Somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system  

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In the circle of communication of each person there is a friend who constantly complains about his health: then his side is tingling, then somewhere sick, then just a decline in strength. But no matter how much he went to see doctors, the specific reason for the poor state of health can not be found.  These symptoms may be a sign of somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

What are the symptoms of the disease?

The symptoms of somatoform disorder are diverse and manifest in disorders of almost all body systems. The patient's complaints are not specific.

  • If you have a large number of gastroenterological complaints (pain in various parts of the abdomen, nausea, heartburn, belching, bloating, rumbling in the abdomen.
  • If you have unusual sensations in the form of burning, gorenje, tingling in different parts of the abdomen or mouth (especially in the tongue).
  • If at the same time, according to the results of laboratory and instrumental examination, it is not possible to identify a "serious" disease, and the treatment is ineffective.
  • If you do not have the effect of traditional gastroenterological treatment.
  • If your complaints are not limited to the gastrointestinal tract and you periodically feel a rapid heartbeat, a feeling of lack of air, increased sweating.
  • If you have reduced performance and you feel constantly tired.
  • If anxious thoughts about your health do not allow you to relax, and doctors advise you to distract yourself and not think about the disease.

In such a situation, there is every reason to establish a diagnosis of "Somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system". This disorder is detected in 10% of patients of a gastroenterologist.

Let's understand the name in stages, starting from the end:

What is the autonomic nervous system?

 - the "autonomic nervous system" is an autonomous (that is, independent, not directly dependent on the central nervous activity) nervous system. Its function is to regulate the work of internal organs, and at the level of the entire body - to adapt to changing environmental conditions;

- "dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system" is a violation of its function, which consists in regulating the work of various organs and systems of the body;

- "somatoform dysfunction" is a dysfunction that manifests itself in the form of somatic symptoms, in other words-in the form of symptoms that are very similar in their characteristics to somatic (i.e., bodily) symptoms of diseases of various organs.

Summing up, we get the following definition:

Somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system is a disease that manifests symptoms similar to the manifestation of diseases of various organs, in the absence of organic changes in these organs according to the results of laboratory and instrumental examination.

The autonomic nervous system is involved in the regulation of most body systems, so this category of patients is characterized by repeated treatment of various specialists.

Many of these patients literally "walk in circles", because the examination does not reveal an organic pathology, which is often incorrectly interpreted as the absence of a diagnosis.

A constant feeling of weakness and distress, characteristic of somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, can not but affect the emotional state of patients. Recommendations to "distract yourself" or "not fixate on the disease" are completely meaningless, since the change in the emotional state is a reflection of the vegetative imbalance. The way out of the circle of problems is a properly established diagnosis and treatment aimed at restoring the normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system.

How is the diagnosis and treatment of the disease?

In the laboratory of clinical Psychology of the Loginov Moscow State Research Center, consultations are held on the diagnosis and treatment of somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system according to the algorithm:

  • clarification of the spectrum of existing complaints with the help of the developed questionnaire of functional gastroenterological complaints;
  • evaluation of gastroenterological complaints in comparison with the results of laboratory and instrumental examination;
  • submission of recommendations for additional gastroenterological examination (if necessary);
  • assessment of the state of the autonomic nervous system based on the clinical analysis of complaints from other organs and systems (cardiovascular, urinary, respiratory system) and filling out a questionnaire to identify autonomic changes;
  • conducting psychodiagnostics through psychotherapeutic conversations and the use of psychodiagnostic techniques;
  • making a conclusion about the presence or absence of a diagnosis of " somatoform dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system»;
  • presentation of treatment recommendations;

The reception is conducted by the head of the Laboratory of Clinical Psychology, Lyudmila Firsova, MD, a gastroenterologist of the highest category with professional retraining in the specialty of psychotherapist.

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GBUZ Moscow Clinical Scientific Center named after Loginov MHD