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Vagus Nerve Obstruction

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by joejack102, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. joejack102

    joejack102 Senior Member

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    All my research has led me to believe that most cases of POTS/CFS/etc are from a partial block in vagus nerve signals. The body sometimes counteracts in various ways by making antibodies for receptors, overachieving the sympathetic (fight or flight system), etc. I'll try to provide the evidence at some point on here, but has anybody had an MRI and/or CT scan of their vagus nerve to make sure it is not being pinched by the jugular vein and that there are no obstructions?

    Any info into this is appreciated.
     
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  2. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

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  3. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    You should check out research by Dr. Michael Van Elzakker, he has studied the vagus nerve and his hypothesis is that CFS/ME is an infection of the vagus nerve. I would personally find it hard to believe that there is some physical obstruction, it would be sort of permanent, but we know CFS/ME and at least POTS can spontaneously recover or at least temporarily improve for lots of us. Otherwise I agree with your post that the autonomic nervous system and vagus nerve is somehow involved in this disease.
     
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  4. joejack102

    joejack102 Senior Member

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    I really hope that Dr. Michael Van Elzakker is spot on. It makes sense to me based on everything I've experienced personally. Vagus nerve hyper or hypo- signaling caused by a virus. I hope they come up with a cure for us all. What a miracle that would be.
     
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  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi @Joejack,

    I feel certain my own ME/CFS issues began with a head injury / whiplash at age 15. I also now feel certain my vagus nerve, and most likely my other cranial nerves (12 in all) were affected as well, initiating my downward health spiral. I had numerous x-rays taken over many decades to try to correct the problems this injury caused, but was never told I had a pinched vagus nerve (I don't think they normally even look for such a thing).

    The reason I feel it was pinched however, was the MAJOR shift I experienced after doing a manipulative procedure called Atlas Profilax. THIS THREAD on Atlas Profilax Is probably the most comprehensive on PR. I believe this procedure shifted my atlas (uppermost vertebra), relieving the pressure that had been there for decades. When I next visited my regular chiropractor, he appeared a bit stunned when he first looked at me. He had noticed, as he put it, that my entire facial structure had changed.

    A big clue for me that the vagus nerve had been impacted by the accident, and then again by the Atlas Profilax procedure, was that I had an amazing feeling of hunger in the days afterward, almost primal-like. I also felt a new kind of energy in my GI tract, which had been absent since my original accident. Since the VN traverses through the GI tract with all it electrical impulses, it only makes sense to me that my "injured" vagus nerve has played a major factor in my own health situation. I believe a VN infection can produce similar results. I've also come to believe an infection anywhere along the path the VN traverses can likely produce similar results.

    Regarding your wondering whether the VN can become pinched by the jugular vein, I would assume that's possible. My own guess is that it's much more likely the VN would be pinched by the atlas, through which all the cranial nerves pass. The opening in the atlas can be narrowed by any number of injuries, even at birth. Even without an injury, somebody can be born with the passageway of the atlas being more narrow than normal, leading to a disruption of the cranial nerve signals.​
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  6. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

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    I'm in several abdominal vascular compressions groups on facebook, SMA (Superior Mesentery Artery) Sydrome, MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome - also known as Celiac Artery Compression Syndrome), Nutcracker Syndrome (NCS) and Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome (LPHS).

    One thing all these groups have in common is that about 20% of people in any patient group also have POTS as a major symptom and for about 1/2 of them (with POTS), release surgery to address the vascular compression problem also resolves their POTS symptoms.

    A few theories are around for this, the most popular ones are that dilation of other vessels from increased venous pressures can compress the vagus nerve at various points depending on the anatomy involved or directly irritate the vagus nerve in the celiac plexus (and/or maybe the SMA plexus).

    These compression disorders can also cause chronic fatigue symptoms which has been taken to be CFS in some instances. A Doppler Ultrasound of the mesentery arteries is a good non-invasive screening test that will pick up typical signs of these but more subtle compression can be missed and need a CTA or MRA.
     
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  7. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Thank you @kangaSue for this amazing information. I will try to understand it a bit better before posing a lot of questions to you. I'm guessing @Gingergrrl would find this quite interesting as well.​
     
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  8. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Thanks for tagging me @Wayne and KangaSue and I have actually talked about this a lot the last few years. In my case, my doctors believe I have Autoimmune POTS (meaning that the autoantibodies are behind my POTS symptoms) and so far I tend to agree b/c as I am reducing them w/my treatments, the POTS is also improving (although sadly it is not gone).
     
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  9. Kenshin

    Kenshin

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    Very interesting, is there any way to know what type of abdominal vascular compression you have by symptoms?
    I have so far unexplained gastroparesis like symptoms (pain and bloating in stomach after eating that can last many hours), worse with starchy food.
     
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  10. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

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    Gastroparesis itself and/or pain after eating is a common symptom of vascular compression in SMA Syndrome and MALS, they can also cause Chronic Mesenteric Ischemia in some cases which can have the same symptoms as you mention though not necessarily food specific.

    I can make a case for it also occuring with Nutcracker Syndrome (which I have) but GI dysfunction is a more atypical symptom for Nutcracker in general. All these syndromes do cause some degree of autonomic dysfunction though and having low bp is very common too. Mystery pains including abdominal, pelvic, chest and back pains without any other obvious cause can be related to vascular compressions too.

    Having an abdominal bruit sound can indicate possible restricted blood flow through a major artery vein and any doctor can pick that up just listening to your bowel sounds. Not everyone has this though.
    http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/full/10.1148/rg.341125010
     
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  11. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Studies have shown that POTS patients have autoantibodies that target the adrenergic receptors of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). See the studies here and here.

    Adrenergic receptors are found on the sympathetic branch of the ANS, rather than the parasympathetic branch. The sympathetic is routed via the spine, whereas the parasympathetic is routed via the vagus nerve (the vagus runs from brain to body by a route independent of the spine).
     
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  12. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    @Hip there is something i have wnated to run past you for the last 18 months and what better time to do so than Christmas Day?? :)

    18 months ago taking an alpha arendergic blocker nearly cost me my life and I wondered if this could shed any light on adrenergic problems we may have.

    The drug was doxazosin which I was given for malignant hypertension..........i.e. my BP abruptly triples in a couple of seconds causing organ damage.

    I found the effects of the drug intolerable; I cut it down to half a dose, but even that made me feel very ill; then I took half a dose alternate days, but I still reacted badly. Then I had severe crushing chest pain which spread to my jaw, neck and back and my chest felt as though it contained two fighting cats. My heart felt it was gasping for oxygen. It left me very unwell for three months,

    A month before I had been taken to A&E with a bout of malignant hypertension and was also diagnosed with angina on account of the impact of the MH; however, I was told by the doctor that my ME diagnosis would ensure that I would be treated unkindly by the medical staff, so I checked out asap and determined never to go back. As a consequence of this experience I decided not to call for medical help, although when I was seen later I received a diagnosis of crescendo angina. I am very suspicious of doxazosin and believe it was its action on the adrenergic receptors that had such an unpleasant consequence.

    I wondered if this possibilty made sense to you, please, and could it provide a clue into what is happening to our adrenergic receptors in this illness?

    Thanks Hip. :)
     
  13. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    So if I understand it right, the sequence of events was: malignant hypertension > for which you were given doxazosin > which caused some side effects, and then at one point you experienced severe crushing chest pain which spread to the jaw, neck and back. Later that chest pain was diagnosed as crescendo angina.

    I don't know about the doxazosin triggering this crescendo angina, but a quick Google search reveals that a common cause of crescendo angina is atherosclerosis (plaque on the arteries), and in this case the pain arises when a blood clot lodges in these furred up, narrowed arteries of the heart, causing a partial or complete blockage of blood flow, which cuts of the oxygen to the heart muscle.

    And elderly family member has been having episodes of this sort of angina pain, and refuses to see a doctor. Because angina and heart attack are related conditions, I thought I better do some research on this, to find out what might help. My assumption is that they have atherosclerosis causing the angina, but because they refuse to go to a doctor, this has not been confirmed.

    But on the assumption that they have atherosclerosis, and then get blood clots lodging in the heart arteries every now and then, I reasoned that the following supplements might help mitigate the attacks:

    Aspirin 300 mg — to thin the blood. Aspirin is often given during a heart attack to thin the blood, so that it flows better past the clot.
    Bromelain 2400 GDU x 2 — helps dissolve blood clots (enables the body to produce plasmin, which helps to clear away the fibrin that holds blood clots together).
    Rutin 500 mg — helps prevent blood clot form forming (inhibits an enzyme involved in blood clotting called disulfide isomerase).
    Potassium nitrate 1,000 mg — dilates blood vessels, which creates better blood flow.

    So I prepared a vitamin box which has all the above already placed in each box compartment, and they now take these supplements every time an attack occurs, which is about once every 3 months. In theory these supplements should help.
     
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  14. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    This is exactly what my doctors believe is happening in my case and that I have "Autoimmune POTS" (amongst some other problems).
     
  15. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Thanks @Hip. I do have Familial Hypercholesterolemia, and I will look into purchasing the supplements you suggest.

    Thank You!

    I still think the doxazosin played a role as the effect was so pronounced. I believe it was targetting 'something'.............andrenergic receptors?...................that is involved in ME.
     
  16. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Doxazosin is a vasodilator, and nitrate drug vasodilators are prescribed and beneficial for angina, as the widening of the arteries allows the blood to better flow past the clot. So on a simplistic analysis, you might think that doxazosin might help mitigate angina or heart attack.

    However, I just now came across this article and this paper which says that doxazosin when taken for hypertension actually increases the incidence of congestive heart failure; although that's not the same as angina.
     
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  17. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    I think I maybe a Candidate for familial hyper cholesterolemia
     

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