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Autonomic Dysreflexia

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is autonomic dysreflexia?

Autonomic dysreflexia (AD) is a condition that causes sudden, extremely high blood pressure. AD is most common in people with a spinal cord injury in the neck or upper back.

What causes AD?

Ask your healthcare provider about these and other causes of AD:

What are the signs and symptoms of AD?

How is AD diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your signs and symptoms. You may need any of the following:

How can I manage my AD?

Act as soon as you have signs and symptoms. You may need to do any of the following:

How can I help prevent AD?

Healthcare providers will teach you a bladder and bowel movement program. This program includes ways to help you urinate and have bowel movements regularly. This will help prevent urine buildup, constipation, and AD. Ask for more information on bladder and bowel training.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Autonomic Dysreflexia

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.