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Sympathetic - Parasympathetic- or both?

Aileen

Senior Member
Messages
615
Location
Canada
Like so many of you, my nervous system is out of control. The problem is when I try to match my symptoms with a specific part of the nervous system, things just don't fit.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches are on opposite ends of a teeter-totter. If you have symptoms that indicate one is high, the other will be low. The two are supposed to work in harmony to keep the body properly balanced.

But ... I have some symptoms that suggest sympathetic is too high while at the same time other symptoms suggest an overactive parasympathetic branch. Is it possible for BOTH to be too high? As if the teeter-totter is sitting up on stilts and needs to be put back on the ground? Is there any way to do this?
 

Sushi

Moderation Resource Albuquerque
Messages
19,933
Location
Albuquerque
This is very possible. My autonomic doctor did tests that showed that my parasympathetic and sympathetic were "competing" for the same jobs and that both were too active.

Sushi
 

Aileen

Senior Member
Messages
615
Location
Canada
Very interesting Sushi. If that's true, mine seem to be in a boxing match for Olympic gold! :ninja: Did he have any idea how to make them play nice?
 

Sushi

Moderation Resource Albuquerque
Messages
19,933
Location
Albuquerque
Very interesting Sushi. If that's true, mine seem to be in a boxing match for Olympic gold! :ninja: Did he have any idea how to make them play nice?

Treating pathogens, gut, immune system...trying to get to the root of things so that the ANS will normalize naturally.

Sushi
 

perchance dreamer

Senior Member
Messages
1,684
Five or six years ago, I had an ANS test, and my parasympathetic system was dominant. My sympathetic nervous system was just slightly depressed.

I have chronic pain and find it confusing when medical people say that if you have chronic pain your sympathetic nervous system is overactive. I don't feel that mine is.
 
Messages
37
Location
Los Angeles, California
Like so many of you, my nervous system is out of control. The problem is when I try to match my symptoms with a specific part of the nervous system, things just don't fit.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches are on opposite ends of a teeter-totter. If you have symptoms that indicate one is high, the other will be low. The two are supposed to work in harmony to keep the body properly balanced.

But ... I have some symptoms that suggest sympathetic is too high while at the same time other symptoms suggest an overactive parasympathetic branch. Is it possible for BOTH to be too high? As if the teeter-totter is sitting up on stilts and needs to be put back on the ground? Is there any way to do this?

I had the holter test a few years back and the result was that my sympathetic NS functions at about one-third of normal, my parasympathetic NS at about 50% of normal. That is, both of them are under-performing, each to a different degree.

It seems reasonable, therefore, that in another person both could over-perform instead, and that each might do so to a different degree.
 

alex3619

Senior Member
Messages
13,810
Location
Logan, Queensland, Australia
Answer: (d) Any of the above.

There is no simple answer to this question. It depends on individuals.

However there are both central and peripheral factors in symptoms. Other things might be going on, and the presumption that its all sympathetic-parasympathetic might be wrong. Also, and this is a problem in my view when it comes to testing, the two are in an axis and both highly disturbed. Just because one is dominant at one time, does not mean that it will remain that way. Hours earlier or later might be different, it might change over time, you might even swing from one to the other for long periods.

Treating any underlying medical conditions seems to be the way to go.
 

soxfan

Senior Member
Messages
995
Location
North Carolina
@Sushi...my nervous system has been crazy for at least 3 years now and I am wondering what specific tests your doctor did to test for this. I know for a fact that my "flight or fight:" is constantly turned on as I can feel it in my body. Anything can trigger it as I really can't control this...like just thinking about going someplace even if it isn't a stressful situation will ignite it and then take hours to calm down.

In fact I never feel calm inside and it is much worse when I go to bed. Then it will go into high gear and make it difficult to fall asleep. I have been complaining about this for years to the doctors but they always tell me that there is no medicine that can help. I either have to try meditating or yoga etc...

This is definitely one of my worse symptoms which also seems to be tied to how bad the neuropathy pain is in my calves. The more revved up I feel the worse my pain is as well....My legs seemed to get turned on to the disruption and go crazy too.

I have tried everything to try and get my body back in balance but nothing helps....I even take walks in order to just zone out and enjoy the scenery but still doesn't help me sleep.

I have been treated for Lyme and Bartonella but this problem seemed to come on after all that...about 6 years into the illness....
 

Sushi

Moderation Resource Albuquerque
Messages
19,933
Location
Albuquerque
@soxfan

I saw an autonomic specialist and he did a TTT with all the bells and whistles, about 6 different tests included in the TTT. These were to measure how various aspects of the nervous system were functioning.

For you, is does sound like the sympathetic is in overdrive. An autonomic specialist will have an array of drugs to try to balance out the various branches, but, of course, we want to deal with causes too.

I forget, have you seen an autonomic specialist?

Sushi
 

soxfan

Senior Member
Messages
995
Location
North Carolina
@Sushi....no I haven't seen any autonomic specialist but have seen Dr. Komaroff in Boston who didn't do any kind of testing on me. My Lyme doctor did have the TTT done and I wore a holter monitor for 24 hours but nothing was abnormal at all.
I tried florinef at one point and it just made me really bloated feeling so I quit it after a few weeks.

I just moved to NC and am seeing a new doctor in April. She is a PCP but I am hoping she might have some new ideas on what is still causing my problems or what can be done to help with them. If she has no clue then maybe send me to a specialist that might help.

I am just really at the end of my rope with all this and just don't understand why new symptoms keep cropping up...

Like I stated I have been thoroughly treated for Lyme and Bart for years so I feel I didn't have either of them since I am still having issues which greatly interfere with daily living.