Autonomic Disorders?

Autonomic disorders are nerve disorders that affect the part of our nervous system we don’t consciously control – including involuntary body functions like our heart rate, blood pressure, sweat, and digestion.

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What are the symptoms?

Dizziness and fainting upon standing, caused by a drop in blood pressure

Difficult with glares, adjusting from light to dark and problems with driving at night cased by sluggish pupils

Sweating abnormalities, such as excessive or decreased sweating, which affects the ability to regulate body temperature

Exercise intolerance, which may occur if your heart rate remains unchanged instead of appropriately increasing and decreasing in response to your activity level

Othostatic intolerance, is the inability to tolerate the upright posture due to many possible causes.

Difficulty digesting food, severe constipation and/or diarrhea due to abnormal digestive function and slow emptying of the stomach.

Urinary problems, an inability to completely empty your bladder, chronic pelvic pain and urinary tract infections

Sexual difficulties, including problems achieving or maintaining an erection or ejaculation problems in men, and vaginal dryness and difficulties with arousal and orgasm in women

How is it diagnosed?

Heart Rate Variability
to Deep Breathing:

Tests the autonomic function of the
cardiorespiratory system predominantly
the cardiac parasympathetic system.

Valsalva Maneuver:

Tests the autonomic function of the cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic system and the vasomotor sympathetic system.

Tilt Table Test:

Tests the post-ganglionic sudomotor sympathetic
system at four sites.

Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test (QSART):

Tests the sudomotor sympathetic system in four sites.

Infrared Dynamic
Pupillometry (IDP):

Tests the integrity of the sympathetic
and parasympathetic branches of the
ANS at the iris of the eye.

Laser Doppler Flowmetry (LDF):

Tests the subcutaneous blood flow through
small-sized arteries and the capillary system,
under the influence of the ANS.

Thermoregulatory Sweat Testing (TST):

Tests the total sudomotor (sweat-producing) system diagnosed by different sweat patterns in a monitored heated environment.

Where should I turn for treatment?

Norfolk, VA

Sentara Neuromuscular and Autonomic Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

1 of only 20 Autonomic Centers in the country

1 of only 8 that have Thermoregulatory Sweat Testing

The Sentara Neuromuscular and Autonomic Center takes a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating conditions caused by a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). We deliver highly personalized care based on the specifics of your autonomic disorders, and are one of only a handful of centers in the entire world that specialize in this part of the nervous system.

Kamal Chémali, MD
Medical Director

Kevin McNeeley
Autonomic Lab Coordinator

Our autonomic Neurologist Dr. Chémali leads a multidisciplinary team of physicians and healthcare professionals to provide superior and state-of-the-art care to patients throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Autonomic Disorders

please call the Sentara Neurosciences Institute at 877-310-8713