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Vagal Nerve/Bathroom Issue


Guest 12StringANSGuitar
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Guest 12StringANSGuitar

I just get this strange feeling after reading some things here, and having talked a bit with my friend who has POTS, that most everyone here has a problem when it comes to relieving the bladder completely, and also the bowels.

I know this is the stuff that we feel this :unsure::):blink: about, but we are talking serious obviously, so this is all in clincal/medical context.

Alright then. Since 1981 when I had my appendicts out, I've had problems with both items; however, its the BM issue that has been the most disturbing of them.

Early on(maybe 1982 or 83), a radio host in Philadelphia(Dr. Jim Corey), answered a question of mine with the reference of the Vagal Nerve.

He actually had said Vagus Nerve, and it made for a few jokes from people over the years, when I attempted to explain some of my personal issues of health.

What I had described to Dr. Jim(as he was referred), was that since the operation,

I had trouble eliminating(when there was no problem prior,,and it was always 1,2,3, and done!),, and would experience symptoms of a quicker erratic like heart beat; nervousness, and even my feet would get cold(sometimes icy even!).

I also mentioned that I had trouble sleeping(the quality of any sleep was totally sucky), if I didn't go #2 well, before going to bed.

Dr. Jim explained that possibly my Vagus Nerve was affected, and that it ran from the bowel to the brain, and that the pressure of a full bowel, was probably pressing against this nerve, causing my nervousness, and my heart rate to go erratic.

Because of this, I modified my diet severely, and ended up losing 15lbs. that I didn't need to lose(I was always in pretty good shape- and in my best, prior to the operation).

Consequent to this, I ended up with almost 14 and 1 half years of bad sleep, and what ever life I would have had, was controlled by how lousy I felt that whole time.

I actually discontinued my exercise during that period, but since about 5 years back, I've gotten myself into shape again, despite recognizing that I probably have had this NCS issue since about 1992, and my still un-diagnosed properly stress issue that causes me to somewhat seize up, slur, get mentally confused, and stare(at times).

I also have this low heart rate issue(bradycardia), and I only knew because I did collapse on my job once(possibly 6 yrs back), and when I was hooked up, I was hovering around 40-44 beats per minute.

Since that time, I am able to comprehend how stress will sometimes precipitate the low heart rate, or even vice versa...and then, my brain seems to go on the fritz. Its all a domino thing I guess.

Whats also of interest with respect to how the 2nd part of my disorder transpired, is that consequent(about 6mos time), to a hit to the peak of my head while being shown a martial art technique :blink::ph34r: , I feel this was the cause.

You may laugh or not, but this guy at work knew this Aiki Jitsu Art(but he shouldn't have known it, because he was not a nice person), and I willingly allowed him to use me as his practice dummy(because I like martial arts).

Anyway, he accidentally( :o:unsure:<_< ) kicks me in the privates, and although it wasn't too hard a hit, I don't feel too good.

!!Then he tells me to stand still(which I did- not knowing what was coming), and he takes the flat of his hand, and whacks me fairly sharply on the top of my skull!

This is a nerve juncture area, and a dangerous place to get hit too!

All I can tell you, is that the pain below :unsure: was gone, and I had a strange feeling of peace about me :blink: ! Go figure that one.

And looking back, I wonder if that caused my prior symptoms to become exascerbated. Since the Vagal nerve goes to the brain, maybe he aggravated things more? Who knows.

Its remarkable from my perspective, how I can still summon my Will in order to do my exercises. I feel if I don't, I will fade(literally).

I mentioned on another thread here that I am a recovering alchoholic. That was mostly the last 7 years, but was getting much worse the last 3-4. All thru this bad period, I always did my exercises.

The thing I cannot figure out for the life of me, is why my darn bowels are still the way they've been since June of 1981. I have to bring something to read into the bathroom, and I also must go thru a literal routine of postural like movements and certain exercises, so that I can go #2.

This is so frustrating to me, and I think I ANTICIPATE what will be, and therefore I have inhibitions just knowing what awaits; especially before bedtime, because I know the effect on my quality of sleep.

I really feel that none of this should be happening to me, because I am well conditioned, and I don't eat garbage food, low fat, and hardly any sugar or salt.

I guess what I'd like to know(cause I'm tiring right now, and its getting real late),

is if everyone who has the NCS, and even the POTS diagnosis, has bowel problems effecting their condition, do your feet get cold(sometimes mine is just one of them), is your heart rate effected, and is your sleep effected???

Also, have any of you thought, or have been told, that your Vagal Nerve is hyper stimulated, or under-stimulated even?

Do you also notice that your condition manifests more so, when you have either Brady or Tachy symptoms going on? And do bowel problems effect that too.

I'm wondering which come first?

I wrote a book,, sorry, but I needed to get that one out there.

nighty night everyone,

Jeff

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Jeff,

I had the issue of having to go to the bathroom before bed every night also despite eating right, etc. etc. I knew, too, that if I didn't go, I would be miserable all night.

This disappeared after I had my gallbladder removed this past winter. Not advocating this as a solution or the reason for your problem...

I have posted before about waking up with morning stomach aches, trouble sleeping if I didn't go to the bathroom before bed, etc. and these all stopped after my GB surgery. Strange. I hated it b/c the cycle would start over every day...more and more bloated and uncomfortable as the day went on and then waiting hours to go to the bathroom...

Okay TMI...but GI issues are a HUGE part of Dysautonomia for many folks...

Emily

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Guest 12StringANSGuitar
Jeff,

I had the issue of having to go to the bathroom before bed every night also despite eating right, etc. etc. I knew, too, that if I didn't go, I would be miserable all night.

This disappeared after I had my gallbladder removed this past winter. Not advocating this as a solution or the reason for your problem...

I have posted before about waking up with morning stomach aches, trouble sleeping if I didn't go to the bathroom before bed, etc. and these all stopped after my GB surgery. Strange. I hated it b/c the cycle would start over every day...more and more bloated and uncomfortable as the day went on and then waiting hours to go to the bathroom...

Okay TMI...but GI issues are a HUGE part of Dysautonomia for many folks...

Emily

:

D.L.,

I'm sorry to hear about your gall bladder removal. I don't undertand the connection with the bathroom issue, and the sleep though. Is there a correlation between these things, or(since I'm not anatomically aware) does the gall bladder press upon the vagal nerve?

I left a few things out, but I would also sometimes end up in the bathroom for 2 hours sometimes(1 hr easily).

In the process of all this frustration, I learned not only how to eat better, but made certain that most of my daily food intake was complete at least 8 hrs. before my bedtime. Unfortunately, hunger always strikes, and I snack most everytime not too long before going to bed. But still, things are better than they once were. That 14-15 year period of bad sleep was literally **** at times.

I also realized how spices could affect matters. There is no way that I can go near spices for at least 8 hours before bed, or it keeps me activated.

However, if garlic is a spice, than I'm stupid, because my snack(eggs or sardines)

gets garlic powder tossed on it. I'm very big on eating garlic powder with my proteins.

I had been told back then that I had a spastic colon, but I never took the Bentyl medication they instructed me to take.

Did you have any issues with spices precipitating problems?

Another weird thing, is that prior to that appendicitis issue, I could eat anything, and nothing would effect me.

What used to drive me a bit whacky back then, was that I wasn't certain if it was the operation, or a stressful period that lasted about 3 years time(co-inciding prior and after operation), or both.

What's TMI?

thankyou,

Jeff

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Guest 12StringANSGuitar

I was also thinking if this is occuring:

Could pressure on the vagal be causing some limbic like response that consequently sets up a chain of nervous like re-actions, effecting the hormones, & neuro transmissions, that instruct the body and brain what to do, etc.

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Hi Jeff,

Not sure if this would help you or not, but maybe a daily fiber supplement would help you out? Something like Citrucel can help when autonomic issues affect your intestines. It's a nice natural way to help regulate yourself rather than with medication. Maybe you have tried this already, but it sure helps me.

Kristen

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Guest 12StringANSGuitar
Hi Jeff,

Not sure if this would help you or not, but maybe a daily fiber supplement would help you out?? Something like Citrucel can help when autonomic issues affect your intestines.? It's a nice natural way to help regulate yourself rather than with medication.? Maybe you have tried this already, but it sure helps me.

Kristen

:

Thankyou Kristen.

Actually, I eat proper, and lots of fiber too.

I really think this is all nerves, and history of conditioned response to these circumstances(its like set in stone or something- just can't relax at that time).

If I can be more specific, I've had issues over the years that would aggravate my circumstances when I 'needed to go'. Hence, Situational or Circumstantial Anxiety Issues would happen.

For one, I had a younger brother(in the early days of this- after the appendicts came out), that seemed to have a habit of disrupting my bathroom experience.

He was very difficult, and even prior to this problem, he used to tell me that I breathed too loudly when I attempted to go to sleep(hence, I slept on the living room floor to be away from him).

I also had a job that caused me distress, but was great money(all at time of the appendicts removal), and if I went to their bathroom, I felt that I was still in shock from the work I did(over the phone Bill Collections- sucky job!), and I think my bowels were in shock or something, because I could rarely 'go'.

And then I had a neighbor a few years back, who had a habit of banging on the floor above, and I am hyper-sensitive to noise, and somehow, they'd manage to make noise at all times(even above the bathroom). Well, just imagine when you constantly anticipate the thing to happen(the noise).

In fact, my life experience has been such, that I always am anticipating bad things to happen, so my body always feels in a state of alert.

I wonder how many of you feel this? I should post this in a seperate thread.

thanks again,

Jeff

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Jeff, I know the vagus nerve has a direct correlation with the heart, as I was a cardiac nurse for many years. Many many people would feel like they had to move their bowels if they were having arrythmias or chest pain and it was definitely linked to the vagus nerve, as it runs through your gut. That's why when people are having a very fast rate, it sometimes help to bare down like you are going to have a bm, it puts pressure on the vagus nerve, and for a lot of people will slow the heart down.

If you are doing a lot of bearing down to go to the bathroom, it will affect the vagal nerve, in turn, affecting heart rate, so it can lower the rate, causing the blood to rush to the trunk, giving you that anxious feeling and very cold feet. The blood will go to vital organs when the heart slows down.

When I have to have a b.m., I get antsy and lightheaded. As soon as I go, I feel better. However, I go about 5 times a day, so no problem with not sleeping. morgan

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