Advertisement

What is the autonomic nervous system?

William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology

The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that automatically controls breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and digestive function. Autonomic symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, rapid or slow heart rate, irregular heartbeats (palpitations), flushing, sweating, and nausea.

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! Discover What's Behind Your SYMPTOMS (That Doctors Can't Explain)

More About this Book

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! Discover What's Behind Your SYMPTOMS (That Doctors Can't Explain)

Still Hurting? FIND HEALTH! presents a new model of disease, which empowers readers suffering with pain, symptoms (e.g., fatigue), and symptom syndromes (e.g., irritable bowel, fibromyalgia, chronic...

The autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that controls muscles of internal organs (such as the heart, blood vessels, lungs, stomach, and intestines) and glands (such as salivary glands and sweat glands). One part of the autonomic nervous system helps the body rest, relax, and digest food and another part helps a person fight or take flight in an emergency.

The autonomic nervous system is also called the involuntary nervous system.

Continue Learning about Parts of the Nervous System

Why am I so ticklish?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Ticklishness is caused by a dense collection of nerves packed in together. In this video, Dr. Oz...
More Answers
What happens in the body when we're tickled?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Lightly stimulating tiny nerve endings beneath the skin sends a message through the nervous system t...
More Answers
What is the cerebral hemisphere?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The cerebral hemisphere is one half of the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscle func...
More Answers
Why do we laugh when tickled?
Dr. Robin Miller, MDDr. Robin Miller, MD
Believe it or not, no one is completely sure why we laugh when tickled. However, the best explanatio...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.