Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Autonomic Hyperreflexia Overview

What is autonomic hyperreflexia?
A person with autonomic hyperreflexia is a disorder of the autonomic nervous systems. This is the portion of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions such as breathing, pulse, blood pressure, digestion, and body temperature regulation. Autonomic hyperreflexia causes the autonomic nervous system to respond abnormally causing a type of over-stimulation and imbalance. This condition occurs most commonly following an injury to the spinal cord, but it may also be associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, subarachnoid hemorrhage, head injury, and the use of certain stimulant drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

What are the symptoms of autonomic hyperreflexia?
Symptoms of autonomic hyperreflexia include anxiety, nervousness, blurry vision, fever, flushing, goose bumps, excessive sweating, faintness, dizziness, muscle spasms, nasal congestion, headache, and difficulty controlling the bladder and bowels. Some individuals with autonomic hyperreflexia may have no symptoms at all, only an abnormally elevated blood pressure.

How does the doctor treat autonomic hyperreflexia?
This is usually a life-threatening condition and requires emergency treatment to control blood pressure and the pulse. In severe cases, a cardiac pacemaker may need to be inserted into the body.

Continue to Autonomic Hyperreflexia Symptoms

Last Updated: May 17, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Autonomic Hyperreflexia References
  1. Emergency medicine: a comprehensive study guide; Judith E. Tintinalli, Gabor D. Kelen, J. Stephan Stapczynski - 2004
  2. Ferri's Clinical Advisor, Fred F. Ferri - 2007
  3. Genetics Home Reference, National Institutes of Health
  4. Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Mark Dambro - 2006
  5. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Anthony S. Fauci, Eugene Braunwald, Dennis L. Kasper, Stephen L. Hauser, Dan L. Longo, J. Larry Jameson, Joseph Loscalzo - 2008
  6. Nelson textbook of pediatrics, Robert Kliegman, Richard E. Behrman, Waldo Emerson Nelson - 2007
  7. Office of Rare Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.