Solange Knowles revealed she has canceled her New Year’s performance with Afro Punk in South Africa after quietly battling an autonomic disorder for the past 5 months. Here’s what we know about the medical condition.
Solange Knowles, 31, will not be joining Afro Punk on New Year’s in South Africa, she revealed in a lengthy and emotional Instagram post on December 27. The singer and director revealed she’s quietly been battling an autonomic disorder throughout 2017, and her doctors have not cleared her to fly to South Africa, let alone perform afterward. Solange was heartbroken upon finding out she would not be able to join her fans to ring in the New Year, and promised she would return when she is in better health. She admitted that self care is her priority as doctors try and treat the “complicated diagnosis.” While Solange did not reveal the type of autonomic disorder she’s been diagnosed with, here are five things you should know.
1. What is an autonomic disorder? — Although there are multiple types of autonomic disorders, they all have one thing in common — the ANS, which stands for autonomic nervous system. The ANS controls the body’s involuntary functions, such as bladder function, blood pressure, body temperature, breathing, digestion, heart rate, and even sexual function. Therefore, when a person has an autonomic disorder, that means the nerves that send messages to the brain and other organs are damaged, causing irregularity in the way the body’s involuntary functions operate.
2. What causes the disorder? — Diabetes is generally the most common cause of autonomic neuropathy, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, other health conditions [parkinson’s multiple sclerosis and certain types of dementia], including infection, may cause the disorder. Even certain medications may cause nerve damage; Or the disorder can be a side effect of treatments for other diseases, such as cancer. Some causes of an autonomic disorder include: abnormal protein buildup, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, injured nerves, inherited disorders;
3. What are the symptoms? — Symptoms will vary based on which nerves are damaged. They may include: dizziness and fainting [when standing; caused by a drop in blood pressure], sexual difficulties, trouble digesting food [feeling full very easily, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing and heartburn], sweating abnormalities [sweating too much or too little], slow-moving pupil reactions [difficulties adjusting to light and seeing at night], exercise intolerance, urinary problems [difficulties beginning urination and sensing a full/empty bladder];
4. Is there a cure? — It’s unclear. Nerve damage is difficult to cure, therefore doctors take the disorder case by case and prescribe different treatments from there.
5. How is autonomic disorder treated? — Treatment will vary based on which nerves are damaged. Doctors will first identify symptoms and treat patients by which type of disorder they have; this includes setting lifestyle changes and/or prescribing medication. If an inherited disease is the cause of someone’s autonomic disorder, then it can’t be prevented. However, there are other prevention tactics; you can slow the onset of progression of symptoms by taking care of your overall health — get the appropriate treatment for any medical condition you may have, monitor blood pressure, exercise regularly/maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking; For more severe cases, doctors may use physical therapy, walking aids, and other stricter methods to help treat the disorder.
HollywoodLifers, do you know someone with Autonomic Disorder?