I first became interested in the vagus nerve when I read this wonderful and fascinating article about the connections between the vagus nerve and chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases:
The article notes that:
“Operating far below the level of our conscious minds, the vagus nerve is vital for keeping our bodies healthy. It is an essential part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming organs after the stressed ‘fight-or-flight’ adrenaline response to danger. Not all vagus nerves are the same, however: some people have stronger vagus activity, which means their bodies can relax faster after a stress.”
The vagus nerve is a critical component of the autonomic nervous system, and it is also responsible for the release of acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter that:
- It is a neuromodulator of the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system.
- In the autonomic nervous system, ACh has key roles in both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and affects motility through the digestive tract, sweating, tear production, balance, heart-rate, breathing, etc.
- In the central nervous system, ACh plays a role in regulating arousal, attention, sleep, and motivation.
- In the peripheral nervous system, ACh controls muscle activation (both skeletal muscles and smooth muscles–the muscles that involuntarily contract and release).
- It affects vascular tone.
- A lack of ACh is linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other chronic CNS illnesses.
- It suppresses inflammation.
- It affects the release of hormones.
The vagus nerve is an essential part of our autonomic nervous system (the parasympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system), it regulates inflammation, and lack of vagal nerve tone/health is related to many chronic illnesses.
Hallmarks of fluoroquinolone toxicity are autonomic nervous system dysfunction, inflammation, and even ACh dysfunction.
I explored the connections between fluoroquinolone toxicity and the vagus nerve in these posts on floxiehope.com:
- Hacking Fluoroquinolone Toxicity via the Nervous System
- Fluoroquinolone Toxicity and Acetylcholine (ACh) Damage
- Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction from Cipro, Levaquin, and other Fluoroquinolones
I don’t know whether or not vagus nerve damage is a root cause of fluoroquinolone toxicity, but I do believe that healing and toning the vagus nerve is helpful for all people suffering from chronic inflammation and disease–including floxies.
The connections between vagus nerve health/tone and fluoroquinolone toxicity, as well as my desire to figure out fluoroquiolone toxicity (an ongoing struggle), led me to study the vagus nerve, and explore ways to strengthen and tone it.
I put my findings/research into a book. It’s called The Vagus Nerve Guide: Reduce Inflammation and Chronic Illness Through Toning Your Vagus Nerve and it’s available via Amazon kindle. You can find it HERE.
I hope that you find it to be interesting and useful.
Thank you to each and every one of you who buys the book, and an especially large thank you to those who leave a review on Amazon. 🙂
Please also “like” the Vagus Nerve Guide on Facebook. The page can be found HERE.
The web site for the book is https://vagusnervehealing.com/.
Researching fluoroquinolone toxicity has led me in all sorts of unexpected and interesting directions. I never would have thought that I would be researching the vagus nerve, much less writing a book about it. Yet, here we are. I hope that the information in The Vagus Nerve Guide: Reduce Inflammation and Chronic Illness Through Toning Your Vagus Nerve is helpful to everyone who reads it.
Here is a sample from the book:
The vagus nerve is one of the longest nerves in the human body. It runs from the hypothalamus area of of the brain, down through the chest and diaphragm, and through the intestines. It wraps around the heart, gut, and most of the other organs in the body.
It is convenient to think of the vagus nerve as a highway between cities. One city, Brainopolis, has many thriving tech businesses. The other city, Gutland, is a manufacturing center. Though the two cities have very different climates and cultures, they are intertwined and dependent upon each other. Without the raw goods from Gutland, Brainopolis wouldn’t be able to create its high-tech products, and without the information and technology from Brainopolis, Gutland would be inefficient and slow. In order to transfer goods, products, and technologies from Brainopolis to Gutland, and from Gutland to Brainopolis, an efficient, well-maintained, highway between the two cities is needed. That highway is the Vagus Nerve Highway.
When the vagus nerve is toned, it is like a well-maintained super-highway with minimal traffic on it–information and nutrients travel from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain, quickly and efficiently, so that both can be optimally maintained. A damaged vagus, that has lost tone, is like a pot-holed and jammed highway. The proper information and nutrients aren’t able to go from the brain to the gut, or from the gut to the brain, because the path between those two vital organs isn’t operating properly. Just like well-maintained highways (and other transportation systems) are necessary for a properly functioning economy, well-maintained nerves that connect organs and systems are necessary for a properly functioning body.
The Vagus Nerve Highway doesn’t just connect Brainopolis and Gutland though, it also connects Brainopolis to Kidneydale, Spleenland, Lungora, etc. For those who aren’t following the analogy, I’m trying to say that the vagus nerve not only connects the brain and the gut, it also connects the brain to most the other vital organs throughout the body. A well-functioning, and well-toned, vagus nerve is necessary for communication between your brain and many of your vital organs–including the gut. Without a clear and toned vagus nerve, organs cannot get what they need from the brain, and the brain cannot get what it needs from the organs. Metaphorical traffic jams ensue, and result in real health problems.
A malfunctioning vagus nerve is related to many of the chronic diseases of modernity, including autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, POTS, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, digestive disorders like SIBO and IBS, autism, diabetes, heart-disease, and even obesity. When the vagus nerve is not toned, and information is not traveling smoothly between the brain and the organs, neither the brain nor the organs function optimally.
Most diseases (especially the chronic diseases of modernity) are related to inflammation. When you stub your toe and it immediately throbs and swells, that swelling is a helpful inflammatory response in which your body is sending nutrient-rich blood to the site of the injury. Though that inflammation is healthy, much of the inflammation that people currently experience isn’t healthy or helpful. A constant barrage of toxin exposures (pesticides, GMOs, pollution, pharmaceuticals, etc.), the Standard American Diet (SAD) that is full of processed ingredients and toxins, stress, heavy metal exposures, etc. lead to chronic inflammation, and that chronic inflammation can lead to cancer, autoimmune diseases, “mysterious” diseases like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and other psychiatric illnesses, diabetes, obesity, as well as ageing and age-related illnesses. A toned vagus nerve reduces inflammation by producing calming neurotransmitters like Acetylcholine (ACh), GABA, oxytocin, and other neurotransmitters that reduce inflammation.
On the Vagus Nerve Highway, when there is inflammation–the body’s version of a house fire–fire-trucks and other emergency responder vehicles are dependent on a clear and open path in order to reach their destination in time to eliminate the fire. The path that ACh, GABA, and other neurotransmitters that quell inflammation, must travel along is the vagus nerve. A toned vagus nerve will make that process more smooth and efficient, whereas a damaged vagus nerve will stop the signals from reaching their destinations, and will allow inflammation to wreak havok.
Having a vagus nerve that is toned, and a Vagus Nerve Highway that is operating optimally, is one of the best ways to suppress inflammation, reduce the symptoms of many chronic illnesses, and improve your health overall.
In this book, we will explore how to fix your Vagus Nerve Highway (I’ll move away from the highway analogy, and refer to it as “toning the vagus nerve” from here on out), and use exercises and practices that tone your vagus nerve to quell inflammation and improve overall health. The vagus nerve is too often neglected, but it is a vital part of being a physically, emotionally, and socially healthy person.