Autonomic issues with ms?

I was diagnosed a number of years ago with dysautonomia. It was diagnosed as a result of cardiac testing but as it is a syndrome it has lots of neurological symptoms. Now it is being questioned whether I have ms ( still undergoing tests but the cogs move slow). I was wondering if ms can affect the autonomic system and if so can it affect the heart causing palpitations/ arrhythmias?


In short, yes, it is possible - however not very common, I don’t think. Technically, MS can affect pretty much anything your brain’s in charge of, but some problems are common, others possible but rare. I’d say heart problems are in the “possible but rare” category.


Thankyou Anitra, it would be fairly typical of me to get something rare lol, my consultant always refers to me as the 'interesting ’ patient because my body never does things by the book.x

In a word, yes.

I was finally diagnosed with dysautonomia a few months ago, but I’ve had it since I first became ill 11 years ago, as my first symptoms were autonomic in nature i.e. problems with temperature control, standing for any length of time, palpitations etc. I was diagnosed with anxiety for several years, although now I realise that wasn’t the case, and explains why anxiety meds never worked for me.

I’ve been told that it’s not common but it does happen.

My main problems now are postural hypotension (sometimes leading to drop falls), heat sensitivity, exercise intolerance and my resting heart rate is usually about 100. I often think if it weren’t for the dysautonomia, I would be doing quite well, lol!

Mags :slight_smile:

oh wow mags- those are exactly the same as my symptoms! although i now have the addition of a blind spot. All my neuro symptoms have been put down to the dysautonomia until now. Do they think your dys. is part of ms or unrelated?

I’ve never asked to be honest. I assumed it was because of a lesion somewhere, as I know it can be caused by a brain injury, as well as various autoimmune conditions etc… It could be seperate I suppose, as I don’t think it’s the norm for people with MS, and I know that if you have one condition, you’re more likely to develop another (compared to a healthy person).

Do you have the exercise intolerance too? I know that exercise is supposed to be beneficial for PWMS, but even small things can completely wipe me out (like I have a bad cold/flu).

I’d be interested to know of any treatment you’re on that you feel helps hun. :slight_smile:

yes exercise is a huge issue for me, i was told told liken my body walking to that of someone running a marathon. The heart is compensating for the vasodilation. There are some autonomic clinics and some have exercise programmes which i believe are mainly using recumbent bikes etc. There are some meds that can help to especially if you tend to drop your blood pressure, im not on those as my blood pressure is to inconsisetent with high and low spikes, some beta blockers and meds like ivabradine which lowers the pulse without affecting the blood pressure can be helpful. The low bp you are getting is sometimes cause by autonomic problems reducing blood volume and so people with ans issues are often advised to drink lots of water with salt :-/

have you checked out the stars website or pots uk? they have some really useful info. (btw pots is the most common form of dysautonomia so most of the info tends to come under that heading)

Thank you for that, I shall have a good read.

Yes, I was advised fluids, salt and raising the head of the bed. I was told I could try fludrocortisone to raise blood pressure but mine is usually perfect (120/80) so I’m giving the salt/fluids a go for now.

I know it can take an age, but I hope you get some answers soon hun. Let us know how you get on eh?