Autonomic Dysreflexia


Image from The Big Draw 2009
Image from The Big Draw 2009

AD is caused by an irritant below the level of injury, usually related, but not limited to bladder or bowel function.

Among the possible causes are:

  • Irritation of bladder wall, urinary tract infection
  • Blocked catheter
  • Overfilled collection bag
  • Over-distended or irritated bowel
  • Constipation/impaction
  • Hemorrhoids or anal infections
  • Skin infection or irritation, cuts, bruises, abrasions
  • Pressure sores (decubitus ulcer)
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Burns (including sunburn, burns from using hot water)
  • Tight or restrictive clothing
  • Sexual activity
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Labour and delivery
  • Abdominal conditions (gastric ulcer, colitis, peritonitis)
  • Bone fractures