Dysautonomia or Autonomics Dysfunction and GI Dysmotility

My systemic GI dysmotility dysfunctions including small bowel and esophageal are thought to be a result of autonomic dysfunction, which form they dont know.
Anyone else been diagnosed this way with GI dysmotility and dysautonomia as the cause?

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Yes, I have dysautonomia and my G.I. dysmotility is a result of this. It has been difficult to manage as things change almost it seems on a daily basis sometimes. Mainly the doctors attempt to control the symptoms with medication. There really isn't anything that helps me with my swallowing issues, I just had to eat a little differently to avoid food getting stuck in my esophagus while trying to swallow.
My dysautonomia was diagnosed by my neuromuscular doctor. The most helpful diagnostic test was the QSART which gave them proof that my autonomic nervous system was not functioning properly.
If there is anything I can answer for you please let me know.
Thanks.

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What are your GI symptoms/diagnoses?
Any neuropathy or myopathy diagnosed?

Do you show any basic clinical symptoms indicating autonomic dysfunction, like fainting, dizziness, blood pressure problems, heart rate problems etc?

What specific autonomic disease has been diagnosed?

My autonomic test results revealed mild dsyfunction and were questioning how it could cause systemic myopathy in the GI system.

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Hi MSC,
My GI issues include chronic diarrhea, horrible nerve pain in the abdomen, my stomach doesn't empty properly, and I have started having trouble swallowing lately. About the last 1/3 of our esophagus is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and apparently mine isn't sending the signal to complete the swallowing process so food sometimes stops at the lower end of my esophagus and it clumps together and forms sort of a plug if I am not careful. In a nut shell it seems that my large intestine moves things along too fast and my stomach occasionally doesn't empty when it should which causes nausea and vomiting (because the food sort of ferments in there).

I absolutely have issues with fainting and such due to the low blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension) and occasional tachycardia. I also have trouble with proprioception which affects my mobility. The proprioceptors which are located in our joints and tendons send a signal to the brain to tell us where our body is in space and then the brain makes adjustments via the autonomic nervous system to adjust for posture, movement, etc. They said my proprioceptors were shot and that is why I have issues with balance and mobility. The numbness, tingling, and loss of senstion from peripheral neuropathy is also quite troublesome and makes it difficult to do normal things like cook and dress (normal stuff). I also have trouble with bizarre things like intermittent hearing loss in one ear, trigeminal neuralgia (nasty nasty thing), pupils don't dilate and constrict like they are supposed to, vertigo, and a whole laundry list of symptoms that come and go throughout the day. Sure makes it hard to manage a person's life.

It took a long time and lots of testing for other diseases before they finally came to the conclusion that the GI issues that I have were due to the dysautonomia. I make it sound like it is a simple case of diarrhea but really it is so much more, severe abdominal cramping, laying on the bathroom floor for days at a time because I can't get up, etc. I had lost over 50 pounds and couldn't keep food in my body which of course leads to lots of other issues like malnutrion and vitamin deficiencies as well as making it difficult to keep my blood pressure up. Dehydration really makes the hypotension so much worse.

They are basically treating me with meds to give me the best quality of life possible. I swear I have a pill for just about every body function possible.

If your autonomic testing showed dysfunction it wouldn't suprise me that it could have an impact on GI function. Your GI tract is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. I know other people with dysautonomia who also have GI issues. All of us seem to have a little different symptoms. Some people deal with only constipation, some of them deal only with stomach not emptying when it should, etc., many things can happen when it comes to the autonomic nervous system and it seems that even though there are some common denominators we are all experiencing symptoms a little bit differently but each are caused by the malfuction of the autonomic nervous system.



They have tested me for causes of my dysautonomia but as of now they haven't been able to pinpoint what started this whole thing. I used to be a perfectly healthy athletic professional before all this started.

Let me know if you have any other questions :)
I have a lot of time on my hands since I haven't been able to work for quite a while now.

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My husband has it bad too. His started out as constipation and overflow diarrhea. GI said he believed it was nerve related. Went to Neuro had testing done and found out he has Small Fiber Neuropathy, POTS, and autonomic dysfunction/neuropathy. He has severe stomach cramps and had to use enemas daily to have bowel movements. His internal anal sphincter was working backwards, holding in the stool and not relaxing to have a bowel movement. He even had botox injections to try and relax the muscle in his rectum and it didn't work. His colon became very torturous and has adhesions so he had a transverse colostomy done Oct 2009. Now he is having the complete opposite. He has massive diarrhea in his colostomy bag and it is very hyper transit and isn't digesting any of his meds. The pills are coming out whole in his colostomy bag. He is struggling every day to keep it going. He went from 210 and now is 140 in 3 years. This past month(dec) he lost 6 pounds in 3 weeks and he is eating but just goes right thru him. We need a new GI doc. Ours left for a fellowship. We have had such terrible care and no one would believe him about the GI and the autonomic system. Finding the right doc is the key. We are still looking.. Now he is having chest pain that they can't explain and also his lt knee is causing severe pain. The MRI showed avascular necrosis. I am wondering if that is from the bad blood flow from the dysautnomia. Not sure. My husband also has Interstitial Cystitis and had to have a urostomy bag done a few years back. The autonomic nervous system controls so many things that you don't realize it until it goes bad. My prayers are with you and your family. We know how hard things are and how you may feel.

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Your sure right about one thing; finding the right doc is the key.

Being from the general area your from; Ive searched 20 years for a local GI doc. Its a constant struggle. For complex cases, like ours, we need to be at a tertiary center where they might take interest but even then its no sure thing.
Had a very good GI at Medical College of WI but he left year or so ago. Now at University of Iowa - ongoing.
If you need a neuro who believes in GI autonomic dysfunction can recommend someone at Medical College of WI.

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I have had two tilt table test one + after IV isuprel, the other with tachycardia noted but neither had fainting. I also have gastroparesis and have had urinary retention in the past (that resolved). I have to believe they are all related. Currently I'm having chest pain again....I went through this about 2 years ago but it was a little different. I just had a bravo ph study to tell me I didn't have acid reflux so I was off of my acid meds and now boom chest pain......

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MSC,
We go to the Autonomic Clinic at Froedtert. Neuro is great. The GI doc we had left for a fellowship and is not sure if he is coming back to the Medical College. Don't care for the other options of Docs. Why did you go to Iowa? Location or do you have a good doc there?

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We have something in common; Froedtert for Neurology, excellent. My GI doc there also left. Tried a couple others and wasnt impressed at all. In the midwest, Ive searched many years for GI help without much success. Tertiary GI Motility centers in midwest are scarce; Mayo Clinic, University of Iowa and University of MI. Went to Mayo Clinic many years ago wasnt impressed that didnt offer any help. Admittedly, I wasnt with the right doc. Now at University of Iowa, long standing well known GI motility clinic. They are trying to define and symptomatically treat my GI dysfunctions but admit that successful treatments may be elusive, at least they are trying.
Plan on discussing the relationship between autonomic dysfunction and GI dysmotility next visit.
Decided to try Iowa for the Dr.s that specialize in GI motility and location.
Good list for GI Motility docs
http://www.digestivedistress.com/world-wide-listing-of-gastroenterologists

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