11 Symptoms Of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

11 Symptoms Of Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

Something many people have, but few people know about.
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Not many people really know what the vagus nerve is so first, let me explain that. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the body that regulates the gut and also affects the cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and respiratory systems. That means it's a pretty major nerve in the human body. So when that nerve is dysfunctional, you can imagine it can have some pretty ridiculous side effects.

This past autumn, I figured out that my vagus nerve is, somehow, dysfunctional. And it turns out that a lot of people have a dysfunctional vagus nerve. When you struggle with vagus nerve dysfunction, you can be perfectly healthy for a long time, catch a cold or hit a wall, and then your body will take months to recover. I got so sick that I didn't have the energy to even get out of bed for days and probably would have withered away if my mom didn't bring me food.

Living with vagus nerve dysfunction is something that you have to learn to live with because there is no cure. So if you have a friend with a dysfunction vagus nerve, please try and understand them and read through these common symptoms that come with it.

1. Chronic nausea

Unfortunately, this means there isn't a lot that seems appetizing to eat.

2. Weight loss

Due to not wanting to eat from nausea, you can lose significant weight. At my worst, I unintentionally lost 15 lbs. in about three weeks.

3. Weight gain

Most likely due to chronic fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

4. Bradycardia and tachycardia

Otherwise known as decreased heart rate and increased heart rate, respectfully. This can make simple things like walking or standing for long periods of time difficult.

5. IBS

Constant stomach pains and nausea generally means constantly feeling uncomfortable.

6. Depression

Not only just because it's connected to your brain, but always feeling down and sick definitely takes a toll on your mental health.

7. Anxiety

I still sometimes get panic attacks at the thought of leaving the house because I might have a terrible dizzy spell in public again.

8. Chronic inflammation

It just sucks.

9. Chronic fatigue

There's a difference between feeling tired all the time because you're a college student and feeling tired all the time because your body is sick.

10. Heartburn

All I have to say is no thank you.

11. Dizziness/fainting

We try our best to not stand up too fast because that'll make it worse.

While there isn't a cure for vagus nerve dysfunction, there are a lot of things we can do to manage it. Some of us take medications for our mental health and nausea. Yoga is always great for increasing our muscle function. And massive intake of salt and water is vital (we drink a lot of Gatorade). But that doesn't mean that we don't have bad days.

So try your best to be there for your friends with dysfunctional vagus nerves. Instead of always suggesting to go out, maybe just ask if you can bring over a lot of Gatorade and salty snacks and binge Netflix. It will be greatly appreciated.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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It's Been Three And A Half Years Since My Last Seizure, But I Am Still Terrified To Live Normally

Hi. I'm the girl who has seizures.

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Hi. I'm the girl who has seizures.

That's probably a weird way to start an article, but a lot of the time that is what people see first. They see me as the one who has seizures. For a while, it was like it was my name. Sure, I had other identities, too. This one, however, stood out the most. I couldn't go a day without hearing the words- "Let's not have a seizure, ok." Or "Are you OK?" It truly sucked.

I didn't want to be the girl who was known for her seizures, but I was. I wanted people to see me first. Well, it has been almost three and a half years since my last seizure, and to put it simply- I'm terrified. I had my second seizure three years after my surgery. That's not necessarily what I'm terrified of, though.

I'm terrified of getting behind a wheel only to end up with a car turned over in the middle of the road. I'm terrified of hurting someone else because I got behind the wheel. I'm terrified of waking up in a hospital bed to be asked: "Do you know where you are?" Yes, I do. I'm very familiar with hospitals.

I'm terrified of being at concerts with strobe lights and blaring music. To the average person, that might sound dumb, but for me, it's a reality. I have to be so careful when it comes to flashing or bright lights. It can set a seizure off.

I'm terrified of insane time changes. For instance, I went into a 12-hour time difference, and while that's easy to deal with when it comes to switching your dosages, it's still scary.

I'm terrified of waking up one day to find out I had a seizure while I was sleeping, and now I'm completely confused by everything. That might not make sense, but you can't necessarily tell if you're having a seizure if you're sleeping. That is the scary part. Think about it. It is scary enough having a seizure while you are conscious, now imagine having one you don't even know happened. Scary, right?

Seizures are definitely terrifying, and the thought of having one at any time is even scarier. It's even scarier risking the life of someone else solely because you want to do something you are not supposed to. I want to drive, but due to my seizures - I shouldn't. I think about driving frequently, but it isn't worth the life of someone else.

I'm the girl who has seizures, and I'm terrified to do things because of it. I am constantly on edge about things even if I don't show it. I'm constantly hoping I don't have a seizure if I do this or that. I'm always on edge about previous events with my seizures. I think about them a lot. However, I'm thankful. Its been three and a half years since my last one. That's a big milestone.

I'm the girl who has seizures, but I'm not giving up.

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