Vagus Nerve and Palpitations

Many of us on this forum have posted about the interaction of the vagus nerve and symptoms. I found this blog and it describes the interaction so well. No EP I have spoken to can explain this so well!!

Is this what I have been experiencing recently????

Three months post 2nd ablation for AF and AFlutter, no Bisoprolol now, reducing Flcainide slowly to 25mg BD, but do now have lots of ectopics usually in the evening, when tired, not eaten enough, eaten too much....


16 Replies

  • excellent- thank you , really interesting. They will discuss this at the AF patients day in October

  • Thank you for the resource! ~ KeL

  • G'day frenchgoose,

    Thank you so much for posting that link. Brilliant ! Just brilliant! It describes 'my personal paroxysmal AF' perfectly. The description of the palpitations is perfect, which I'd had for 2 and half years before diagnosis. 6 months after diagnosis I linked the onset of an AF event with digestive issues. Once cleared of stuff like IBS and Coeliac Disease I went to a nutritionist who introduced me to going gluten free and the FODMAPS diet - and so long as I watch my food intake I stay AF free. Can't remember my last AF event now..... and its now 4 years since consulting the nutritionist. Not much change at first, the changes came gradually until I get to the point where I now am. I now know that so long as I care for my Vagal Nerve I'll stay AF free.

    Thanks for that link once again.

    Aussie John

  • Excellent description. My symptoms exactly when I was getting SVT palpitations. I had my eyeballs pressed on in hospitals many times to stop an attack. It was very unpleasant. I can slow down my heart rate by massaging the vagus nerve. Thank you for posting this.

  • Thank you so much, what a great blog. I've never seen tinnitus linked to the vagus nerve before, what an interesting thought...

  • It was quite revealing to discover what organs/systems that the vagus nerve optimises!! I had croaks/burps etc associated with the single flutters I have had for years.....would love to meet a vagus nerve expert to know how to deal with these symptoms!!!

    I wonder if the vagus nerve presses on the heart when we lie on left side and feel missed beats??


  • I wonder that too... I'd love to get some answers!


  • Yes Ann, this is the problem with western medicine - good though it is - it rarely takes the holistic approach to healing and often that's what gets results. Might make this my research project for the winter months 'cos I've often wondered just what this nerve does. From what my Osteopath has told me when a person is hanged, as in a criminal punishment, the neck breaking actually severs the vagal nerve. End of, so to speak. So glad I learned to listen to my body and not to my cardio - right at the beginning we talked about ablation and I said no - only as an absolute last resort. It took me 6 months after diagnosis to link digestive issues with the onset of AF. In fact although I've lived a healthy life with very little going on and only once in surgery for the removal of a right knee cartilidge I have to 'fess up to have periodic digestive issues crop up since my mid thirties at which time I started cutting out various foods. Also interestingly about this time, and it still causes me to visit the Osteopath is damage to my 7th Thoracic vertebrae which as far as I can see is or can be linked to vagal nerve. I wonder just how much this has caused the vagal nerve to become a tad dysfunctional, i.e. upper back injury - vagal nerve - digestive issues and finally heart. Get my drift.


  • Excellent explanation... also why seeing an osteopath and/or acupuncture EARLY on can help! ONce in full blown AF, it is hard to address by alternative therapies!

  • Ann thankyou so so much for that excellent blog - it couldn't have been at a better time for me as I'm really bored with my ' fixation' on this bloomin condition and the blog was so informative and rational - thankyou and I hope you continue to improve - Cathy

  • I almost cried when I read this. I have said for the last 21/2 years that my symptoms originated from the vagus nerve. All to no avail, " she's mad I tell you, she's mad". Well I am not mad, fed up, but not mad. In addition to PAF, particularly when resting and also after a long awaited No. 2, I developed a chronic cough which once or twice resulted in cough syncope. This cough eminated from behind my right ear which is tender to the touch and results in cough if touched gently. I have had numerous investigations and also cough therapy(which helped) at kings college hospital in london. Even the "experts" appeared to regard me as a ranting loony. I don't think enough research has been carried out on vagus.

    Sorry, rant over.

  • Now, it's me who wants to cry! Thank you, thank you - you are the only other person I know who has a chronic cough that is triggered from your right ear! I've had mine for years (maybe 30+) - initially I would have to touch the area -now it just triggers itself and I start to cough - any time and anywhere! It drives me mad. Drs don't seem interested, or as you say they look at me as if I'm not all there. I've been reading a lot lately about the vagus nerve on the internet - a lot of it goes over my head, but slowly things are making some sense. Now all I need is the courage and confidence to talk to my GP.

    Since January I have been having palpitations and a racing heart, so another link there I think.

    I'm sending you a couple of links that you might find interesting.


  • Jennifer Jane its me who wants to thank you. Thank you. I can't believe the article you sent me, because I had an appointment with Dr Birding and he didn't seem that interested. He did however refer me to cough clinic which offered me tactics to improve my symptoms. They did help my cough sessions have reduced from 30mins to a couple or less. My cough syncope is no longer a problem, but unexplained cough still happens. I don't know if I mentioned that I lost my driving licence because if cough syncope and car accident. I may get my lucense back if I loose a lot of weight. Anyway I am surprised that Dr birring has co-written this article and is conducting trials. I did ask for another appointment with him, but he declined and sent a colleague instead. Very strange. I will read this article more thoroughly later, but I know it's me. This is me, but i was not offered any meds.

    I would love to continue with this conversation, its so good to know I am not alone.

    Must go.


  • I think if I had taken notice of the cardiologist he would have me on Bisoprolol Flecainade and god know what. Since collapsing in Sainsburys and nearly dying and with a great GP I have stopped all drugs except pradaxa. The cardiologist didn't understand what type of AF I had. It seems to be lumped into one thing. My heart rate doesn't go above 100 when I am in AF, it fluctuates between 45 and 90, jumps all over the place. I bought my self a stethoscope and when it first starts the heart is firing absolutely chaotically. . Even when it's like this I can walk upstairs etc without getting out of breath. It's bizarre. It settles down after a couple of hours to missing beats and maybe a couple of normal beats every so often.this is when I go on my treadmill and increase my heart rate to over 100 for about 10 mins and seems to retrain it to beat properly and usually it will go back to sinus. Reading other peoples awful stories mine is quite different. What I am trying to say is, doctors lump us all together without really listening to us properly and medicate accordingly. I have found out myself how to treat this. Most people with AF need medical intervention but there are some who have no heart disease but an electrical problem. I think it's my vagal nerve but what causes it to go mad every couple of weeks I don't know. Nerves, lack of salt, not enough minerals etc. Come on doctors do some research and maybe we will find some answers.

  • I agree with most of the comments here.

    I can 100 % agree that there is a link with the vagus nerve, I'm wondering on weather a trip to the osteopaths may be of benefit.

    My PAF is linked to digestion,exercise and stress.

    Here's towards a cure

  • I agree with most of the comments here.

    I can 100 % agree that there is a link with the vagus nerve, I'm wondering on weather a trip to the osteopaths may be of benefit.

    My PAF is linked to digestion,exercise and stress.

    Here's towards a cure

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