Some of the different forms of dysautonomia include:
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) - estimated to impact 1 out of 100 teenagers and, including adult patients., impacted an estimated 3 million Americans before COVID-19. Recent research shows that the number of POTS patients is now estimated to impact at least 6 million Americans since the pandemic began. POTS is a form of orthostatic intolerance that is associated with the presence of excessive tachycardia and many other symptoms upon standing. POTS can cause lightheadness, fainting, tachycardia, chest pains, shortness of breath, GI upset, shaking, exercise intolerance, temperature sensitivity and more. While POTS predominantly impacts young women who look healthy on the outside, researchers compare the disability seen in POTS to the disability seen in conditions like COPD and congestive heart failure.
Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS) - NCS is the most common form of dysautonomia, NCS impacts tens of millions of individuals worldwide. Many individuals with NCS have a mild case, with fainting spells once or twice in their lifetime. However, some individuals have severe NCS which results in fainting several times per day, which can lead to falls, broken bones and sometimes traumatic brain injury. Individuals with moderate to severe NCS have difficulty engaging in work, school and social activities due to the frequent fainting attacks.
Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) - MSA is a fatal form of dysautonomia that occurs in adult ages 40 and up. It is a neurodegenertive disorder with some similarities to Parkinson's disease, but unlike Parkinson's patients, MSA patients usually become fully bedridden within a 2 years of diagnosis and die within 5-10 years. MSA is considered a rare disease, with an estimated 350,000 patients worldwide.
Dysautonomia can also occur secondary to other medical conditions, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac, Sjogren's syndrome, lupus, and Parkinson's.1,3