Pronounced - dis-auto-no-mia
Dysautonomia is a condition where the autonomic nervous system (which controls every function that we don't have to think about - including breathing, heart rate, sweating and blood pressure), either does not function as properly as it should, or does not function at all.
Dysautonomia can present itself as a primary condition, or as a secondary condition (symptom) of other conditions or illnesses. This is one reason why diagnosing primary dysautonomia is difficult.
There are various primary conditions which are all types of dysautonomia. Some of these are:
POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
Neurally Mediated Hypotension
Some of the reported symptoms of these conditions are:
Shortness of Breath
There are primary diseases and illnesses that are associated with the autonomic nervous system, and some of these include:
Multiple System Atrophy (Shy Drager Syndrome)
Guillan Barre Syndrome
Greg has been an active advocate for people with dysautonomia and has brought about a much greater awareness of this disorder through using his public profile and name. He has also communicated directly with many sufferers of this disorder to help them through their own circumstances and suffering.
Whilst being an advocate for awareness of Dysautonomia, Greg prefers not to align himself to any one particular support group or organisation - however the Baker IDI research group in Melbourne have been particularly instrumental in Greg's recovery, and as such, Greg has been involved in research projects for them. The work undertaken by the doctors at Baker IDI has led to some ground-breaking research in the field of Dysautonomia and POTS. Greg is keen to keep awareness levels high with regard to this disorder, and allow others with the same problems to find ways of contacting doctors and support groups who can assist them in managing their health and ultimately recovering to a point where they can get their life back, as he has been able to do.
Links for more information:
http://www.DYNAInc.org - a great source of information to young people who suffer from POTS and similar dysautonomias -Greg is an ambassador for this group
http://www.ndrf.org - a great source of information about dysautonomia in general.
www.nymc.edu/fhp/centers/syncope/POTS%20and%20COI.htm - Information about POTS and Neurally Mediated Hypotensions