Autonomic Dysfunction from Diagnosis to Treatment

Prim Care. 2024 Jun;51(2):359-373. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2024.02.006. Epub 2024 Mar 20.


Autonomic disorders can present with hypotension, gastrointestinal, genitourinary symptoms, and heat intolerance. Diabetes is the most common causes of autonomic failure, and management should focus on glucose control to prevent developing autonomic symptoms. The most prevalent cause of dysautonomia, or autonomic dysfunction, is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Autonomic testing characterizes causes for nonspecific symptoms but is not necessary in patients with classic presentations. Treatment for autonomic dysfunction and failure focus on discontinuing offending medications, behavioral modification, and pharmacologic therapy to decrease symptom severity. Autonomic failure has no cure; therefore, the focus remains on improving quality of life.

Keywords: Autonomic disorders; Autonomic nervous system; Autonomic testing; Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension; Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Autonomic Nervous System Diseases* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome / therapy
  • Primary Health Care
  • Quality of Life