red as the representative color of dysautonomia. The organization has red ribbons and bracelets available.

Dysautonomia Awareness Month takes place in October.

Dysautonomia is a condition that occurs due to the failure of the autonomic nervous system, which controls biological processes, such as respiration, sexual arousal, temperature, heart rate, and digestion.

Dysautonomia International founded Dysautonomia Awareness Month in 2012 to advance education, support, and advocacy for people with the condition and their loved ones.

People can get involved by reading about dysautonomia, sharing information with friends and family, participating in fundraising events, and enlisting in clinical trials.