Autonomic nervous system testing focuses on the nerve connections between the brain, heart and other organs. Non-invasive testing checks for imbalances that control autonomic processes that include heart rate, blood pressure, gastrointestinal function and sweating.
When you don't have risk factors for autonomic neuropathy
If you have symptoms of autonomic neuropathy but don't have risk factors, the diagnosis may be more involved. Your doctor will probably review your medical history, discuss your symptoms and do a physical exam.
Your doctor may perform tests to evaluate autonomic functions, which may include:
- Breathing tests.
- These tests measure how your heart rate and blood pressure responds during exercises such as forcefully exhaling (Valsalva maneuver).
Tilt Table Testing
This test helps to determine how blood pressure and heart rate changes in response to body position. The table rotates the body at various upright angles and accentuates the force of gravity and lessens muscle tone. It can show, for example, if a patient is disposed to low blood pressure or to fainting during these physiologic events.
- Dress in clothes that permit access to the area to be tested or that are easily removed. You may need to roll your sleeves up past your elbow and/or your pant legs up past your knee.
- Come with your skin clean and do not apply lotions or other products on your skin.
- Eat, sleep and take medications as usual, unless instructed otherwise by Neurologist.
- Inform if using a blood thinners (e.g. aspirin/clopidogrel/warfarin/Acenocoumarol), if you are suffering from bleeding disorder/hemophilia, have a skin infection