Dysautonomia is an umbrella term for disorders of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls unconscious functions such as heart rate and digestion. Improper function of the ANS refers to both a failure to function and overactive functioning, which can be just as dangerous. There are more than a dozen types of dysautonomia, some of which are rare and tough to diagnose, especially secondary forms of equally complicated conditions.
Worldwide, approximately 70 million people have dysautonomia. Symptoms are hard to predict and aren't always visible when they do occur. What is known is that those with this disorder tend to have breathing difficulties and a physical intolerance for exercise. One prominent symptom of dysautonomia is fainting, which results from neurocardiogenic syncope, a sudden drop in blood pressure that reduces oxygen and blood to the brain.
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