Zorn raising awareness of Dysautonomia

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved a resolution sponsored by Sen. Dale Zorn to help increase the public’s understanding and awareness of dysautonomia.

“Dysautonomia is a serious neurological system disease that disables residents of every age, gender and race from performing the most basic functions,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Although most people have never heard of dysautonomia, more than 70 million people worldwide live with some form of this medical condition. The impact on the lives of those with the condition and their families can be tremendous.”

Dysautonomia is an umbrella medical term utilized for a group of complex conditions that are caused by a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS regulates all of the unconscious functions of the body, including the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, metabolic and endocrine systems.

Senate Resolution 94 commemorates the month of October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.

“Dysautonomia is not rare; it is rarely known and there is no cure. Because of the lack of knowledge in the medical community, it can take years for patients to find a physician that is qualified to diagnose and treat those afflicted with this disabling syndrome,” said Kim Pearch, a Monroe resident with dysautonomia. “My wish is that raising awareness will change ‘rarely known’ to ‘known’ and improve the overall quality of life for millions of people around the world.”

Zorn’s resolution states that dysautonomia can occur secondary to other medical conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease. Certain forms of dysautonomia include side effects, such as frequent fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath and difficulty eating and sleeping, and can sometimes lead to death.

“Unfortunately, many people who have dysautonomia take a year or longer to get diagnosed,” Zorn said. “For those with dysautonomia, just getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult and each day can bring new and unexpected challenges. Dysautonomia Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to help raise understanding of this condition and encourage people to contribute to finding a cure.”

For more information about dysautonomia or to donate to help raise awareness and find a cure, residents can visit the Dysautonomia Information Network website at www.dinet.org or the Dysautonomia International site at www.dysautonomiainternational.org.