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The Cardiovascular Problems of Shy-Drager Syndrome / Multiple System Atrophy

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Diagnostic form with diagnosis shy-drager syndrome

Parkinson’s is a nasty neurologic condition. My father died of a similar diagnosis, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. And this article is dedicated to another difficult to name diagnosis, Shy-Drager Syndrome. Shy Drager, also known as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), is a rare, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the autonomic system of the body, which controls involuntary actions like blood pressure, breathing, bladder function, and muscle control. 

First identified in the 1960s by Dr. Milton Shy and Dr. Glen Drager, this condition shares symptoms with more well-known diseases like Parkinson’s disease, making it challenging to diagnose.

(The MDs are great at labels, but not good at all trying to find the CAUSE of the group of symptoms.)

What is Shy-Drager Syndrome?

Shy-Drager Syndrome is characterized by a deterioration of cells in specific areas of the brain and spinal cord, particularly those that regulate the autonomic nervous system and motor control. Mainstream believes the cause of this multisystem atrophy is unknown, though it involves the degeneration of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain, which affects the body’s involuntary functions and movement.

The cause is the same as all other health problems: violations of Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well. 


The symptoms of Shy-Drager Syndrome are diverse and can vary significantly from person to person. They typically appear in adulthood, usually in the late 50s. Common symptoms include:

  1. Autonomic Dysfunction: This can manifest as orthostatic hypotension (a significant drop in blood pressure when standing), leading to lightheadedness or fainting. Other symptoms might include bladder control issues, sexual dysfunction, and changes in sweating patterns.
  2. Motor Impairments: Similar to Parkinson’s disease, individuals may experience tremors, slow movement (bradykinesia), muscle rigidity, and balance problems. 
  3. Neurological Impairments: These can include speech and swallowing difficulties, sleep disturbances, and cognitive impairments.

Risk Factors

The precise risk factors for Shy-Drager Syndrome are not well understood due to its rarity. However, it is more commonly diagnosed in men than women and typically affects individuals over 50 years of age. There are no known genetic or environmental factors conclusively linked to the development of MSA.

Again, this condition, like the others, is from violations of Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well. Specifically, EVERYONE should be checked for mold mycotoxins. 


The progression of Shy-Drager Syndrome varies, but it is generally considered a progressive and ultimately fatal disease. The life expectancy following diagnosis is typically 7 to 10 years. Over time, individuals may require assistance with daily activities and may become bedridden.

Mainstream Treatments

As of now, there is no cure for Shy-Drager Syndrome, and treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Mainstream treatments may include:

  1. **Pharma**: To manage low blood pressure, medications like fludrocortisone or midodrine might be prescribed. Parkinson’s disease medications, such as levodopa, may offer temporary relief from motor symptoms but often become less effective as the disease progresses. Ivabradine may also be used. 
  2. **Physical Therapy**: This can help maintain mobility and balance.
  3. **Speech Therapy**: To address difficulties with speech and swallowing.
  4. **Lifestyle Adjustments**: Including increased salt and fluid intake, wearing compression stockings, and sleeping with the head elevated to manage orthostatic hypotension.

The NHD Plan

  1. Discuss and live our Eat Well, Live Well, Think Well
  2. Test, Don’t Guess including our Comprehensive Health Assessment Test panel along with the Neural Zoomer Plus testing. Also, consider Genova GI Effects stool analysis
  3. #8 swiffer test from our website

After a review of the above, evidence-based supplements and biohacking strategies will be recommended. Again, we try to find and REVERSE the causes of this condition. 

That is your best survival strategy. 

Schedule a Discovery Call with one of our coaches to see how we can help you. 


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He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

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About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

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Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

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As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

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Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

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Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.


Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.


Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

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Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.