If I was to say “vagus nerve” to you, how familiar with that would you be? This may be a time to become more familiar with the vagus nerve, and how it can affect your health today and in the future.
Recent research has demonstrated that the vagus nerve — which connects the brain with the abdominal tract — may transport Parkinson’s disease from the stomach up into the brain. The vagus nerve is also known as the “wanderer” because of the many body regions it covers in its course as a nerve from the brain to the digestive system, with many stops along the way. It plays an important role in providing the brain with sensory information from various parts of the body.
- Helping in keeping the larynx open during breathing
- Monitoring and regulating the heartbeat
- Informing the brain of the food that is ingested and food that has been digested
- The Vagus Nerve performs the major function of emptying the gastric region of food
- Any damage to the vagus nerve causes, Gastroparesis which is losing the muscular function in the stomach and intestines. This results in food being emptied slowly, that leads to other problems such as fermentation of food in the stomach and food getting compressed into hard pellets which can cause severe problems if the pellets get stuck in the intestine. Specially in people with diabetes, when sugar levels get high and are not well controlled, it can result in the vagus nerve damage.