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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can mini strokes cause damage to the vagus nerve?

I am a 50 year old female who had a mini stoke 3 years ago. Since then I have had skipped heart beats, in the last couple years my heart dances off beat and then gets normal. I have suffered high blood pressure but that has come to normal all of a sudden in the last few months. Latter part of Dec 2012 I was taken to the hospital with rectal bleeding and found nothing wrong. No my heart beat gets real low, I have had problems with severe stomach cramping, watery diarrhea, and then switch to constipation. I am not losing any weight and no change in eating habits. When my pulse is low like in the 30s it gets hard to breath. I just had a heart cath done a couple days ago and it came back normal, no blockages but PVCs and the skipping every 4th to 6th beat. Dr told me to take 40 mg or Propranolol three times aday if that does not work in a month I might get a pace maker, or he said something about killing off the part of the heart that is not beating right. I have no clue that is going on, could it be damage to the vagus nerve from my mini strokes?? I do have a bladder problem also. Thanks Anita
Thu, 16 Apr 2015
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Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist 's  Response
Usually with stroke damage to vagus nerve is not seen. Because vagus nerve strasts from inside part of brain called as medulla and stroke generally affects the other part of brain called as cortex. How ever the conformation can be done by MRI where the stroke is affecting the brain. If its affecting the area from where vagus nerve starts then there may be issue with vagus nerve too.

As per your symptoms your docotor have given you right advice for palpitation. You can continue with medication and check for a month and then if not yet corrected again he will do some test to know which part of heart is having the problem and based on that only further treatment will be plan. In case if there is still problem with heart rhythem then pace maker will definitely help but for this initially he may keep you in temporary pace maker and then permanent pace maker if it is helpful..

For your digestive system issue I suggest to change your food habits and timing. Be regular in your diet, have fibre rich diet and have enough of fruits and vegitable in your food. Take at least 3-4 liter water a day and do regular exercise like walking in morning for 30 minutes. This will defiantly help for your digestive health.

Here I have given you limited idea what could be your issue is but to discuss in detail you can also talk to your neuro physician and other doctor who is treating you.

Take care.
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