Nervous System Testing
What is your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)?
It’s the part of your nervous system that controls ALL the automatic functions in your body:
Heart Rate Digestion Reflexes
Blood Pressure Internal Organs Balance
Breathing Immune System Sexual Function
The ANS has 2 branches (Parasympathetic and Sympathetic) that must balance each other like a seesaw to maintain good health.
Autonomic Nervous System Testing
What nervous system testing looks for:
When one end of the seesaw is weak or out of balance, chronic conditions develop, like hypertension. Diabetes can worse. Faintness, dizziness, fatigue, sleeplessness, and headaches can result.
For people at risk for diabetes, peripheral nerves in the hands and feet which are controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System are the first to degenerate.
How does a Nervous System Test feel?
Autonomic Nervous System testing is broken into 4 categories with all the tests usually done in one visit lasting around 1 to 2 hours. They are completely safe and harmless to the body.
- Sweat Test:
The sweat test is applied through plastic containers that are placed on the arms and legs. Your glands will be mechanically stimulated to allow the bdoy to sweat and measure that production. A slight discomfort may be felt in the way of burning or tingling where the machine is attached. This is to be expected and it very safe.
- Heart Rate during Deep Breathing Test:
As the name explains this is the measurement of your heart rate while you are in a state of deep breathing. You will be guided in how often and how long your breaths should be.
- Valsalva Test:
Valsalva is a maneuver that measures your ability to breath out strongly. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored as you blow into a plastic tube until you are able to produce enough pressure.
- The Tilt Table Test:
You will lay on a table to start to bring yourself to a resting heart rate. Throughout the test you will be moving yourself into different upright positions as your blood pressure and pulse are monitored.
The Solution: detection, confirmation, and regular quantitative monitoring of the Autonomic Nervous System with the Ansar / Sudoscan Tests.
ANSAR (Autonomic Nervous System Testing)
This test monitors and analyzes your heart rate variability, respiratory activity and blood pressure. These readings will define the balance between the 2 branches of your autonomic nervous system.
Sudoscan testing provides an accurate evaluation of sweat gland function through galvanic skin response. This test helps detect nerve disorders, such as neuropathy.
What medicines should be avoided prior to taking the Nervous System Test?
If you doctor or pharmacists allows, these items should stop being taken 24 hours before a scheduled test:
- Common cold remedies
- Drugs for depression
- Drugs for hypertension
- Parkinson’s disease medications
- Drugs for pain
How else should I prepare for a Nervous System Test?
- Do not eat for 12 hours before the test.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine or nicotine for 12 hours before the tests.
- Do not perform any extreme physical activity for 24 hours before.
- Wear loose fitting clothing.
- Stay relaxed and stress free.
- Use the bathroom close to or right before testing.
- Do not engage in discussion with the operator during the test because this may affect your autonomic reflexes.
How can a damaged Nervous System affect you and what are the signs?
- Low blood pressure leading to dizziness and fainting
- Trouble going to the bathroom
- Male impotence
- Vaginal dryness
- Problems with arousal and orgasm in women.
- Problem digesting food. Which can be related to:
- Abdominal bloating
- Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
- Loss of appetite
- Heart Rate Issues
- Heat intolerance, especially during exercise
- Abnormal sweating (usually decreased)
- Slow pupil reaction to light and dark
Are there any conditions I should inform my doctor about before testing?
Yes. You should not have testing done if you have: atrial fibrillation, cardiac failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
How often should these tests be performed?
Like blood pressure and heart rate, these tests should be performed regularly every 3-6 months.
Who recommends these tests?
Autonomic neuropathy monitoring has been published as a 2012 standard of care by: