Vegetative-vascular dystonia (VSD) – a mysterious disease. This diagnosis is made to every third person who goes to the doctor, but no one knows exactly how to treat this condition. Many specialists, especially doctors of a narrow profile (cardiologists, neuropathologists), do not consider VSD a disease at all, and indeed, you will not find such a diagnosis in the international classification of diseases ICD 10. At the same time, there is a whole complex of rather unpleasant symptoms that significantly complicate a person’s life both at work and at home. Let’s figure out what vegetative-vascular dystonia is – a “convenient” pseudo-disease under which you can write off all the symptoms that came from nowhere, or a disease with specific clinical signs and treatment tactics.
What is vegetative-vascular dystonia?
So, we have already decided that there is no such diagnosis as VSD according to the international classification. A disease with similar symptoms is somatoform autonomic dysfunction of the nervous system, which is designated by the code F 45.3 and belongs to the group of psychogenic diseases.
In fact, the phrase “vegetative-vascular dystonia ” is outdated, and somatoform autonomic dysfunction is modern, and this is the diagnosis made by doctors all over the world. Therefore, it is not quite right to “cut from the shoulder” completely denying the presence of the disease. A person by and large does not care how correctly from a medical point of view his diagnosis is called. The main thing is that it is eventually cured. In this article, we will continue to talk about vegetative-vascular dystonia not as a disease, but as a group of characteristic symptoms, thereby removing possible objections.
Vegetative-vascular dystonia is also called neurocirculatory, emphasizing its connection with the disruption of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. In this condition, there are no organic disorders of the internal organs – the heart, blood vessels, stomach, intestines, and others, but their function is disrupted. This is manifested by changes in blood pressure, heart failure, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, pain of various localization and other symptoms.
Causes of vegetative-vascular dystonia
It is no secret that the nervous system regulates the work of the entire body. Including the function of the cardiovascular, digestive and endocrine systems. Any disorders of the nervous system can cause a whole range of symptoms characteristic of VSD.
Causes of VSD:
- Stress, nervous tension, fatigue.
- Diseases of the nervous system, head and spine injuries.
- Low threshold of tolerability of physical discomfort, suspiciousness. In this case, any tension is perceived as pain.
- Features of character, temperament.
- Hereditary factors. Inherited features of the body are transmitted, which, under unfavorable circumstances, can cause symptoms of VSD.
- Endocrine diseases. For example, severe forms of diabetes mellitus, in which the myelin sheath of the nerves is disturbed.
- Bad habits — alcohol, drugs, smoking. Excessive coffee consumption also has an adverse effect on the nervous system.
- Infections, intoxications.
- Diseases of internal organs.
- Heat, humidity, direct rays of the sun. Overheating can cause symptoms of HCV.
- Hormonal changes – puberty, pregnancy, menopause.
VSD is considered a youth problem. Most often, vegetative-vascular dystonia affects young women under 45 years of age.
Symptoms of vegetative-vascular dystonia
A violation of the regulation of the work of organs and systems can cause various symptoms. They can be divided into cardiovascular, neurological and digestive
Cardiovascular disorders: a decrease or increase in blood pressure, palpitations or vice versa, bradycardia, arrhythmia (more often extrasystoles), a feeling of lack of air, shortness of breath, stabbing, aching pains in the heart area.
Neurological disorders: lethargy, anxiety, headache, dizziness, fainting, insomnia, subfebrile body temperature or its decrease, feeling of a lump in the throat, trembling in the body, sweating of the hands, frequent urination.
Digestive disorders: nausea, abdominal heaviness, pain, diarrhea or constipation, bloating, feeling of incomplete bowel movement.
People with VSD are usually weather-sensitive. When the weather changes, their health worsens.
Vegetative-vascular dystonia is not always accompanied by all of the above symptoms. Some, for example, clearly expressed dizziness, apathy and drowsiness, others-jumps in blood pressure. Still others are hypotonic, with constantly low blood pressure, a weak pulse and a decrease in body temperature.
Crises of vegetative-vascular dystonia
The symptoms of vegetative-vascular dystonia depend on which part of the nervous system – sympathetic or parasympathetic-fails. VSD can worsen under certain circumstances, and such conditions are called crises. There are two variants of crises of vegetative-vascular dystonia:
- Vagoinsular crisis, which is characterized by weakness, dizziness, darkening of the eyes, slowing of the pulse, bradycardia, decreased blood pressure, pallor of the skin, sweating.
- Sympathoadrenal crisis is associated with the excitation of the sympathetic nervous system with the release of adrenaline. It is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure, a feeling of uncontrolled fear, anxiety, headache, tachycardia, heart pain, tremor of the extremities. Sympathoadrenal crisis is also called a panic attack.
Diagnosis of vegetative-vascular dystonia
In order to determine the cause of the above symptoms, it is necessary to exclude a number of diseases. So don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribes a list of tests and diagnostic procedures.
- General analysis of blood and urine. With VSD, the indicators will be normal.
- Blood for sugar, to exclude diabetes.
- Daily monitoring of ECG and blood pressure.
- Ultrasound of the kidneys, heart and thyroid gland.
- Hormonal profile, thyroid hormones, and adrenal glands.
- Orthostatic test-demonstrates the function of the autonomic nervous system. To do this, the patient takes a lying position and after 10 minutes at rest, his blood pressure and pulse are measured. After that, he gets up and is re-measured. Normally, the pulse rate increases by no more than 10-14 beats per minute, diastolic pressure increases within 10-15%, and systolic pressure either remains normal or increases slightly.
Often, under the mask of symptoms of VSD, hypertension, diabetes, kidney, stomach, bowel, heart, and thyroid diseases are hidden, or psychoneurological problems-chronic anxiety neurosis. Only if none of the diagnoses were confirmed, it can be argued that the patient has vegetative-vascular dystonia.
Unfortunately, in practice, very often the diagnosis of VSD is made to everyone in a row without analyzing the reasons. This is very convenient, because under this pathology you can write off a whole group of diagnoses, prescribe nootropics, antidepressants, sedatives or placebos-and there are no problems. Only it doesn’t make it any easier for the patient. And at this time, the main unidentified disease will progress, and deliver a lot of problems and discomfort.
Treatment of vegetative-vascular dystonia
Who should treat vegetative-vascular dystonia? Usually everything starts with a therapist or family doctor, and then you start traveling through the offices – from a cardiologist to an endocrinologist or neurologist, then to an ENT, ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist and psychiatrist. This does not really suit the patient, but what should a narrow specialist do if he does not see any deviations in his profile?
As we have already said, the cause of VSD is an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system, and then like a snowball, this problem becomes overgrown with various symptoms. This means that a neurologist and a psychiatrist can provide qualified help.
Since the manifestations of VSD are different, there is no single treatment regimen. We will list the main medicines used for the treatment of vegetative-vascular dystonia:
- The b group vitamins. They are necessary for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, are part of the myelin sheath of nerves, protect the brain from stress and nervous excitement. Regardless of the symptoms of VSD, you should start treatment with a course of B vitamins.
- Succinic acid. Promotes the elimination of free radicals, which are formed during stress, improve memory, attention, thinking, sleep. It is not recommended for hypertension and exacerbation of stomach ulcers.
- With high blood pressure, antihypertensive drugs are recommended. If hypertension is accompanied by an increased heart rate, betablockers are prescribed, for example, bisoprolol.
- Nootropics – drugs affecting the metabolism and improving blood circulation of the brain – phenibut, piracetam, Vinpocetine.
- Sedatives-validol, valocordin, corvalol, barboval. Be careful with barbiturates – they are addictive, drowsy, and incompatible with some groups of medications. Despite the fact that they are publicly available in pharmacies, a doctor should prescribe such drugs.
- Extracts of herbs-motherwort, chamomile, valerian, fennel, mint have a mild calming effect. Eleutherococcus, ginseng, and lemongrass are used as adaptogens that help the body adapt to stress and get out of this state with minimal losses and disorders.
- Tranquilizers-used for high blood pressure and palpitations during the sympathoadrenal crisis.
- Antiarrhythmic drugs-amiodarone, asparkam. It is used for heart rhythm disorders
- Magnesium preparations – for severe cardiac symptoms – rhythm and heart rate disorders, heart failure, pain in the heart area, etc.
- Neuroleptics-with high anxiety, insomnia, depression.
This is not a complete list of medications that a doctor can recommend to eliminate unpleasant symptoms.
There are also non-drug methods of treating VSD – relaxing massage, various types of relaxation therapy (music, yoga, aromatherapy), acupuncture, physical procedures and other methods to relieve nervous tension.
Since active sports can aggravate the condition, they recommend dosed physical activity – quiet walks, yoga, Pilates, swimming.
It is necessary to adjust the lifestyle and diet – say goodbye to bad habits-alcohol, smoking, as well as spicy, spicy food and caffeine act excitingly on the nervous system, which can cause an exacerbation of VSD.
It is obvious that vegetative-vascular dystonia in each specific case requires an individual approach, and only a doctor can determine the correct treatment. The ” harmless heart drops” that help your neighbor so well can be useless to you, and in the worst case, can be harmful.
If you have symptoms of VSD, consult a doctor, and do not treat yourself!