ANS Testing – A Great New Diagnostic Tool

How we’ve learned to access your nervous system without pain

Have you ever thought about the systems and organs in your body that function automatically so you’re not even aware they’re functioning? When you’re healthy, it’s natural not to actually feel the energy of your nervous system, or your blood flowing, or your gall bladder as it generates bile to help your digestion, or your brain transmitting electrical impulses. That’s how your body works. It’s a marvel.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), a division of your peripheral nervous system, is an important network that influences the function of internal organs. It’s actually a control system that acts largely unconsciously as it regulates your heart and respiratory rates, as well as your digestion, pupillary responses, and urination. Even though you’re not aware of it working, this system is so integral to your bodily functions that when some of those functions aren’t working right, the ANS serves as a ‘roadmap’ to help doctors ferret out numerous health threats.

How on earth can doctors access a nervous system without causing pain and discomfort? Relax! It doesn’t involve anything unpleasant such as drawing blood or injections.

The ANS exam consists of a simple, non-invasive, fully automated computer-based test that’s as easy as taking an EKG. But the ANS test allows a more inclusive image of your nervous system than an EKG, and it reveals if you’re at higher risk for hypertension, heart attack or vascular problems.

Technology has reached a medical high point with this innovative equipment.

The ANS exam in becoming increasingly popular with medical personnel because it’s such an effective predictor of non-specific health risks!

Here’s a list of some of the often hidden issues an ANS test allows you to confirm or exclude:

  • Cardiovascular Autonomic Neuropathy: Autonomic neuropathy occurs when the nerves that control involuntary bodily functions are damaged, which interferes with the messages sent between the brain and other organs. This can affect blood pressure, temperature control, digestion, bladder function and even sexual function.
  • Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy: Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy occurs in approximately 17% of patients with type 1 diabetes and 22% of those who have type 2 diabetes.
  • Hypertension: Also known as high blood pressure (HBP), this is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated, and it’s a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, and chronic kidney disease.
  • Fibromyalgia: This is an imbalance in ANS activity, which means the parasympathetic nervous system (in charge of resting states) is improperly balancing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system (in charge of the body’s functioning when it’s under stress).
  • Syncope: Syncope refers to passing out from low blood pressure, which affects the entire brain.
  • Silent Ischemia: This is an asymptomatic form of myocardial ischemia that may damage the heart muscle. The heart muscle just doesn’t get enough oxygen!

Fibromyalgia has been treated unsuccessfully for many years, and that’s been partly due to misdiagnosis. Thanks to advancements in ANS testing, fibromyalgia is easier than ever to test for.

Silent Ischemia can be detected by electrocardiographic and laboratory techniques, including an ANS exam.

As you can see, doctors not only gain insight into already known threats, but testing for autonomic dysfunction helps them to discover potential new threats.

In fact, if existing treatments aren’t working, the ANS test helps your doctor to further define your condition and change a treatment if necessary; The added benefit is that it’s done without expensive tests or invasive procedures.

There are very few contraindications for this test, however if you have a pacemaker or defibrillator, this test wouldn’t be advised. But if it’s determined you’re a good candidate, this is an excellent opportunity to establish a baseline for your health status.

ANS monitoring has proved so reliable and beneficial, it’s now recommended as a standard of care by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

At Texas Spine & Wellness, we offer the latest generation of ANS testing with our new equipment and we’re pleased to be able to offer its amazing capabilities to our patients. The test only takes about 15 minutes from beginning to end. Interpretive reports are generated immediately after testing, and you’ll receive a copy of the report for your personal medical file.

Once it’s established whether or not there’s evidence of peripheral neuropathy, or any similar functional issues, we can plan a regimen of nutritional supplements to improve your condition, prevent further damage, and help you avoid additional problems.

If you’d like to receive more information about ANS testing, talk to one of our doctors during your next office visit. Or, if you’re new to our practice, please give us a call. Most insurance companies cover the charges of this important test and we’ll be happy to provide you with an insurance verification.

Ask our doctors about including an ANS test during your next visit. It will be your first step to achieving the best health possible.