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Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9250
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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I recently have had a hiatal hernia operation where my entire

Customer Question

I recently have had a hiatal hernia operation where my entire stomach was up in my chest. Before the surgery I experienced pain in left side of chest and strange energy waves, thirst, loss of limb control, and other odd scary symptoms and numerous times went to doc and heart was checked and found ok and I was told I was having panic attacks but I know I was not. Finally after 9 months the hiatal hernia was diagnosed and fixed in Feb this year. Most of the symptoms are gone but I still experience strange pains or prickling sensations on left side of chest and sometimes can feel a pulse at lower left of chest under the ribs at same time. This pulse actually bulges the chest at times when I put my fingers there. It coinsides with my heart beat but the heart beat is not always felt there so strongly. Also at the time when I get these strange feelings I also get like an energy wave thru my body, head sometimes tingles and a feeling shoots thu body of having to move my bowels but do not actually have to do so. Could this be related to the vagus nerve having been stimulated when my stomach was up in the chest? It is very scary but every time I go in my heart checks out normal
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 1 year ago.

Dr Brims :

Hello, welcome to the site! My name isXXXXX and I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr Brims :

I'm sorry to hear about this

Dr Brims :

This is not likely related to your vagus nerve in any way

Dr Brims :

It may be due to irritation in your peripheral nerves

Dr Brims :

This may be due to irritation in your spine, from a nerve root, or it may be due to an abnormal level of electrolytes in your blood

Dr Brims :

I would recommend that you have your electrolytes evaluated first, with a blood test called a complete metabolic profile

Dr Brims :

If it is from electrolytes, it may be treated with supplements prescribed by your doctor

Customer:

They did that test at one time before they diagnosed the hernia when they were trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and yes at one time I felt that some of the symptoms were similar to heat exhaustion and I started drinking electrolyte water thinking tht would help. They did every test imaginable and did find that my vit d levels were low and i have been taking 5000 units per day for a few months. Your thoughts about the irritation in the spine clicks with me as I do have pain in lower back and I did fall a few years ago off a ladder and had quite a painful injury but never went to doc, just got better on my own. I have been thinking of going to see a chiropractor. However I wonder if tht would cause the heart palpitations as I said I feel this bulging palpitation sometimes, not always. sometimes days go by and no symptoms and I think i am just still healing from the surgury and then it comes back and I am disappointed all over again - and scared.

Dr Brims :

You should not see a chiropractor, you should see a spine surgeon, chiropractors are not doctors

Dr Brims :

This may not cause heart palpitations, if you have palpitations, you should have an EKG

Dr Brims :

If you don't have the palpitations at the time of the EKG, then you should have a holter monitor, which is an EKG that you wear for several days

Customer:

I have had many ekgs and my heart comes up normal on all of them over quite a few months. My doc says I have the heart of a 28 year old. I have had the holter monitor and it was normal

Dr Brims :

Did you have these symptoms at the time of the EKG and holter?

Customer:

I am not sure as it was all done many times before they figured out my stomach was in my chest and pushing against my heart and and the symptoms came and went many times. However they were waaaay more severe before the surgury. Most of them have gone entirely except what I just have described.

Dr Brims :

Okay, then they need to be repeated since you have not had these tests since the surgery

Customer:

Actually I do remember one time being in the doc office and having the symptoms and the ekg ws normal but at that visit they found i was having high blood pressure - which i normally do not have - I have been very active and in extreme good health until all this began to happen a year ago last March. It actually began with buzzing and tingling on right side of head and feeling like passing out. I was first sent to a neurologist to determine if having strokes, seizures, tumors or whatever and all tests came up negative. It was months of going to everyone and getting no diagnosis and just being told to take zanax for panic attacks which I refused to do as i knew i was not having panic attacks. My surgeon agreed.

Dr Brims :

Okay, then you should have these tests repeated, if they are normal, then your heart is normal and the feeling you have may not be palpitations

Customer:

ok, that is probably what I need to do but I expect that I will go in, spend a lot of money on the same tests and receive the same answer. I wonder what the explanation is then tht if I feel my heart beating strongly and I then put my fingers over tht lower place in the ribs on the side and I feel it bulge out with each pulse It seems that is the heart. And it does not always do that. When I am not feeling the strong heart beat and I put my fingers there I do not feel that bulging pulse. I have read on Google tht a lot of people with hiatal hernias have had their vagus nerve stimulated by the crowding in the chest and that would certainly explain the feeling of the bowel stimulation and other symptoms so I thought that might be the situation.

Dr Brims :

The vagus nerve would not cause these symptoms of palpitations if your EKG is normal, a lot of things you read on the internet are untrue, and have no scientific basis to them, it may be muscular spasms in your intercostal muscles that you feel as well

Dr Brims :

Stimulation of your vagus nerve would cause your heart rate to slow down

Customer:


That seems like a logical answer. Perhaps I have more than one thing going on at once. The muscular spasms or what I call energy waves definitely are a part of this. The interesting thing is that they come at the same time as the palpitations and feelings of wht used to feel like I was going to pass out and now are just feelings of slightly dizziness or faintness. Like I said it is diminishing with time and maybe I just need more time to heal as the heart and lungs go back into their normal positions. My surgeon said this takes some months and perhaps I am being impatient for everything to heal more quickly than it actually does.

Dr Brims :

That is very possible, it may just take time for you to heal completely

Customer:

Well I really appreciate your input and I think that if this keeps on happening I will go in and see my physician again but I will give it a little more time. I have never been one to rush off to the doctor for every little thing and have always had a very holistic approach to healing which has worked for me all my life until this darned hiatal hearnia threw my whole life into a tizzy of terrifying episodes for many months until it was diagnosed. Thank you so much, I feel a little more confident that I am not in a threatening situation, however if anything becomes severe I will certainly not hesitate to go in once again so see if they can find something that has not yet been discovered.

Dr Brims :

You're very welcome

Dr Brims :

I am happy I could help

Dr Brims :

If you have any questions in the future, you may request me by starting the question with "Dr Brims" and I will respond

Dr Brims :

If you still have questions, please ask

If you have no other questions on this topic, please remember to click a rating button prior to exiting the chat session

Dr Brims :

Are you still there?

Customer:

Yes I am still here and I will click excellent service as i leave right now. Thanks again, you have given me some interesting things to think about and research.

Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9250
Experience: U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims
U.S. Licensed Physician
4686 Satisfied Customers
U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience