Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

The Autonomic Nervous System is a large network of multifaceted neurons that maintain homeostasis in the body. This network includes cardiovascular, ophthalmologic, thermoregulatory, genitourinary and gastrointestinal systems in the body.

The ANS contains both the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous systems. The former controls the response called “fight or flight” when one gets into seemingly dangerous situations, whereas the Parasympathetic nervous system lowers the heart rate and slows down the muscles to save energy.

Fibromyalgia is linked to a malfunction in the ANS. Patients of fibromyalgia find that their Sympathetic Nervous System functions at an elevated pace and that their Parasympathetic Nervous System works at a much lower rate. Such individuals always face this inevitable “fight or flight” response. When such individuals are in a hyperactive state, they have an escalated heart rate. Women with this problem suffer with a dysfunctional ANS.

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