What is Autonomic Reflex Screening? What can I expect?

Posted by gastrogirl @gastrogirl, May 27, 2021

Going back to Mayo to the Neurology dept because the gastro there wants to send me for the Autonomic Reflux Screen. I read a bit about it but I am still wondering what to expect. How does this play into Gastroparesis and/or Autoimmune Gastritis.
I read part of this test might be for POTS diagnosis? What do any of you know about this test, what it is and what it is like. Also what might it be screening for.
Thanks everyone and hope all of you are well!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Brain & Nervous System Support Group.

My doctor inserted a tube down my throat and showed me the area was raw. He explained this was acid reflux or Gerd from stomach acids. You can look these terms up on your smart phone. Simply ask, what is gerd or acid reflux.


Hi @gastrogirl, I moved your questions about autonomic function tests and, in particular, Autonomic Reflex Screening to the Brain & Nervous System group and the Digestive Health group where you've been talking with @brandywine8875 @fourof5zs @ess77 and others. I'm also tagging @lakelifelady and @nrivers, who can tell you more about their experiences with the autonomic reflex test and what you can expect.

Note that the test is not for reflux but rather automonic reflex. Dr. Sandroni explains more in this video and why a patient may receive an autonomic test and the process that a patient will experience.

There are several conditions for which this test can helpful in determining a diagnosis. This will help your Mayo team to find a diagnosis or eliminate potential causes.


@gastrogirl Hello, Linda. Interesting you're going to neurology now and having some fun tests. I did the same, the same route…from gastro to neurology for this testing. It's an interesting group of tests that are non-invasive and safe, won't be frightening or difficult. I think I found it best to just relax and see where it goes….These are tests to see if your fainting on standing – right? and other symptoms are caused by an issue with your body adjusting to different positions like sitting to standing, lying in bed to sitting up, getting up….things like that.

I tend to almost pass out or feel dizzy at times when I stand up after sitting in my recliner or lying down. It can be a blood pressure issue, with BP dropping when you stand and not able to adjust to the new position fast enough to keep you stable. In my case, it's the autonomic system going a bit wonky. That's the system designed to do things for us without our having to think about it, like breathing, swallowing, blinking, and inside like adjusting to different positions automatically so we just keep going, among other goodies it does for us. It's quite a remarkable system, really.

Well, these tests will determine if you have issues with this process. I do, but don't do anything about it other than move carefully, more slowly than normal for me, get up and give my body a chance to adjust Things like that.

I use a B-pap at night to sleep, that reminds my body to breath and pushes air in and out so I breath well and sleep well. I have severe sleep apnea so I tend to not breath during sleep; I also stop breathing when I lie on my back, so I can't sleep on my back, only on my sides. I also have a tendency to not breath during the day when I'm awake, but that's much better with this sleep machine and with my deep, diaphramaitic breathing I do during the day. Breathing with pursed lips, counting, etc. so, there are ways to help with these issues once they're determined to cause the problems.

It can also affect the bladder and intestines, and other organ functions, which may be happening with you, too. You see, it's a bit involved but they know what they're doing and there are reasons that they are looking in this direction. I hope some of this helps you understand better what's happening, where they're going and why. I have trouble swallowing. there is medication to help with that if you need it. Sweating is another. We found most of my sweating issues, pouring sweat at strange times, for no reason, are thyroid related and adjusted my thyroid meds. Solved most of my problem. And others, as the thyroid works throughout the body.

This is one important reason Mayo and such teaching specialists are so helpful. You start in one area with one that you think is the main problem. You may find the doctors looking in other places that at first make no sense. But, they really are good. they really will help find your diagnosis.

Good to hear about the follow-up and new directions. Let me know what happens. When do you return to Mayo? I'm here and as you see, full of information. I'm a patient in several areas, as perhaps are you!

Blessings and may your days be filled with peace and good things. Elizabeth

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