What is the Vagus Nerve?

The super powerful vagus nerve meanders throughout your body, connecting your brain to the rest of your organs, and transmitting information back and forth between them. As a matter of fact, the name “vagus” actually means “wandering” in Latin. Also known as the 10th cranial nerve, the vagus runs through your neck, chest, and stomach, and without it, you couldn’t perform a number of essential bodily functions.

Which Bodily Functions Require the Vagus Nerve?

Almost everything you do relates back to the vagus nerve, from the ability to taste food on your tongue to breathing — the nerve is what your brain uses to tell your lungs to work! Some other bodily functions that relate back to the vagus nerve include:

  • Heart rate
  • Reduction of anxiety after a stressful situation
  • Recovery from injury or illness
  • Guidance for the muscles in your neck to move properly so you can swallow and talk
  • Manages the digestive tract so you can urinate or defecate
  • Sexual arousal
  • Decrease in inflammation in your body
  • Blood pressure

Stimulation of the Vagus Nerve

Though testing is still being completed, the US Food and Drug Administration allows vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of depression and epilepsy when neither disease responds to medications. This is done by using a device that sends electronic pulses to the nerve. Trials and research are also being completed to determine whether this type of stimulation can help resolve other health issues like anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, obesity, heart failure, and migraines and severe headaches.

In recent years, researchers have discovered that vagus nerve stimulation may also reduce or prevent inflammation in the body, which could resolve many health issues. Some initial trials have shown that cureless diseases like rheumatoid arthritis may even go into remission when a device is implanted into the body to send pulses to the nerve. Because of these findings, doctors are now studying the effects of other electric impulse devices on other body parts in order to treat disease without using so many harmful medications.

If you are currently suffering from issues such as migraines, obesity, back pain, and other health issues, contact Sugar Hill Spine & Wellness at 678-482-4400 to find out what we can do for you today.


4 Simple Reasons Why You Experience Brain Fog

In a fast-paced world it seems more common than ever to experience bouts of confusion, forgetfulness or just the inability to focus. Often these lapses in clarity are symptoms of a larger issue. Brain Fog is a state in which your brain experiences a state of overload and has trouble communicating its immediate needs to the rest of your body. Though this occurrence is not a disease in itself, it can be a symptom of other issues or conditions. The majority of these issues are easily treated with the right program. Take a look at some of the most common causes of brain fog and how we can help.

  1. Diet Choices

Glucose, a form of sugar, is the most vital source of energy for cells in your body. The human brain being the most energy-demanding organ in the body uses approximately half of all sugar energy in the body. This makes the balance of ingested glucose essential to a proper diet. An imbalance of glucose in the brain commonly leads to poor attention and impaired cognitive function.  Severe glucose imbalances are often linked to different types of diabetes as well as cognitive decline in older adults.

  1. Chronic stress

Stress levels play an active role in the body’s ability to function at an optimum level. Experiencing higher amounts of stress affects the way your brain operates, as well as the hormones that it produces. Under more stressed conditions, the brain responds by producing higher levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for keeping you feeling alert and awake while other hormones like serotonin and dopamine are responsible for keeping you happy and calm. The over production of one particular hormone can cause an over-all imbalance that results in experiencing brain fog.

  1. Lack of exercise

Surprise! Balanced exercise is vital in overall health. It is believed that on a cellular level, a leading cause of brain fog is inflammation. Inflammation is caused by overactive immune system function and is tied to multiple mental disorders. Exercise helps lower inflammation while also helping to maintain a healthy hormonal balance. Finding the right exercise to rest ratio is a key aspect of combating brain fog and ultimately living a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Inadequate sleep schedule

Getting better sleep is one of the most reliable means to improving brain function and overall well-being. Getting adequate amounts of rest is essential in maintaining a proper hormonal balance. 7 – 9 hours of sleep is suggested for most adults.

To learn more about the root causes of brain fog or to build out a regimen for better overall health, visit the experts at Sugar Hill Spine and Wellness at 678-482-4400 and set up a free consultation today.