As mentioned yesterday, the autonomic nervous system controls many things none of us think much about until it stops working properly.
A big one for many of us is blood pressure. The top number on a blood pressure is the systolic, and it correlates with how hard the heart must pump to get blood through the body. A high number is like having a stiff garden hose with high pressure (hypertension). A low number is like a floppy hose with only a trickle (hypotension). Both are bad, and both can happen to people with dysautonomia.
A second common problem with us is heart rate. People with POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) have heart rates that are too high when they are upright. They use three times more energy just to stand. That’s why I no longer do grocery shopping, and I leave a store if there’s a line to pay.
A condition called mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) often goes hand-in-hand with dysautonomia. One of the signs is a dry heat and hives, but the severe form can be life-threatening.