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I Really Need All Of You: Don't Know What To Think


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Just got home from my OSU heart doctor. He said that the vaso-vagal nerve (I know I probably didn't spell that right) is accountable for all of my problems--my muscles getting stiff after I eat, my migraines after I eat, the dizziness, my heart going slow and irregular (Monday night, after eating some pancakes, my heart rate dropped slowly down to the 40's, went slowly back up to the 70's again, then dropped again, etc. for over an hour. I was exhausted and my muscles hurt)--well, all of the terrible symptoms I've been having for over a year now, for which no other doctor seems to be able to find a cause for. I only understood the vvnerve to cause syncope, of which I rarely do. I cannot find anything on the internet that says that this nerve can cause your muscles to tighten up after eating to the point you're in achy pain, can hardly walk, feel like your eyes are going to bulge right out of your head due to muscle tightness, etc. Can anyone help me with this?

Also, he wants to put me on a low dose of lopressor. Goodness knows, I'm terrified of any medication that affects the nervous system. Has anyone had any luck on lopressor? I read that people who have a low heartrate shouldn't take lopressor, and with mine dropping into the 40's, I'm wondering if that's such a good idea. Comments, anyone?

Thanks, everyone, in advance.


Oh, and I just noticed the other day that, when I feel all shaky inside, like today and like many of us with POTS do, and have days of irregular beats after eating, like today, I feel soooooo anxious, dizzy, etc., and also, I just want to cry. I get this overwhelming urge to just cry, not because I'm scared or sick or feeling depressed--just because I HAVE to. It's so bizarre. I'm wondering, I'm 42 and pre-menopausal. Could hormones be causing my symptoms?--muscle tightness after eating, irregular heartbeat, etc? My symptoms get terrible, terrible around my period.

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Linda I have that urge to cry all the time too. I am 50 and near menopause, but after months of asking myself wants wrong with me, I conclude that I'm lonely.

I do have an appt. with a therapist soon. I think also that because of my age (50) and menopause, certain things bother me that wouldn't in years gone by. When

your overriding goal is to afford a home- after that raise kids - you have no time to concern yourself over personal relationships . Success is measured- by the

aforementioned. Fulfillment comes- also by the aforementioned.

I think also the cumulative effects from hearing horror stories and human tragities take a toll to. I carry a broken heart from exposure to human suffering. The two must be connected. I have no shoulder to cry on.

Anyway that's me.

Off hand, I have no input for you about the Vagus.

hope you feel better!

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just to clarify the nerve that you are talking about is called the "vagal nerve", it is the 10th cranial nerve. It is named from the latin word for "wander" (think similar to vagrant - a wanderer). The name was given because it literally "wanders" arround inside us and controls many different things - including heart rate, GI issues and lots more.

The "Vasovagal reflex" is what can happen when the vagal nerve is stimulated. It can cause a very slow heart rate, low blood pressure and black-outs. Vasovagal syncope and neurocardiogenic syncope are both terms used to describe blackouts caused by the vagal nerve.

When I had my tilt test my cardiologist rubbed hard on the side of my neck (carotid sinus massage) as the vagal nerve runs through this area and rubbing it hard can cause a blackout - (don't ever try it at home).

I hope the difference between the "vagal nerve" and "vasovagal reflex" is a bit clearer.

Essentially the vagal nerve controls a lot of the autonomic functions that people on this forum have problems with.


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Hi Linda,

I believe that an issue with the vagal nerve or vasovagal reflex is basically the same thing as having dysautonomia. Does this doctor have experience in treating autonomic issues? Do your doctors think your GI problems are separate from the autonomic problems? Because the problems seem to usually be related to one another.


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Here's something to ponder about that urge to cry that comes on when you are feeling a particularly intense POTS flaire ... on the occasions when you DO allow yoursef to actually cry (tears, sobbing, whatever your body wants to do) ... how long does the crying episode last and how do you feel afterwards?

For me, when my body starts shaking and my POTS is in full bloom, there is also on occasion a sensation of tears in my eyes. What I find is if I just stay with the body sensation (without my mind trying to make meaning of anything) that the tears last less than five minutes and I feel much less body tension afterwards. Kindof like a pressure valve. I am also perimenapausal, and I figure its just some kind of physical release.

Good luck on your healing journey.


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I would strongly suggest to ask your Doctor to rethink the lopressor. My resting rates are also low (33 when sleeping; 48-55 when sitting or lying around) and I suggested "Do you think thats a good idea" to two cardiologists and my ANS and they thought about it and agreed. During the first few months of this wonderful journey ;) I would cry and my wife pretty much knew something was wrong. At that point we were married for 6 years and she saw me cry once during the first year (like a baby) when my 17 year old Golden retriever had to be put down. With the POTS crying I strangely do feel better afterwards, just like the pressure valve thing earthmother was talking about.

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Linda, here is a link you might find interesting....the pancakes and stiffness are what got me thinking...read some of it and see what you think....look at the myotonia section.....I cry all the time and never know why, so don't feel like the lone ranger....morgan

I will pm you the link Linda....I'm not sure it's okay to just post it....

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Interesting.....I remember Dr. Grubb saying the vagal nerve was responsible for many of my symptoms but don't remember him saying much about the muscle tightness. I have episodes when my bp will stay low for days and my muscles will get really stiff. I always concluded it was lack of blood flow to the muscles that was causing the stiffness. Warm baths tend to help.

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