Nerves run from your brain throughout the rest of your body. Most of them either carry sensory information, such as how something feels, tastes, or smells. Or they might carry movement information, telling your muscles what to do.
But a couple of nerves, such as the vagus nerve, carry both types of information simultaneously. Therefore, when you have vagus nerve issues, you’re likely to experience a variety of different symptoms.
What’s worse is that COVID has the potential of causing long-time vagus nerve disorders, which can result in trouble speaking, swallowing, or breathing.
So how do you know if the problems you are experiencing are due to faulty vagus nerve function? Keep reading below to learn more about dealing with vagus nerve damage.
Vagus Nerve and the Heart
Issues with the vagus nerve can affect the heart rate. If the nerve is overactive, this can lead to a slower heart rate, known as bradycardia.
If the nerve is underactive, the result is a faster heart rate or tachycardia.
Along with these conditions, the effect of the nerve on the muscles of the heart can cause a drop in blood pressure and lead to fainting. Stress or pain might lead to fainting, but it all comes back to the vagus nerve.
Vagus Nerve Issues With Digestion
The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body, running from the brain to the colon. It passes through the digestive system and plays a large role in the unconscious functions of processing food and nutrients.
A problem with the vagus nerve can cause certain digestive muscles to work too hard or not hard enough. This can lead to nausea or vomiting, along with pain in the abdomen and the discomfort of bloating.
Vagus Nerve Issues in the Mouth and Throat
The vagus nerve is responsible for many unconscious body functions like breathing or digesting food. Problems with the vagus nerve can lead to difficulties swallowing or even speaking.
One way doctors can test the vagus nerve is with the gag reflex. By tickling the muscle in the back of your throat, a healthy person should gag. If they don’t, the vagus nerve isn’t doing its job.
Vagus Nerve Reset
Dealing with vagus nerve issues can be done in a handful of different ways. One of the most effective is by using vagus nerve stimulation devices.
With these devices, wires are inserted beneath the skin, usually around the chest. They are attached directly to the vagus nerve. It pulses and sends signals through the nerve to the brain.
Certain devices are controlled strictly by a neurologist, while others may provide the patient with a magnet that allows them to send signals on their own.
Outside of vagus nerve issues, the benefits of this form of treatment might extend to a wide variety of issues, though research is still needed.
Restoring Your Nerves
Vagus nerve issues aren’t fun to experience. And they can be difficult to diagnose.
But once doctors are aware of the root problems, steps can be taken to get your vagus nerve up and running, returning normal function and senses back to your body.
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