First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Familial Dysautonomia
Familial dysautonomia (FD) is a rare inherited genetic disease caused by abnormal development of the nervous system. People with FD have problems feeling pain and heat, may have problems with balance and swallowing, and are unable to regulate their body temperature and blood pressure.
Symptoms of FD include severe eye problems, a lack of tears, feeding difficulties, and poor weight gain because of a weak suck reflex. Pneumonia may occur when uncoordinated swallowing allows breast milk or formula into the lungs.
Other common symptoms include lack of coordination, inability to feel pain, poor body temperature regulation, and developmental delays in speech and motor skills. Many children have stunted growth and curvature of the spine (scoliosis).
FD is treated with surgery to help maintain nutrition and prevent pneumonia. Medicines are used to control vomiting, eye dryness, and blood pressure. Support groups and counseling can be helpful for people with familial dysautonomia and for their families. Genetic testing is recommended to identify carriers of the disease and help guide decisions about having children.
Current as of:
May 30, 2018
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Patrice Burgess, MD, FAAFP - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Siobhan M. Dolan, MD, MPH - Reproductive Genetics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
1430 N Salem Street
Apex, NC 27502
2615 Lake Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607
901 Ridgefield Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609
4420 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
357 Carolina Arbors Drive
Durham, NC 27703
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.