Dysautonomia or POTS
Dysautonomia or autonomic dysfunction, is a broad term that is used to describe disorders of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS maintains your body’s involuntary or “automatic” functions like internal temperature, breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and hormonal functions. An imbalance in any of these “automatic” functions of the body could result in dysautonomia.
Individuals with dysautonomia may not experience the same symptoms. This is because any disorder that deals with the autonomic nervous system is classified under this term.
Some of the disorders under this term can present disabling symptoms that can prevent you from working and you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, this will all depend on the severity of your symptoms.
Symptoms of Dysautonomia
While symptoms vary based on the specific type, some common symptoms include:
- Low blood pressure
- The inability to stay standing
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of appetite
- An irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty maintaining a constant body temperature
- Noise or light sensitivity
- Difficulty concentrating
These are extensive symptoms and could be indicative of a number of conditions. Some individuals may not even experience any symptoms at all as they may not present themselves in an obvious way. For this reason, these conditions are often difficult to diagnose.
Types of Dysautonomia
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) causes your heart to beat faster than it should when you stand up after sitting down. In addition to an increased heart rate, you may experience symptoms including lightheadedness, fainting, palpitations, shaking, chest pain, difficulty breathing, fatigue, upset stomach, and may be overly sensitive to temperatures. Symptoms can be minor, but they’re often severe enough to leave individuals unable to perform daily tasks
Orthostatic Hypotension results in a drop in blood pressure with a change in position.
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare type of dysautonomia that can cause loss of motor function, making it difficult to get around.
Symptoms are similar to Parkinson’s and can include tremors, balance issues, difficulty speaking, headaches, a sudden drop in blood pressure, fainting, confusion, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and more. As the condition progresses, the individual will have trouble with their motor skills which can make it difficult to perform daily tasks.
Neurocardiogenic syncope also known as vasovagal syncope or a “fainting spell” results in a sudden drop in blood pressure after you have been standing for a long time due to poor circulation.
In addition to fainting, individuals with neurocardiogenic syncope may experience nausea, blurred vision, lightheadedness, and palpitations. The fainting can be mild and only happen once, but it can also be consistent in some individuals.
Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is associated with individuals with diabetes. Symptoms can include an increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, excessive sweating, low blood pressure when standing, constipation, and difficulty with digestion.
Autonomic dysreflexia is an overreaction of the ANS that can be life-threatening. Spinal cord injuries are the primary cause. Due to the damage from the injury, the ANS malfunctions and causes the blood pressure to spike. Symptoms may include headaches, hypertension, visual disturbances, anxiety, and clammy skin.
Baroreflex failure the baroreflex is responsible for maintaining healthy blood pressure. With this disorder, you may have high blood pressure and an increased heart rate with physical activity or emotional stress. You may also have periods of low blood pressure while resting. Symptoms can include excessive sweating, headaches, and an abnormal heart rate.
Getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for Dysautonomia
Unfortunately, dysautonomia isn’t a listed impairment. However, the severity of your symptoms can still qualify you for SSD benefits. Since the specific condition isn’t listed, it’s important that you work with your doctors in conjunction with an experienced disability lawyer to ensure that your disability application is filled out properly. The SSA will check your medical records to find proof of disabling symptoms. You must prove that the disabling symptoms prevent you from working. The SSA may even go as far as checking your work history and find that you can work in another job that is less strenuous than your previous jobs.
How MCV Law helps you
The application process for SSDI can be extremely confusing. There is a lot of paperwork and strict deadlines, which can lead to multiple rounds of document submission just to prove that your condition is serious enough to find you disabled.
If you suffer from system disorders you may have a harder time qualifying for benefits since your symptoms, rather than the condition, are what qualifies you to receive SSDI benefits. Working with an experienced disability attorney can make all the difference.
There are several ways in which the team at MCV Law helps you to get the benefits you deserve. We help you by:
- Filing your application for Social Security Benefits to make sure it is thorough and done right the first time
- Help you complete and submit necessary documents
- Gather medical evidence to support your claim
- Appeal any denials of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Prepare you and represent you in a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge
If you are suffering from a dysautonomia disorder that prevents you from working, please contact us. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to help, and your consultation is free.