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What causes autonomic dysreflexia?

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You can get autonomic dysreflexia if you’ve injured your spinal cord around the bottom of the shoulder blades or above. You can lose feeling and muscle control below the damaged spot. But the nerves there still try to send signals back to the brain. That can make your body do the wrong thing.

Sometimes, even a full bladder or an ingrown toenail is enough to send your nerve responses into overdrive.

Other things that can set off the condition include:

  • Constipation
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Inserting a catheter, a medical tube
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Irritated or blistered skin
  • Pressure on the scrotum
  • Sexual stimulation

From: What Is Autonomic Dysreflexia? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: “A systematic review of the management of autonomic dysreflexia following spinal cord injury.”

The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine : “Life-threatening outcomes associated with autonomic dysreflexia: A clinical review.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research.”

The Shepherd Center: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

The Reeve Foundation: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

Postgraduate Medical Journal : "Autonomic dysreflexia: a medical emergency."

Canadian Family Physician : “Autonomic dysreflexia -- Recognizing a common serious condition in patients with spinal cord injury.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on January 12, 2018

SOURCES:

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: “A systematic review of the management of autonomic dysreflexia following spinal cord injury.”

The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine : “Life-threatening outcomes associated with autonomic dysreflexia: A clinical review.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research.”

The Shepherd Center: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

The Reeve Foundation: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

Postgraduate Medical Journal : "Autonomic dysreflexia: a medical emergency."

Canadian Family Physician : “Autonomic dysreflexia -- Recognizing a common serious condition in patients with spinal cord injury.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on January 12, 2018

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What are the symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia?

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