Wow, is it sure good to here vegas nerve comments. I also stumbled onto this website. Have had the gerd, some heart palps, stomach lurches, anxiety, small hiatal hernia, arm and finger numbness, diarhea, breathing issues and my biggest problem of sleep starts/jumps/gasps all seeming to originate down by the middle of chest area. 42, male, have lost about 30 pounds in last 5 years, which is good but have driven people in my life nuts including myself. I have a strong belief that the vegas nerve is the culprit, and after coming across this page I believe it more than ever...am considering chiropractic help but now real sure what path to take any more. Big hugs to all!! and someday we will get to the bottom of our problems.
I am a former Intensive/Coronary Care and Emergency RN but for the past 15 years have been on the other side of the fence as an energy clinician. Energy medicine works with the body's energy, ultimately the human body's nuts and bolts. Rather than dealing with symptoms we look for the cause of the problems! I have been having all the symptoms you guys refer to since as far back as I can remember (I'm 54). I am teaching my students of my theory of the super importance of the Vagus Nerve. I am currently conducting research into this and how energy medicine can help. I'm astounded with what I see and how it all seems to relate back to the Vagus Nerve and more. Keep you posted.
my personal experience began in feb 08. woke up one morning with chest pains. had no previous problems. doc treated it like ulcer and put me on previcid 30 mg. chest continued to hurt. in april i got to where i couldn't swallow the pills anymore. had to take them apart and put in applesauce. had constant dirareaha. lost 15 lbs. only weighed 128. june 08 had EGD. tell me i have barretts esophagus with no prior symptons. double the previcid which had never worked. could nt eat anything. pretty much lived on baked potatoes and pasta for months. in july my heart started skipping and palpatating and chest and left arm pain. i can sympathize with all of you. that will cause stress which causes more palpatations which is a vicious cycle. had all the cardio tests including EKG, echo, cardiolite adn the heart cath too. valves all good, no clots, no clogs, no heart issues. So why is my heart not beating right??? taking xanax to calm me down because it is so stressful. makes me tired, no energy. went back to the digestive doc last week. here is what i am learning. the swollen esophagus from GERD and acid is putting pressure on the vagus nerve which goes around and intertwines with the heart causing the palpatations and skipped beats. he switched me to prilosec which has FINALLY taken away the chest pain THANK GOD and put me on a anticholinergies drug. it is suppose to inhibit the action of the vegus nerve on the heart. only been on it for 7 days so far. He said there was no quick fix and it would take awhile. have also found that taking apple cider vinegar and honey mixed together will help aid digestion by naturally producing bicarbonate which is your bodies natural antacid. Which is also the main ingrediant in baking soda.. A dill pickle will also help with the chest pain by causing the same effect. I hope my money and experience will help some of you out.
I too have suffered with the same symptoms, relieved to know its not just in my head as some people make it out to be or that Im over sensitive. My childern have seen me when I have these "attacks" as I call them. They have seen me turn completely white, almost pass out and sometimes my hand or hands turn purple. Certain foods make my attacks come on or sometimes activity. I sometimes would even have difficulty walking across the yard. Im a 36 year old female, always have been very active, pretty fit and healthy. This has been very devestating to deal with. I went to a med doctor last year and was tested for H pylori and it was a positive. I did not take the antibiotics for it. I have lost wieght, which I was thin to begin with. I too have the dizzyness, pain down arms and legs, have upper chest pressure, heart palpatations, sometimes have to go to the bathroom right away (sometimes after I have a bowel movement it helps), strange feelings of my nerves pulsating- sometimes on the top of my head sometimes near my left shoulder blade or on the bottom of my left foot. Very odd symptoms and no medical doctors want to listen. I started seeing a chiropractor last year for another reason which I thought was unrelated. And it was the best thing for me.I told him about all my strange symptoms at the first appointmen and he helped me right away. My symptoms started to go away and I was able to get back to my normal activities, and felt better than I ever had in my life. Couldn't believe I was walking around in such misery for so long!! I since moved and have went about 2 1/2 months without going to the chiropractor and guess what-- symptoms slowly started to creep back. Then 2 weeks ago I had to call 911, my heartrate was extremely fast and I was dizzy and very sick. I was alone at the time and couldn't get ahold of anyone so I called 911. My heart rate was over 137 and it lasted for almost 3 hours. The hospital did an EKG, and blood work which both turned out fine. I explained to them I thought it was all related to my stomach but never had my heartrate up this high and for this long,,,and could not get it to calm down. The ER doctor thought I may have had a panic attack and I know I didn't and he seemed to just brush it off like I was crazy, (which maybe thats up for debate!!) They said maybe its a peptic ulcer and recommended I have tests done. Yeah right. So I found a chiropractor in my area and went to him 2 times so far ,once a week and the heart palpatations have gone and the funny feeling in my chest and the pain down my arms and legs have also gone. I still get some upper gas pressure but not like it was getting again after not going to the chiropractor for those couple of months. I think there must be a connection with digestion and the vagus nerve but what is the cause, the stomach acid irritating the nerve or the nerve making the stomach produce more acid and the symptoms. Hmm interesting , I hope this has helped and maybe we can start to understand our bodies and hopefully get some answers somewhere. Im glad I found these postings it sure has helped knowing that Im not imagining this. Thanks, Melissa
I have had this problem for about 13 years now , It started when I was about 27. I can still remember my first attack. It was right after eating a fairly large meal at Olive Garden. I felt the thumping of the heart skips, got sweaty, heart racing, caused panic, etc. I went to the hospital, all fine other than elevated blood pressure.
After that I suffered pretty badly with it for about 2 years, thinking I had all kinds of problems, saw a number of doctors etc. One actually told me it was a vagus nerve "attack". Those words did not connect until past year or so. I started to learn to live with it.
It seemed to get better for a while (happening less frequently) but it would sometimes come back with a vengance but would seem to go into mangeable remission for long stretches. Now over the past year or so it happens ALOT. I will sit there and analyze what is happening and I have come to the same conclusions as so many of you, it is the vagus nerve being out of whack or pressure on it, if I can just find the pressure point in my stomach it would stop. (haven't found it) but have just realized that bearing down helps alot.
I also have severe hpermobile joints in my neck and back causing pain, tight muscles etc. I also wonder if that is causing stress on my vagus. It does seem that the stress of worrying over it makes it worse but so many times it just starts out of the blue which leads me to believe it is not self created.
I think if this is ever seriously studied that they will find this is the cause of many diagnose's of anxiety disorder which I think is the symptom not the cause of these horrible sensations.
I have 2 close friends who have the same problems so it is either more common or the stressful lives we live make it worse thus more noticeable.
I went to my chriopractor today , I told him of my high BP reading and about this thread on the vagus nerve ,I asked if he knew of any on going studies on the vagus nerve , he is giing to look into it, I also did some reasearch on my own .The vagus nerve actually is the 10th crainal nerve it is one of the longest nerves in the body, you speak of your neck problems ,I also have cervical subluxation , my chrio, explaned to me that the vagus nerve passed thru the neck area , so any cervical neck problems could very well disrupt the nerve and affect quite a few organs , my biggest problem is the effect it has on my blood pressure and pulse 210/102/92 the lurching , chills so hard I cannot get warm , I hear so many speak of the same symptions i have experienced ,but most of all I hear a need for relief , thank God these are seemling not heart related but the vagus nerve dose have 3 leads to the heart the stress and anxiety know matter how we try are there, also there surly is some toll on the body when we experience what we do , I am really intrested in this subject of the vagus nerve I will continue asking questions I am going to ask my dr. to really take an intrest I hope we can all get some
This whole vagus nerve thing is extremely interesting. I posted earlier about some of my symptoms and what I didn't mention before is that my identical twin brother also has exact similar symptoms as mine. We both have small hiatal hernias, have been to countless doctors and never get anywhere. We also have lower back pains, some upper leg pain and the big big kicker for both of us is the monkey jumps or gasps that we both have at night. We are convinced that it is 100 % physical. We are not anxious people no matter what the doctors say. Have been on and off too many unneeded medications and seem to never have an exact diagnosis. It always seems to be a mystery. Having a twin to talk and experience this is great however we dont want to live with this forever. We have analyzed and have noticed some observations that might be of interest. 1. Too much sugar in our diets (always have liked it and lots of it.)
2. Always eat (ate) too fast, gulping our foods and finished before everyone.
3. used to be a little bit overweight 10 to 20 Lbs (mainly in the stomach area where it sticks out a bit
4. both have small hiatal hernias ( 2cms)
5. both have the sleep problem waking up with gasps and sometimes with unclarity.
6. both have back pains that seem to wander; legs, upperback, shoulder etc
7. both have always been active and sometimes wonder if excersice may effect us adversely
8. moderate drinkers and big choclate and coffee freaks. (not anymore)
9. Another theory (and i stress theory) we have is as we lose weight, we both discover that our problems increase for awhile. We think this might be due to the stomach shrinkage causing more movement in the somewhat damaged diagphram area where the vagus nerve could be pinched
... some of these are things in the past, but just trying to get information out there.
We need to post as much info as we can. Maybe if enough people with this problem can come together, we could get some sort of questionaire to all the sufferers, submit it to a doc who wants to do some research on the matter. It just seems like no one is studying this bizaare **** that so many of us have in common. We are in the process of going to the chiropractor. I will continue to update this forum on our progress. REMEMBER you are NOT CRAZY !!!!!!!!!! This is a REAL CONDITION!!!! How about a big find in 09
I went to the doctor about stomach pain I have had 34 years. On and off I had scans etc. nothing ever found. I often get eye spasms and spasms up my neck and the side of my face when my stomach tightens. When I told him of this symptom he said it sounded like the vagus nerve and stress. I am being scheduled to go to a gastro doctor and hope to explore this vagus nerve theory. I also have kidney stones quite often as well as prostatitis. My general practitioner has me on 40 mg of Prilosec and an antispasmodic. I also take Lorazapam and Lexapro for the anxiety I get along with the continued pain. Sincerely ROn
(second time trying to post this) This has been awesome finding other people with the same symptoms, I was started to think I was falling apart and I am only 41. I am currently being investigated for racing heart, skipping beats, light headedness, have to catch my breath, all this started about 2 months ago. For at least 2 years, I also have constant right ear pain, right throat pain, saw an ear doctor, and had ultrasound of neck, and all negative. Right shoulder pain, saw physio, right handed numbness and tingling. My eyes feel buggy and have had my prescription checked twice. Now reading this, I am seeing that the 20 pound weight loss, and the sleepless nights over the past two years might all be related. In the last 3-4 years, I have also had two episodes of feeling like I was having a heart attack. They did ECG, but decided it was GERD, and prescribed Nexium. I also experience twitching in my right groin, had a right kidney stone and what feel like "sparks" going off just above my right ear, which sometime lead to a head ache. My doctor is trying to figure out what it all means, but I have to admit, I am only putting this all together, and have now written this all down to bring it all to her attention. If it is this vagus nerve, and something is making it act up, then it is worth investigating. Again, this has been very helpful, and thank you all for sharing.
Hello, I just came across this site looking for information on the vagas nerve and gastroparesis. I have a condition called Fibromuscular Dysplasia, a disease of the arteries that can affect many different arteries. I have the disease in 2 arteries leading to my stomach as well as my carotids. The blockages in the stomach arteries caused severe gastro problems. I spent several months seeing several docs in my hometown before going to Mayo Clinic - they diagnosed within 2 days. Unfortunately, the arteries were blocked for so long, I developed gastroparesis, so my stomach does not digest food properly or fast enough. My new gastro doctor feels the vagas nerve was damaged by the blockages & caused the gastroparesis. Gastroparesis can cause many of the symptoms you describe; it may be worth looking into. I had many of the same symptoms you discribe; chest pain, heart palpitations, acid reflux, weight loss, inability to eat, constant abdominal pain, etc....
Good Luck to all of you, I hope you find your answers !
i have had very very similar experiences to yours...
can i ask you if youve found if certain foods bring on these symptoms more than others? or if alcohol affects any of you???
i have gotten 'anxiety' stamped on me numerous times --> i DO NOT HAVE ANXIETY... do these people not think you do not know what anxiety palpitions feel like by the time you are 27??! (my age).. i have had those since i was a KID before presentations... not when i accidently eat pasta made w/ vodka sauce/ eat spicy food / lift a 20 lb bag... ridiculous... i am sorry --> THEY must suffer anxiety themselves.. either that or be too stupid to throw around such a real term so lightly
my guess to why my heart condition is vagus nerve related is because i used to be bulimic when i was younger where i believe now would regularly cause wear and tear to the vagus nerve -- i have learned that eating alot/throwing up and gastro problems (laxative use) will aggravate it... i remember daily experiencing a fast heart rate and palpitations after eating alot and after throwing up along with anxiety... it went until one day i suppose my body couldnt take it anymore and my heart went nuts - up to 150 beats a minute/skipping beats/going crazy... since that day i havent been able to throw up/eat certain things (spicy food/alcohol/some dairy/etc)/burp excessively/smoke/overeat/get riled up or excited/lift heavy things and/or exercise w/o having very serious side effects ( high b/p or high heartrate w/ palps..)
i feel dead and alone and feel there must be some damage done there...
i experience other symptoms dissimilar to yours w/ the alcohol (cant have a sip w/o an attack) so obviously i have developed a sensitivity or a processing disorder where i cant filter the alcohol...
i do not know if the vagus nerve is the problem but because of the bulimia have been curious and ive been doing some digging on the topic and found that on some level this should tie into what is happening to me
it has been interesting reading your stories -- and helpful :)
It so so exciting to find other people with the same symptoms!! I started having these symptoms 3 years ago after eating a large greasy meal (shepherd's pie) Had the thump thump feeling in my chest followed by my stomach in knots, light headedness, and immediate diarrhea and heart racing. I ended up losing 20 pounds because eating at night or overeating seemed to cause it. Then my doctor and I noticed that eating meat and greasy foods seemed to bring it on as well. She eventually decided it was my gall bladder which was filled with sludge and would explain the food correlation. However, it's never explained to me the weird spasm I get in my chest. I've since been a vegetarian, which seemed to stop the symptoms mostly, but I still get it every once in a while. Caffeine will immediately bring it on as well as alcohol. Has anyone else had it relate to Gall Bladder before?
It truly seems diet related to me, when it's happening it feels like something is stuck in my stomach/intestines. Drinking carbonated beverages seems to help a lot. I get constipated sometimes, and that seems to trigger it as well. So something pinching on the vagus nerve makes a lot of sense.
Thank you all so much for posting your experiences so I know I'm not going crazy!!
Wow. Interesting. I too get told I have anxiety for my symptoms. No, I do not have anxiety I dont have any fear, danger precieved or not. I am happy, love life and love my hobbies, family, friends, crafts, etc.....
I have trouble catching my breath and it all started the nweek of Superbowl, I spent the week eating way too much, fried foods and junk and drinking way too much soda.
Heart lungs all fine, I havent been scoped yet but Im sure I have GERD as I have all the symptoms, had them for years.
Im 42, overweight, just lost 52lbs since feb 3rd and have been put on prilosec two times a day, so far it seems to be working a little, bit, Im cautious but still scared and am interested in hearing more of the vegus nerve thing.
My Pharmacist claims that indeed Gastro problems can indeed cause breathing problems and most peolpe dont realize it. I can catch my breath if I burp, drink sips of water, or really relax. I notice if I have to go to the bathroom, or am slightly constipated, I have trouble cathing my breath, then I finally go and I can catch my breath much better.
Anyone else have anything similar ??
I have similar problems with the "heart jumbing into throat" and at that moment, I will become dizzy, almost feeling as if I am going to pass out. This dizziness only lasts second or so. I have Gerds and hiatal hernia as well. It seems to happen when I feel really full. I can't stand anything tight around my chest or around my stomach.
I have had similar issues for many years but they have been episodic and seem to be brought on in times of extreme stress. The sensation is very unnerving. At times it feels like my stomach is actually beating opposite of my heart. I told my doc it feels as if it have 2 hearts in my chest when this happens. I have this need to expel a burp that isnt so much a release of gas as it is a spasm of some sort...but after the burp, there seems to be a cessation in the thumping sensations in my chest and abdomen momentarily. I am taking Nexium and have been for several years. I've had issues with GERD since my early twenties at which time i had an onset of asthma. I have noticed that taking Donnatol has helped in the past...also i have taken Librax and that seems to work as well. Although you should be careful when using these drugs as they are addictive. Of the two, i recommend Librax the most because it is not so sedating. For those of you who are suffering with this problem, i urge you to try this drug and see if it helps.
I had a vagotomy 37 yrs ago and been having problem eversince
they cut the vagus nerve to prevent ulcers, but they no longer do this
when a doctor hears this they grimace, and say it was a bad thing
it affects the heart....pulse rate...
metabolism...weight gain is hard to caounteract
thyroid...adrenals and all horomonal functions
the vagus is the control for the autonomic nerve system and the centre of all functions that are automatic
I haven't had a regular bowel for 37 years and the acid is damaging my esophagus
it is very serious. I would like to know wo else had the surgery??
About 7 years ago I started having problems with missing heartbeats, Once I laid down to sleep, my heart would start missing, it felt like a waterbed in my chest, it worried me so much, I would get frantic, get out of bed and go and watch TV. I was not sleeping much at all, I would lay awake at night thinking I was going to die on the spot, then during the day everything would be normal except for the missing heart beats. I got totally fed up with it, heart specialists, treadmill tests, it cost me a fortune. No doctor could figure out what was happening. All they wanted to do is give you another tablet and another test, no mention of diet and excercise ( no money in that). A friend of mine said to me , give up Beer, Biscuits and Bread for a couple of days and see what happens, well, all the problems have completely dissapeared. I am now on Gluten free and I feel terriffic.
What good is any drug (Librax) if it is only a bandaid? We need to find wellness for these problems not bandaid the disease.
"Had the thump thump feeling in my chest followed by my stomach in knots, light headedness, and immediate diarrhea and heart racing"
I started having these episodes earlier this year. I've been to many specialists, including a GI doc, and all my tests have come back normal so far. A few outliers: an ENT doc found an inflamed voicebox (must be related to the sore throat I've had for months), and a Naturopath found recent Epstein-Barr virus activity and a possible peanut sensitivity via an IGG blood test. I'm pretty sure I've got LPR reflux (acid taste in mouth upon waking, etc), and have had trouble with nausea for months (maybe reflux related?). I'm 29, and have had perfect health prior to this sudden onset of symptoms in Jan '09. Anyways, it's these spells with the dizziness, heart palps and sudden bowel movement that have all the docs most interested. Phaeochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome are two things they thought it could be initially, but there is no evidence of this based on blood/urine tests and an abdominal CT. So I remain confused and symptomatic. I heard one doc muse that it could be reflux stimulating the vagus nerve that gives me the acute little spells Debster808 described above. Too bad Prevacid didn't help much. I'm hoping the Naturopath can assist, and maybe a trip to the Mayo Clinic, too, if nothing resolves and I start losing weight again. Best wishes to all.
This vagus nerve thing makes sense to me. I'm a 54 year old female and I have had chest pains (sometimes quite severe) for several years now. I usually get them in the evenings, after a meal. They are intermittent pain that gets really intense and then eases off. I will usually get four or five "attacks" an hour for four or five hours and then it may not happen again for a couple of months.
Of course, when this first started, I went to Emergency, thinking I was having some kind of heart attack. I had every test known to man for heart, upper respiratory and stomach ailments and the only thing they could tell me is that I have Acid Reflux (GERD).
I was reading about GERD and I am also very gluten intolerant. Apparently, these two fairly minor ailments can combine to flare up the Vagus nerve. I believe that's what's happening to me.
Does anyone know if this is dangerous, or just annoying? I am certainly going to try the dill pickle cure ... I love dill pickles anyway.
This 'posting' has been such a blessing to read. I have had chest discomfort now for almost 10 years. Cannot tell you how many times I have gone to the emergency room thinking I am having a heart attack. I live in the Tampa Bay area and have found a cardiologist who is fantastic. He did not dismiss my problems. He did do an angiogram, everything came back perfect. I felt like a weight had been lifted until the news started saying that the angiogram was not the 'gold standard' of testing for women like it is for men. Well, that started the fear all over again. I have had an endoscopy and my GI doctor said I have GERD and a hiatal hernia, all of which should have no bearing on the chest discomfort. I tend to disagree, but I am not a doctor so I took him at his word. I have been a migraine sufferer for over 30 years. Each time I would get a migraine (which was once a month) I would vomit for 2 days, almost on a hourly basis. I expressed a concern to my GI doctor wondering if that much vomiting could be the reason I have such chest discomfort, again he said no correlation. I did mention this to my cardiologist and he said it most certainly could cause chest discomfort. Needless to say I believe it is time to look for another GI doctor. My symtoms seem to be more bothersome at night. I too cannot tolerate wheat and have just recently taken it out of my diet. So far no significant change in the discomfort in my chest. I would like to think that the vagus nerve is the culprit. Would love to hear if anyone has been tested for this and if so, what can they do to correct the problem. I am already on Lipitor on a daily routine. I have been given Klonopin for stress, which does seem to help calm the panic when the discomfort in my chest strikes. Because of the migraines and how severe they are I am also given Treximet and Percocet to prevent trips to the Minor Emergency for shots of Demerol. If I could come up with a real reason why I feel this chest discomfort and panic when it starts, I believe that would be half the battle. Thanks, Deborah
Thanks to everyone who has posted on this site.
My problems started at the beginning of the year and symptoms are the same as most of you. I believe that my condition was brought on by the drug Cipro. I was given this drug and developed severe colitus which lasted nearly a month. It left me with many food allergies too. The first Dr. I saw said "panic attack".......I knew it wasn't. The vagus nerve theory sounds right on to me. My cardiologist says PVC's........OK,
but they just came out of nowhere.....something must have triggered it, because it's not just PVC's, it's not being able to digest food properly, can't stand anything tight around my stomach (waist) or chest, sleeping problems, burping....gas.....all the things discussed before.
I'm exhausted and will see a new Dr. on Monday..........I'm praying that she will listen to the Vagus Nerve Theory. Will keep you posted and thanks again to all of you for the support that you have given me in reading your posts.
I have had my vagus nerve symptoms for approximately 10 years.
I have noted some triggers. In my case I have a small hiatal hernia and any irritation (stomach acid/bile reflux) or upward pressure (heavy meal) on my upper stomach toward my diaphragm will cause a very erratic heartbeat. I have a heavy metals (mercury) complication that causes a lot of digestive problems. I suffer from SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) which, when it flairs, makes these episodes more likely.
I have concluded that problem is nerve irritation in my digestive tract and not heart related.
I few tricks I use to end the more severe episodes are:
A glass of sea salt and water (relaxes the Sphincter of Oddi).
Taking an ativan (relaxes the nervous system)
I also believe that people who suffer with this problem have dysautonomia (often from something as simple as bad posture or tight clothes compressing the nerves of the digestive tract!) but good luck finding a treating neurologist.
To prevent episodes I try to strengthen my parasympathetic nervous system with oral Magnesium. I like the citrate form. It tends to calm the digestive tract and the heart.
So you aren’t alone, nor are you crazy. Sit up straight, loosen your belts, eat small meals, treat your reflux and take your magnesium!
I definitely believe there's a connection to PVC's and the vagus nerve and digestive problems. I first started getting PVC's a couple of years ago. After a bunch of tests and determining my heart was ok they did finally discover a mass in my small intestine. I had pain and nausea that got worse till I finally went in and had them take it out. They said I had Crohns but was in remission because they removed it all in the surgery. Things seemed to get better and interestingly enough the PVC's went away for some time. I only got them occasionally when I'd have too much caffeine, lack of sleep, etc. Now their back a lot more but I also have been having a lot more heartburn, and I guess Gerd. I'm going to go back and see my GI on whether the Crohns is back or it's just the Acid Reflux or what's going on. But yeah, the PVC's always seem to be more when I'm having digestive upset. There's definitely a connection. I think more and more doctors are starting to realize that.