Author Topic: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why  (Read 116840 times)

Offline Kati*did

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Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« on: June 25, 2008, 06:36:21 AM »
I'm going to try and post my ongoing experience, here.  I don't have it as organized as I would like, so I will add things later, I'm sure.  This is my experience with what I believe to be a vagus nerve that is not doing it's job completely.  I don't know if it is due to diabetes or a massive amount of toxins in the body at one point, or if it is somehow related to my epilepsy and meds.  I'm hoping some of you can help me with that.  ;D 8)

In April, I did a 5-day hydro colonic cleanse along with juice fasting.  On the 4th day of this cleanse, my pulse went up over 100 and I became extremely fatigued.  I assumed that this was just something from the cleanse, but it continued after the cleanse, actually getting worse.  I'm going to try and just list things as they happened because there's way too much detail surrounding it, and I don't know that I can remember everything.

Right before doing the cleanse (and part of the reason I did it), I got 4 UTI's one after the other.  I am meticulous about following all of the "how to not get a UTI" rules, so this was very strange to me.  In between each UTI, I felt like I had gravel in my bladder, but the doc said no infection/bacteria present.  I wasn't able to urinate much, but drank lots and went as often as possible.  During the cleanse this all cleared up.

Directly after the cleanse:

-- Very tired
-- Constant nausea
-- I felt like a pill was stuck in my esophagus
-- Felt full all the time
-- My gut took too long to empty food that was eaten
-- simple things like grating veggies/taking a shower gave me tachycardia
-- my resting pulse was close to 90
-- The area directly "south" of the end of my sternum ached and was tense.  It also throbbed, and I could see it "beating".  I also felt intensely "nervous" in that area -- like when you get "butterflies", but in a major way.
-- I was dizzy occasionally when walking around
-- My eyes wouldn't dilate properly
-- My blood pressure, which has never been high in my life, went up to 130/85.  This gave me headaches made me hot.

After the first week, I found that if I woke up in the a.m. and did something to bring on tachycardia, I could get rid of it (as well as lower my resting pulse to 80-85 for the rest of the day) by going back to bed and falling into a very deep sleep for about 2 hours. 

Based on this, I think some of what was going on was because my body was extremely fatigued and still getting rid of many toxins. 

Changes the second week after the cleanse:

-- Esophagus felt fine
-- peristalsis/stomach emptying fine
-- Tachycardia less often (about 3 times a week), though resting pulse remained high.
-- Woke up in the middle of the night with tachycardia...don't know why.
-- Started walking everyday, slowly but with purpose

When walking, my pulse didn't change, so I actually felt better as my pulse seemed to match my activity level.  Walking also pulled down on the area below my sternum that was tense and stretched it out or elongated it, and this felt VERY good since, during this week, the area south of my sternum was very tense and sore.

I noticed during each bout of tachycardia that I could tell it was going to happen before it started by the intense "nervous/anxious" feeling I got in my gut.  During a bout, I stretched out my upper body as much as possible and massaged the area below my sternum.  The tachycardia stopped almost immediately. 

When I woke with tachycardia again, I put a pillow under my back so that I was laying arched over it (stretched out).  Again, it stopped and I went to sleep.

As dh and I researched, we realized this really had nothing to do with my heart.  The area below my sternum was spasming and causing all the other stuff to go on. We figure this was the nerve knot (ganglion) located just below the sternum.

In our research, we found that all the symptoms lined up with Autonomic  Neuropathy, which is a result of the vagus nerve not functioning properly.
The vagus nerve regulates heart beat, bladder emptying, peristalsis, eye dilation, blood pressure (to some degree), esophageal function, sweating, and a few other things.  This is a site that explain it well (also called Diabetic Autonomic Neuropathy, although it happens outside of diabetes as well):
http://www.ccjm.org/pdffiles/vinik1101.pdf

This is a diagram of what the vagus nerve regulates and on the opposite side, you see the result of a vagus nerve that is not "firing" properly:

http://www.biocomtech.com/upload/images/hrs_ce_002pic03.jpg

Ok, so about 6 weeks after the cleanse:

As far as I can remember...

-- Began intense hiking/some jogging
-- Tachycardia about once every 2-3 weeks
-- nausea lessened
-- lots more energy
-- normal hunger
-- no dizziness

And now:

-- Blood pressure finally normal
-- Tachycardia almost never
-- pulse back to normal (except for a couple days)
-- dilation back to normal
-- no soreness in nerve ganglion below sternum
-- pretty normal, in general.

The other day, I did kind of hit the area below my sternum fairly hard, and this caused my pulse to stay raised for a couple days.

In all of this, my blood sugars have been almost perfectly regulated. 

I will post more later on what we found in our research, what I did to try and help treat it and what my unanswered questions are, but I'm out of time right now.   :D
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 06:40:50 AM by Kati*did »
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Offline dara

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 06:42:13 AM »
Wow! That was some great research!

Hope it all clears up for you, friend, or stays cleared up!
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2008, 07:48:30 AM »
Wow! That was some great research!

Hope it all clears up for you, friend, or stays cleared up!
Thank you with all my heart.   :-*  It was a long few months.
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2008, 08:34:54 AM »
Very interesting! Thanks for posting all of this. I'm glad your negative symptoms are fading! Are you still doing the intense hiking/jogging?

One thing I thought while reading the list of symptoms you experienced after the cleanse was that they sounded a lot like a potassium deficiency as well.

From my own experience, and some things SC lady and I once discussed about cleanses, I believe that electrolyte/mineral deficiencies are a real problem after cleanses. Especially if you started out somewhat depleted, or have one or more weak body systems. 

I'd sure love to have a lab and be able to check all this stuff out...!

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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2008, 08:50:04 AM »
Wow, I thought this quote was interesting in light of the vagus nerve:

Potassium's role is to maintain water balance inside the cells and help in the transmission of nerve impulses. Low or high levels in the blood are of critical significance. Potassium helps to maintain proper muscle and nerve function; it also helps in some important metabolic processes. Blood serum potassium levels usually are determined to help evaluate heart rhythm irregularities, neuromuscular disorders and kidney function. A diet high in potassium from fruits, vegetables, and legumes is generally recommended for optimum heart health.

Quote came from here:
http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/dietary-minerals/potassium.php

Interesting article about diseases resulting from lack of potassium:

http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2004/05/03/potassium_deficiency_widespread_and_often_neglected.htm

Some of the symptoms of low potassium levels are:

heart rate anomalies
high blood pressure
diarrhea or constipation
breathlessness
weakness
fatigue
confusion/brain fog
the "shakes"

anyhoo, I think you are right about the vagus nerve, and maybe a mineral deficiency set it off... what do you think?

Beka

« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 09:32:14 AM by ForeverGirl »
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 11:51:18 AM »
Thanks Bek...it's actually comments/questions/discussion that help to remind me of all that went on and what we did. 

It's funny that you mention potassium because my problem was at it's height (I think) when the eclampsia (sp?) thread was in motion a lot and I was reading it.  I also thought that might be the problem because it sounded almost identical to what all you guys were posting and I knew my electrolytes had probably been off at one point.  Dh got me some potassium and I began taking it, but nothing seemed to change.  Before that I had been eating lots of kelp and other electrolyte balancers, so I don't know how far off I was.  However looking at your info, there, I feel like that could have been a very real part of it's "explosion". 

Some of the other things that happened that made us think vagus nerve were that, at times when things were bad, I felt pain in the nerves in my neck and going up into the back of my head.  Sometimes this would become a crawly-electric feel in my spine.  Also, when the soreness in the nerve ganglion (celiac, I believe) below my sternum started going away, it went in sections.  The right side of me felt fine, while the left side of my gut and back became very sensitive and I could feel what felt like a cord/live wire running parallel to my spine on the left side.  Anything that brushed me there made me feel like throwing up. 

Since we thought that it was likely DAN, we researched how to treat it.  There wasn't much info on it except "uplifting" medical sights that basically said -- prepare to live a rotten life then die early.  Thanks.   ::) ;D
Really, though, aside from the doom and gloom, they all said that there was no treatment known except to keep very good control of blood sugars, which was known to possibly reverse it or hold it in check. 

During the cleanse and for 3 weeks after, I started checking my blood sugar up to 10 times a day to keep it PERFECT.  When I got a hold on it, I checked it less and it has been under great control. 

More searching turned up studies done by Linus Pauling that showed that Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALa) helped it by cleaning up whatever was causing the nerve damage (can't remember), and so I started taking 750 mg/day (now I take 600mg/day).  Taking vit. E along with this was supposed to be helpful -- basically antioxidants to zap the free radicals-- and I did this, too.  Also, EPO was highly recommended as well as Insulin-like Growth Factor I and II.  I didn't take the EPO, but started to take colostrum which has both Insulin-Like Growth Factors.  Oh...and exercise was highly recommended, and I did this without fail, daily increasing the amount.  We still hike vigorously for over an hour each day.

Now, here's the interesting thing:  When I was doing all this studying, I happened to watch the video someone posted in the msg thread by Dr. Baylock and found that msg/nutrasweet and a diabetic low blood sugar work in the same way to do similar damage to the body, and when I was reading more about it, I remember tying this in with what was going on in my body that required me to "clean up" with ALA.  I don't remember what it all was, right now, but I thought I'd post it so that I don't forget.  I'll look it up later.  This article talks briefly about some of the problems that exist with diabetes and msg (excess glutamate in the body).  Somehow...not sure how...I think this links with the whole glutathione thing, too.
http://www.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=brainBriefings_epilepsyAndGABA

As we researched, dh and I felt like we were finding lot's of puzzle pieces belonging to the same puzzle, but couldn't (and still can't) figure out how they all go together.  Let me preface this by saying I have both diabetes (type 1) and epilepsy.

1.  Reversing or halting DAN requires good blood sugars, major antioxidants, and nerve-nourishing fatty acids (EPO in this case).  Diabetics' levels of glutathione (major antioxidant, helping many processes) go up when their blood sugars go down. Dr. Mercola tells a little about glutathione here:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/06/24/sugar-glutathione.aspx


Epileptics often don't have enough glutathione and this seems to play a role in their having seizures due to oxidation.  Glutathione seems to "excite" the nervous system -- or get it to work. http://www.1whey2health.com/glutathione_epilepsy.htm

2.  When the vagus nerve is not stimulated enough because of damage, you can get DAN. 

Currently, there is a treatment available for epileptic seizures called a vagus nerve stimulator that is implanted in the patient.  The stimulator is able to stop many seizures. 

3.  One of the treatments for DAN is depakote!  A psyochoactive drug that increases GABA in the brain.  GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. 
Quote
GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid, discovered in 1950, is the most important and widespread inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Excitation in the brain must be balanced with inhibition. Too much excitation can lead to restlessness, irritability, insomnia, and even seizures. GABA is able to induce relaxation, analgesia, and sleep. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are known to stimulate GABA receptors, and hence induce relaxation. Several neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, and Parkinson’s disease are affected by this neurotransmitter. GABA is made in the brain from the amino acid glutamate with the aid of vitamin B6.

http://www.raysahelian.com/gaba.html
I'm assuming that the GABA helps to  inhibit the the reactions of the vagus that occur due to the vagus nerve not working right?  Hmmm...

Now, epilepsy is also treated with Depakote, and this happens to be the med I take!  I have lowered it from 1500 mg/day to 500 mg/day around January of this year.  I have wondered 2 things about this:  Could it be that I had DAN and didn't realize it because the Depakote was "helping" keep the symptoms in check until I signigicantly lowered the meds?  And also, the symptoms became huge on the 4th day of my cleanse.  That was the only day that I did a coffee colonic (to get junk out of the liver) and that night I did a liver flush.  My body went crazy.  Is it possible that my liver dumped all the leftover toxins and depakote (which is metabolized there) into my otherwise empty body?  Maybe that is where some of this came from.

This is a great article describing how GABA functions in epilepsy:
http://www.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=brainBriefings_epilepsyAndGABA

4.  Evening Primrose Oil is recommended in high amounts for helping the nerves in DAN.

Although I found many places on the internet that said EPO might cause
seizures, I also found many sites that said that wasn't so.  Finally I found an actual study that explained.  Apparently there were 2 reports written in the 80's that have since been shown to have been inaccurate regarding EPO.  New studies have found that the eicosanoid prostaglandin E1 that comes from EPO might even be somewhat anti-convulsant. 
Here's the study:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WPH-4PJ6BKP-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=80247c06144bd6af07fa8e80fde1d147

I am not very good at taking pieces and putting them all together.  I know I've posted a lot of information, here.  I would so appreciate for those who are good at seeing the big picture to help me put these pieces together.  Any additional pieces anyone can add would be very helpful as well.  Thanks so much.
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 02:40:16 PM »
Is it possible that my liver dumped all the leftover toxins and depakote (which is metabolized there) into my otherwise empty body?  Maybe that is where some of this came from.


I think the coffee enema could have done this, too, Katie, because of the depakote being hard for the liver to process.  Plus, coffee is a diuretic and diuretics deplete the body of potassium.  So, there could be your potassium connection. 
Not sure how much I brought to the table with that, but thought I would throw that in there.  ;)

Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 03:12:27 PM »
Everything helps, HIO.  All the tidbits I don't know help me to piece this together.  Thanks!

I just wanted to add another thing I remembered:  One time when I had tachycardia, I took some valerian. It really helped to slow my pulse quickly. Later I was doing a little research on it and found that Depakote (which is valproic acid) COMES from valerian!  Interesting.
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Offline mykidsmom

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2008, 03:30:43 PM »
Kati*did,

You may have just helped me solve a major issue with my 7yr old!  ;D  If you did, I'll owe you a million bucks! hee hee hee.  Okay, it'll have to be a monopoly million - but I digress....

I am taking my 7yr old to a chiro on Monday to have her vagus nerve adjusted.  She has almost no peristaltic movement in her lower bowel and hasn't since birth.  This is causing constipation which in turn causes UTI's and kidney infections from the overimpacted bowel pressing on the bladder, pushing urine up into the kidneys. 

If what you and Beka are saying is correct, then it's likely my daughter has a mineral deficiency of potassium... That makes me wonder if she has difficulty holding or using potassium since she's been like this since birth?  Oooohhhh.  Thank you for the idea!  I will be starting her on minerals immediately to see what that does. 

thanks again!

patti
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2008, 05:58:34 AM »
Cool, Patti!  I hope that's the answer.  8)

I've been thinking more about the possibility of it having been a potassium deficiency.  Here are some questions:

*  I was juicing and drinking spinach and parsley (and some other veggies) throughout the cleanse.   Could this still have left me depleted? 

*  I came across another forum back when I was researching all of this, and it seems that there are a number of people who are experiencing almost exactly what I did, but they have it for years!  This is the thread where many of them discuss it (the doctors answer is pretty useless, but if you skip past that, the rest of the discussion is interesting):
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/gastro/messages/37319.html

I realize that their lifestyles probably play into this as many of them have GERD, etc...but I'm wondering why so many people would have the same thing with no answer from docs?  Could some common factor be causing a potassium deficiency or might it be something else?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:04:31 AM by Kati*did »
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Offline Gabe Rising

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2008, 06:25:46 AM »
Someone with more knowledge about the Potassium <--> Iodine link can help, I hope... but, as I recall, common knowledge is that Potassium is a very transient mineral, and that it needs to be taken in sufficient quantities all the time... but that if the body has sufficient Iodine levels, it regulates Potassium much better.

In other words (I think this is true...) frequently, Potassium issues are Iodine deficiency related.

Anyway... that is a HUGE chunk of research you have presented there. Thanks a million from the many that will benefit! We are praying for you.

--gabe

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2008, 11:16:27 AM »
The second link in my post above mentions that our bodies do not retain potassium; we are constantly flushing it through. It moves through our bodies and needs to be constantly replenished. From my understanding this is especially true if we are flushing our bodies at a faster rate, are ill, or are taking any meds. Here is a link about some drugs that deplete you of potassium.

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/drugs-deplete-000714.htm
Drugs that Deplete: Potassium
Antacids
Anti-inflammatory Medications
Antibiotic Medications
Diuretics
Gout Medications
Laxatives

Antacids

Aluminum, Calcium, and Magnesium-Containing Preparations
Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide
Calcium Carbonate
Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Hydroxide
Miscellaneous Preparations
Sodium Bicarbonate

Anti-inflammatory Medications

Inhalant, Systemic, and Topical Corticosteroids
Beclomethasone
Budesonide
Dexamethasone
Fluticasone
Hydrocortisone
Methylprednisolone
Mometasone Furoate
Prednisone
Triamcinolone
Salicylates
Aspirin

Antibiotic Medications

Aminoglycosides
Gentamicin
Neomycin
Tobramycin

Diuretics

Loop Diuretics
Bumetanide
Ethacrynic Acid
Furosemide
Torsemide
Thiazide Diuretics
Chlorothiazide
Hydrochlorothiazide
Indapamide
Methyclothiazide
Metolazone

Gout Medications

Uricosuric Agents
Colchicine

Laxatives

Stimulant Laxatives
Bisacodyl


There is an article linked on here somewhere about the potassium iodine link... I can't remember where! I need a forehead-smacking smiley.  ::)

Beka
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2008, 12:38:45 PM »
Someone with more knowledge about the Potassium <--> Iodine link can help, I hope... but, as I recall, common knowledge is that Potassium is a very transient mineral, and that it needs to be taken in sufficient quantities all the time... but that if the body has sufficient Iodine levels, it regulates Potassium much better.

In other words (I think this is true...) frequently, Potassium issues are Iodine deficiency related.

Anyway... that is a HUGE chunk of research you have presented there. Thanks a million from the many that will benefit! We are praying for you.

--gabe
I thought I remembered waaaay back reading that high iron levels interfere with iodine absorption.  If your only source of potassium is in dark green veggies (high iron), would this maybe interfere with the absorption of the potassium somehow?

Also, I should mention that chlorine interferes with iodine absorption so by default anything else that needs iodine to work properly would be bothered by chlorinated water.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 12:41:06 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2008, 12:44:20 PM »
There is an article linked on here somewhere about the potassium iodine link... I can't remember where! I need a forehead-smacking smiley.  ::)

Beka
Is this the one you're looking for?

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,1488.msg180264.html#msg180264
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2008, 06:07:39 AM »
Hmmm...ok, here's my next thought.  Dh and I were discussing the possibility of a potassium deficiency last night and although we think it may have played a part in all of this near the end of the cleanse, we don't think it is the cause of the trouble with my vagus nerve.

Pre-cleanse thougths --Here's what we came up with:

1.  Dh reminded me that part of the reason I did the cleanse was because the area below my sternum was so tight and sore that I thought I might have a tumor or growth there.  Although I only had tachycardia from this one time before the cleanse, it did cause my heart to beat funny at least 2x everyday for a few months.

2.  All of my bladder symptoms occurred before the cleanse.

3.  I was experiencing moderate, on-and-off delayed stomach emptying before the cleanse.

4.  About 3 months after I lowered my Depakote intake, I began getting occasional nerve sensations like electric zings in my arms, a zing down my spine, feeling "nerve branch" sensations over a certain area.  I don't know why, but am guessing that the Depakote, which increased the GABA, had caused some mild nerve damage to relax.  Just a guess...I have no idea.  I used to have the sensations regularly years ago when I was on a different epilepsy med that did not cover grand mal seizures. 

These three points to say that, although the cleanse no doubt exacerbated it, the problem was in progress before the cleanse began.

The other thing dh and I considered regarding potassium:

1.  We eat huge amounts of raw vegetables -- About 5 days out of the week, we eat salad for lunch, and since January of this year, the salad has almost always been spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, and dressing.  I also have raw yogurt and milk daily, as well as lots of avocados and beet greens about once a week.  From what I've read, it is difficult to get a potassium deficiency, especially if you eat lots of veggies, and particularly high-potassium veggies.

2.  I have read about iodine and kept up with the iodine thread on here.  It's been extremely helpful for me!  Because of all I've read, we have eaten moderate amounts of kelp on a regular basis (for almost a year, now) because MI is known to have iodine depleted soil.  Both of us think it is very unlikely that our iodine levels are low.  I also broke the cleanse by eating kelp, and was taking a potassium supplement that dh bought me because I had considered there might be potassium deficiency.

3.  One of the first and most common signs of potassium deficiency is weak or cramping muscles.  I never had this during the cleanse or after, and even remarked to dh during the cleanse that it was interesting to feel so tired and low energy, and at the same time have my body feel so good and toned. 

Again, these points just to say that, I believe my electrolytes may have been off for a time after or during the cleanse, but my guess is that the problem didn't originate there or with a potassium deficiency. 

Going back to all the people who posted on the other forum that I linked above, I don't think it is a potassium deficiency because many of them have lived with this for years (one for 10 years!) and yet most of them have plenty of energy, as I do, and are otherwise "normal".  I have not studied potassium deficiency in depth, however, so if any of my thinking is not accurate, let me know.

Excitotoxins, Free radicals and Nerve damage -- thoughts:

I am wondering if there is some kind of nerve damage that comes from exitotoxins and if some people get them more than others or are more sensitive to msg/nutrasweet than others?  The damage from exitotoxins is extensive and can lead to a mess of free radicals which need cleaning up.  This same damage comes as a result of blood sugars which are too low (as well as direct nerve damage from high blood sugars), making diabetics key targets...but not the only targets.

This abstract tells briefly how excitotoxins might enhance free radicals leading to nerve damage:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1570635?dopt=Abstract

Wikipedia describes excitotoxicity damage:
Quote
is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by glutamate and similar substances. This occurs when receptors for the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate such as the NMDA receptor and AMPA receptor are overactivated. Excitotoxins like NMDA and kainic acid which bind to these receptors, as well as pathologically high levels of glutamate, can cause excitotoxicity by allowing high levels of calcium ions[1] (Ca2+) to enter the cell. Ca2+ influx into cells activates a number of enzymes, including phospholipases, endonucleases, and proteases such as calpain. These enzymes go on to damage cell structures such as components of the cytoskeleton, membrane, and DNA.

Excitotoxicity may be involved in spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) such as Multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.[2] Other common conditions that cause excessive glutamate concentrations around neurons are hypoglycemia[3] and status epilepticus.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excitotoxicity
(I don't have status epilepticus, but I do have epilepsy and have had some major seizures)

They go on to describe 2 of the most major excitotoxins to be nutrasweet and msg (synthetic).  In my earlier life, I consumed large amounts of nutrasweet, and I have no doubt I got plenty of msg through the regular processes.  I am wondering if all these things (diabetes -- high/low bloodsugars --, epilepsy, lots of nutrasweet, and the regular amt. of msg) worked together to do damage over the years, leading to this?  Does that sound reasonable? 

I haven't had nutrasweet in 3 years and I'm pretty sure I have stayed away from almost all msg for 6 months as we have only eaten out once in that time and make all my own food. 

I am wondering if it's possible that the toxins coming out during the cleanse could have somehow made previous excitotoxin damage in my nerves go haywire?  Could nerve damage from excitotoxins be doing this to the others on the forum linked? 

Just a lot of questions and speculation....
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Offline Gigi

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2008, 06:29:18 AM »
Kati*did, I'm still working my way through all that you have posted, but I did have a thought about something that happened to me a couple years ago.

I'm going on ten years with type 1 diabetes.

Two years ago, I decided to go on a fast (No food, only liquids).  I was not trying to cleanse, I had no idea about cleansing at the time.  This was the first real fast I had been on since having diabetes.  I've always had a hard time not being low all the time so I had shied away from fasts.

Anway, at the end of day 5, I decided to break my fast.  I was cutting up a piece of chicken for my dd's plate and popped a bite into my mouth.  Instantly I had SEVERE pain through my palate and shooting through my face (right side only).  It was as if I had stabbed my mouth with a knife - amazing pain, really.

The pain in the palate continued for three days and then went away.   

A week later, the same thing happened again. 

I went to the dr and he told me that I obviously had some problem with my trigeminal nerve.  He said there was nothing to be done and if it got severe I could try a cocktail of meds if I didn't mind all the side effects . . .

Anyway, nothing has happened since, but it seems weird to have had nerve issues after fasting . ..


Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2008, 08:05:19 AM »
Kati*did,

You may have just helped me solve a major issue with my 7yr old!  ;D  If you did, I'll owe you a million bucks! hee hee hee.  Okay, it'll have to be a monopoly million - but I digress....

I am taking my 7yr old to a chiro on Monday to have her vagus nerve adjusted.  She has almost no peristaltic movement in her lower bowel and hasn't since birth.  This is causing constipation which in turn causes UTI's and kidney infections from the overimpacted bowel pressing on the bladder, pushing urine up into the kidneys. 

If what you and Beka are saying is correct, then it's likely my daughter has a mineral deficiency of potassium... That makes me wonder if she has difficulty holding or using potassium since she's been like this since birth?  Oooohhhh.  Thank you for the idea!  I will be starting her on minerals immediately to see what that does. 

thanks again!

patti

Patti,

If you are right about your DD you may find that she needs more supplemental potassium than supplements typically provide.

I noticed that, too, when I was taking potassium at the end of and after my cleanse!  Strange law.  I ended up getting a powder supplement because it was easier to get the amount I needed that way.
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2008, 08:12:10 AM »
Kati*did, I'm still working my way through all that you have posted, but I did have a thought about something that happened to me a couple years ago.

That's interesting, Gigi.  Did the doc offer any possible reasons for it or suggest that it might be related to diabetes?  Did he/she know you'd just fasted? 

I have fasted a handful of times for different time periods from 3-5 days and find that, generally, my blood sugars and health are pristine during those times (very few lows or highs) and I feel really good.  Managing my diabetes would be so easy if I didn't have to eat!!!   ;D  LOL.  Did you feel fine aside from the nerve problem afterward?   
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2008, 06:14:58 PM »
Quote
The Hiatal Hernia Syndrome can (eventually) cause serious illness including respiratory and cardiac symptoms, and appears to be present in most sufferers of food and chemical allergies. (2) But some of these complaints may be caused by the so-called Schatzki's ring, and not the hernia itself. You can have either condition and not the other, or you may have both--as is common. Schatzki's ring is a disorder of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). The LES acts like a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. Schatzki's ring may be thought of as a hardened, thickened, multi-fold, scar-type tissue. If this ring is present, the LES does not function properly. It may be open when it should be closed--causing reflux (GERD); or it may be closed when it should be open. The latter condition can then lead to food being trapped above the ring. There may be constriction. Trapped food or spasms of the esophagus can then cause serious problems including breathing difficulty (asthma, etc.) and tachycardia and other arrhythmias. The LES (Shatzki's) Ring (as well as an Hiatal Hernia) shows up on X-ray (upper GI series) or during an endoscopy (EGD). Thus it is important to have either test if you have stomach complaints or food or even chemical or electromagnetic sensitivities. As stated in my previous article, once the Vagus nerve is under- or over-excited, the entire body is in great imbalance, and almost any organ can malfunction as many visceral organs are innervated by a branch of the Vagus (Para-sympathetic) Nerve. Also this can make the person sensitive to any environmental factor as well as possibly deplete or weaken the adrenal glands, thyroid or liver...

Some foods are more likely to get trapped (stuck) at the LES Ring, if present. These include breads and fibrous (tough) meats. Dry foods (like bread) can be a problem, but wheat, beef (or other) allergy may also be a factor. (Or this may be a purely mechanical problem, or contain elements of both allergy and mechanical anomalies.) "Steakhouse Syndrome" is the nickname Emergency Room personnel have given this syndrome when people come in with "high" anxiety, or respiratory or cardiac, or cardiac-like symptoms due to trapped food at the Lower Esophageal Sphincter...
emphasis is mine

from http://www.hiatalherniahelp.com/articles/25-vagus-nerve-and-hiatal-hernia.htm

This is a very long, but very thorough and interesting article.  I'm not sure, but this article seems to contain every symptom you mentioned and is directly related to the vagus nerve.  Hope it helps.

Here's another excerpt from the same article.
Quote

For the sake of completeness, I present two more theories on these stomach problems. F. Batmanghelidj, MD states that the Hiatal Hernia arises from the following scenario. (7) The pyloric valve (between the stomach and the small intestine) will not allow the stomach's acidic contents to empty into the small intestine unless the pancreas secretes its watery bicarbonate (antiacid) solution into the small intestine. Batmanghelidj states that with dehydration the pancreas can't live up to its part, so the body closes off the pyloric valve to prevent damage to the small intestine. This then will put pressure on the other end of the stomach--the LES--which may then allow reflux up the esophagus and damage the LES, creating the ring and the Hiatal Hernia.


My thoughts:  Your pancreas is already broken (diabetes).  The cleanse probably did deplete you some (potassium/dehydration).  The combo of the two might have caused what the above guy mentioned.  Your pancreas couldn't keep up and so it triggered the problem.

Then add in toxins dumped from the liver - my thoughts on this might have more to do with the drugs themselves causing the electro/weird stuff, AntiDepressants have been documented to cause such reactions when withdrawing from them.  I believe Depkote is in this drug family.

I'm thinking you may have been suffering from two or more conditions simultaneously.  The cleanse may just have been the catalyst for all of them.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 06:19:48 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2008, 06:46:44 PM »
Okay, I was looking for more info on Depakote and how it might fit in and I found something kinda weird.  One earlier post mentioned Trigeminal neuralgia and Katy*did mentioned "electric shock" sensation.  I found several articles that support that both of these conditions along with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (mentioned somewhere) are all treated with anticonvulsant drugs and anti-depressant drugs.  Okay, I don't really know what this means, but I would bet $$ it's connected somehow.  The article I'm quoting from is about treating the multiple symptoms of MS.  Now, it also mentions fibromyalgia.  MS and fibromyalgia are both autoimmune diseases (related to low fat diets and candida/leaky gut problems) as is diabetes.

I still don't know where I'm going with this, but it all seems to fit together somehow.  You've got the autoimmunity, possibly candida.  I know I've posted somewhere about epilepsy also being connected to autoimmunity and candida.

I'm not sure why this would cause extra symptoms if your liver dumped excess Depakote into your bloodstream, other than you were either experiencing withdrawal or overdose (or maybe both at the same time - if that's possible ??? ).

Quote
Trigeminal neuralgia is a stabbing pain in the face. It can occur as an initial symptom of MS. While it can be confused with dental pain, this pain is neuropathic (caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve) in origin. It can usually be treated with medications such as the anticonvulsants carbamazepine (Tegretol®) or phenytoin (Dilantin®).

Lhermitte’s sign is a brief, stabbing, electric-shock-like sensation that runs from the back of the head down the spine, brought on by bending the neck forward. Medications, including anticonvulsants, may be used to prevent the pain, or a soft collar may be used to limit neck flexion.

Burning, aching or “girdling” around the body are all neurologic in origin. The technical name for them is dysesthesias. These pains are often treated with the anticonvulsant medication gabapentin (Neurontin®). Dysesthesias may also be treated with an antidepressant such as amitriptyline (Elavil®), which modifies how the central nervous system reacts to pain. Other treatments include wearing a pressure stocking or glove, which can convert the sensation of pain to one of pressure; warm compresses to the skin, which may convert the sensation of pain to one of warmth; and over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol® and others) which may be taken daily, under a physician’s supervision.

Duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta®) was approved by the FDA in 2004 for treatment of depression and treatment of pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Cymbalta® belongs to the group of medications known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Although not specifically approved for use in MS, its effectiveness in diabetic neuropathy makes it a suitable candidate for the treatment of neuropathic pain in MS, and MS specialists consider it a good treatment option for people with MS.
from http://www.nationalmssociety.org/about-multiple-sclerosis/symptoms/pain/index.aspx
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2008, 06:55:03 PM »
Here's another article on the Vagus nerve - Schatky's Ring.

Quote
Background

Lower esophageal rings were described first by Templeton in 1944. The vast majority of patients with lower esophageal rings are asymptomatic. The association of intermittent dysphagia with lower esophageal rings was reported by Ingelfinger and Kramer and also by Schatzki and Gray in 1953. The term Schatzki ring is reserved for a lower esophageal mucosal ring that causes intermittent dysphagia. Thus, the diagnosis of a Schatzki ring is based on both clinical and radiologic findings.
Pathophysiology

A Schatzki ring is a ring composed of mucosa and submucosa located at the esophagogastric junction. Histologically, the superior surface of the ring is stratified squamous epithelium (ie, esophageal mucosa), and the inferior surface of the ring is covered by columnar epithelium (ie, gastric mucosa).

The exact pathogenesis of lower esophageal rings is not known. Both congenital and acquired origins have been proposed for Schatzki rings. The data are not completely conclusive, but the bulk of the evidence indicates an acquired etiology. Many patients do not have symptoms before the age of 50 years; hence, a congenital origin is unlikely. Most investigators believe that a Schatzki ring is an annular ringlike stricture caused by scarring as a result of reflux esophagitis.

Other investigators have demonstrated that Schatzki rings become narrowed during serial radiographic examinations and that they transform into actual peptic strictures. Even so, endoscopic biopsy and 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring have failed to show any symptoms or signs of gastroesophageal reflux or reflux esophagitis in more than one third of patients with Schatzki rings.

Different investigators have proposed that vagal stimulation causes longitudinal muscle contraction and foreshortening of the esophagus with mucosal infolding at the esophagogastric junction. This structure undergoes fibrosis and scarring in some patients, leading to the development of Schatzki rings.

The luminal diameter of the mucosal ring is the primary factor that determines the presence or absence of dysphagia. In 1963, Schatzki reported that if the luminal diameter of a lower esophageal mucosal ring is 13 mm or less, patients regularly experience intermittent dysphagia to solid food. If the luminal diameter is greater than 20 mm, patients are usually asymptomatic. Luminal diameters of 13-20 mm cause variable degrees of dysphagia, depending on the type and size of the food bolus.

more from http://www.emedicine.com/Radio/topic620.htm
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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2008, 07:27:03 PM »
Okay, I just signed off and was getting ready to head to bed and something hit me and I had to post my random thoughts, so I wouldn't dream about them all night and also so I wouldn't forget.

In all my research this evening, I found that pancreatic function is directly related to the problem.  Also anticonvulsants and antidepressants are used to treat this condition.  I remember that SarahKs son was taking an antidepressant for a form of pancreatitis in order to be able to keep from vomiting up everything he ate and drank for a time after his injury and surgery to his pancreas.

So...if you have pancreas damage (diabetes) - Is this related to diabetes? or is diabetes a form of pancreatitis?  Okay, my thought is this.  You've been on depakote for a very long time.  You have problems with the pancreas.  You do a cleanse and dehydrate putting further stress on the pancreas.  Then you stop taking or cleanse the depakote out of the liver where it's most effective at absorbing into the body to fight your epilepsy.  While taking the depakote, your pancreatic problems are not surfacing because - depakote keeps these symptoms hidden (strangely enough, one of the listed side effects of depakote is pancreas damage--which would mean it causes the damage and simultaneously covers it up ??? ).  When you cleanse, the symptoms become apparent and even inflamed due to the extra stress/loss of potassium from the cleanse.  Then you add the esophageal condition on top of this (related according to my earlier posted article) and you have your "condition". 

All this makes me wonder if an adjustment might help.  SarahKs son went through a series of spine adjustments (if I remember right, it was a vertebrate in the lower lumbar region and another in the area of the esophageal mechanism).  After several treatments, he seemed to get better and the pancreatitis seemed to abate and I believe (SarahK fill in the blanks for me please) that he no longer takes the antidepressants.

Clear as mud?  Okay...I can go to bed now and think more on this tomorrow.
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Offline Gigi

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2008, 05:13:49 AM »
Kati*did, I'm still working my way through all that you have posted, but I did have a thought about something that happened to me a couple years ago.

That's interesting, Gigi.  Did the doc offer any possible reasons for it or suggest that it might be related to diabetes?  Did he/she know you'd just fasted? 

I have fasted a handful of times for different time periods from 3-5 days and find that, generally, my blood sugars and health are pristine during those times (very few lows or highs) and I feel really good.  Managing my diabetes would be so easy if I didn't have to eat!!!   ;D  LOL.  Did you feel fine aside from the nerve problem afterward?   

I'm going to talk with hubby and see if he can help me remember what the doctor said and any other things that might have happened that I'm not remembering correctly.  I'll get back to you on this.


Offline SarahK

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2008, 06:04:52 AM »
  I remember that SarahKs son was taking an antidepressant for a form of pancreatitis in order to be able to keep from vomiting up everything he ate and drank for a time after his injury and surgery to his pancreas.

It was Buspar (Busapirone @ Wikipedia).  We were told that this particular med was chosen for him because it has a side effect of increasing GI motility.  The theory was that his gut would move things a little faster and would be more ready to accept more food as it progressed in the gut.

In retrospect, we now believe that they eventually increased the dose to an anti-depressant treating level because they believed his symptoms were strickly psycho-somatic.  (No structural, mechanical, biological reason for the symptoms he had.) 

I've looked that the Depakote @ Wikipedia info and I don't think they have the same function.  BUT, I am not as informed about that particular med as I am about Buspar. 

All this makes me wonder if an adjustment might help.  SarahKs son went through a series of spine adjustments (if I remember right, it was a vertebrate in the lower lumbar region and another in the area of the esophageal mechanism).  After several treatments, he seemed to get better and the pancreatitis seemed to abate and I believe (SarahK fill in the blanks for me please) that he no longer takes the antidepressants.

Right.  We were still on the Buspar, having hospitalizations for 3-4 days every 10 days or for 2+ months.  He would be released from the hospital, be normal for 3-7 days, then would not be able to swallow anymore.  This led to dehydration in 2-3 days and then hospitalization to rehydrate.  During the 2-3 days of dehydration, we tried many things and eventually found success with spinal adjustments.  T-12 (thoracic 12th vertebrae) and L-3 (3rd lumbar) in our case.  We discontinued the Buspar as directed and had no problems that we could not manage by spinal adjustments Here.

I'll keep thinking...

Sarah K



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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2008, 06:10:10 AM »
It was Buspar (Busapirone @ Wikipedia).  We were told that this particular med was chosen for him because it has a side effect of increasing GI motility.  The theory was that his gut would move things a little faster and would be more ready to accept more food as it progressed in the gut.

In retrospect, we now believe that they eventually increased the dose to an anti-depressant treating level because they believed his symptoms were strickly psycho-somatic.  (No structural, mechanical, biological reason for the symptoms he had.) 

I've looked that the Depakote @ Wikipedia info and I don't think they have the same function.  BUT, I am not as informed about that particular med as I am about Buspar.
No, ,I don't think these two drugs are the same; however, in my reading last night, I found that these two classes (antidepressants/anticonvulsants) are used interchangeably to treat many of these conditions.  The both seem to control/stimulate/retard the electrical impulses in the brain, so the effects of overdose/detox/withdrawal could/would be similar.
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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2008, 10:08:40 AM »
As a courtesy to the member who started this thread and those participating in the conversation and to keep subjects more organized and easier to find, please attempt to stay on topic as much as possible.

If the conversation triggers a new subject of interest, please search the forum for a more appropriate thread for the discussion.  When one cannot be found, start a new one.

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,19077.0.html

If you'd like to have a more personal conversation that would otherwise derail the topic, please take advantage of your ability as a forum member to send personal messages.

Thanks.

~hb
« Last Edit: July 25, 2008, 10:02:51 AM by healthybratt »
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2008, 03:46:11 AM »
Wow...thank you so much for all of your thoughts, HB and SarahK!   I'm still reading and digesting everything and seeing what I can work out.  Thank you, thank you!
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2008, 05:46:20 AM »
Ok...I'm still trying to read/study through all this stuff, but want to post the latest happenings for records sake. 

As of 6/29/08, my whole nerve situation seems to have changed.  I am no longer experiencing any of the symptoms that fall under the autonomic neuropathy category.  I don't know if it is still my vagus nerve that is acting up, but it seems that, if it is, it has gone from under-acting to over-acting.  Trying to think about this and wonder if it's related to the depakote I may have flushed out.  Anyway, here's what's been happening:

-- On and off, I feel some (many?) nerves at the back of my neck.  They feel "excited" or "active".  Not a good feeling.

-- Often, the feeling of nerves at the back of my neck spread up the back of my head like tendrils or slim fingers or I can feel it going down my spine.  Once it has gone 3/4 of the way down my right arm and the "tendrils" went into my hand.

-- the "tendrils" and the nerves often give a sensation like insanity/fear or intense frustration, although I personally am feeling neither of these emotions/feelings.  The feelings of fear/frustration are located only where I can feel the nerves -- including my arm.  I know this sounds weird, but that's how it is. 

--The first time this happened, it was very intense and lasted for hours. I occasionally felt like I might pass out, but didn't.  Maybe I was just scared.  I also felt a physical need to cry, although it was not from personal emotion, and when I finally cried, the pressure on the back of my head from the crying greatly relieved my nerves!  Hmmm...  I also took valerian later on and this seemed to help.

-- After the first time, it has come and gone and been much milder, but still does not feel right.  I find that I feel the need to cry every time it comes and I think this is my body physically telling me how to relieve it.
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Offline mom24boys

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2008, 09:17:37 AM »
Just one long shot question regarding your last post, Kati*did.
I get those symptoms when I wear one of those magnetic necklaces.
You don't happen to have one, do you?

Probably not but I just couldn't let it go by without mentioning it.
It took my hours to realize that the symptoms I was having (like you described in the last post) were only while I was wearing that necklace.  I haven't worn it since and haven't had those symptoms.

Incidentally, I am a type II and have realized from reading this thread that I probably have DAN.

Offline Kati*did

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Re: Vagus Nerve -- How, Where, What, When Why
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2008, 11:13:16 AM »
Thanks for the long shot.  :D  I don't have any magnetic jewelry, but I find that interesting as I'd like to know about why ANYTHING would cause these symptoms.  The more I research, it becomes clearer and clearer that everything is related, and finding causes for one thing often gives insight to causes for something else....if that makes sense.
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