Vagus Nerve And Hiatal Hernia
The Hiatal Hernia Syndrome can (eventually) cause serious illness including respiratory and cardiac symptoms, and appears to be present in most sufferers of food and chemical allergies. (2) But some of these complaints may be caused by the so-called Schatzki's ring, and not the hernia itself. You can have either condition and not the other, or you may have both--as is common. Schatzki's ring is a disorder of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). The LES acts like a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. Schatzki's ring may be thought of as a hardened, thickened, multi-fold, scar-type tissue. If this ring is present, the LES does not function properly. It may be open when it should be closed--causing reflux (GERD); or it may be closed when it should be open. The latter condition can then lead to food being trapped above the ring. There may be constriction. Trapped food or spasms of the esophagus can then cause serious problems including breathing difficulty (asthma, etc.) and tachycardia and other arrhythmias. The LES (Shatzki's) Ring (as well as an Hiatal Hernia) shows up on X-ray (upper GI series) or during an endoscopy (EGD). Thus it is important to have either test if you have stomach complaints or food or even chemical or electromagnetic sensitivities. As stated in my previous article, once the Vagus nerve is under- or over-excited, the entire body is in great imbalance, and almost any organ can malfunction as many visceral organs are innervated by a branch of the Vagus (Para-sympathetic) Nerve. Also this can make the person sensitive to any environmental factor as well as possibly deplete or weaken the adrenal glands, thyroid or liver.
Some foods are more likely to get trapped (stuck) at the LES Ring, if present. These include breads and fibrous (tough) meats. Dry foods (like bread) can be a problem, but wheat, beef (or other) allergy may also be a factor. (Or this may be a purely mechanical problem, or contain elements of both allergy and mechanical anomalies.) "Steakhouse Syndrome" is the nickname Emergency Room personnel have given this syndrome when people come in with "high" anxiety, or respiratory or cardiac, or cardiac-like symptoms due to trapped food at the Lower Esophageal Sphincter. Steaks and bagels seem to be the worst, but any hard food or even drug or vitamin tablets or capsules can also get stuck! The person likely has some occasional swallowing difficulties. Foods may need to be pureed in advanced cases. Peristalsis is impaired in those with Schatzki's Ring. In the E.R., sometimes an emergency endoscopy and food or tablet removal has to be performed. Endoscopic stretching of the ring is also standardly recommended whenever Schatzki's Ring is found and when the person also has any swallowing difficulty or other complaints described above. This is facilitated by a choice of instruments inserted into the esophagus, including a balloon, telescoping device, or Bougie. Breaking (stretching) the ring is supposed to be a simple, relatively riskless procedure. Many people report great improvement in their health after this. The downside is that many of these people report that it only lasts six months to a year. Some people get it done every year.
The cause of the LES (Schatzki's) Ring is "officially" unknown. Medicine speculates that it may be congenital, or be caused by swallowing something toxic or from taking too many pills--including vitamin pills, or from Hiatal Hernia, or from other possible factors. I would add food allergies and "critters" (H. pylori, Candida, Protozoans, viruses, nanobacteria, etc., and the factors below.)
The Esophageal Longitudinal Muscle Contraction: The Cause?
Now let us examine the relatively unknown hypothesis of O. Arthur Stiennon, MD. Stiennon hypothesizes (3) that this entire esophageal/stomach, Hiatal Hernia Syndrome is caused by a hypercontraction of the longitudinal muscle of the esophagus. He states that this is almost never considered by standard medicine whose swallow and other tests only measure the circular and sphincter muscles of the esophagus. With the use of vector physics and matrix mathematics, Dr. Stiennon speculates that the Hiatal Hernia, LES (Schatzki's) Ring, and hypo-or hyperacidity/GERD/Reflux, and swallowing difficulties all stem from this Longitudinal Muscle Contraction (LMC) of the esophagus. (One can test the esophagus kinesiologically and put energy back into it with Kinesiology or reflexology.)
Stiennon speculates that the following factors might be causing this Esophageal Longitudinal Muscle Contraction. These include hormonal imbalances, particularly excess, or imbalance, of progesterone--explaining possibly the frequency of hiatal hernia in the earliest stages of pregnancy; and intestinal hormones--namely CCK and secretin. It is interesting to note that recently autism researchers have seen improvement in autistic children given homeopathic dilutions of secretin. (I have previously written about the connection of "critters"--Protozoans, (4), (5) etc. and subsequent allergies and toxicities, like mercury, to autism. Perhaps many autistic children also have the Hiatal Hernia Syndrome as well. In my opinion, mercury alone seems to be able to cause or exacerbate the HHS.) Fats entering the duodenum trigger CCK secretion, which is known to trigger smooth muscle contraction of the gallbladder, which then secretes bile into the duodenum. The systemic release of CCK could cause or exacerbate the contraction of the esophageal longitudinal muscle, and the whole syndrome. Thus avoiding fats, oils, meats, and dairy, may help alleviate or end this syndrome. So we see that the Esophageal Longitudinal Muscle Contraction may itself be due to anomalies in the Small Intestine and/or Gall Bladder. A primarily, or exclusively, vegetarian diet may be needed, if the problem occurs from excess dietary fats/oils. Stiennon notes that gallbladder anomalies may be at the heart of this, and removing it has been observed to relieve heartburn in many people. He also speculates that H. pylori in the duodenum may be a causative factor. (I would add the possibility of other microorganism overgrowths as well.) Finally he advocates untried surgeries on the esophagus and stomach. He also states that the damaged esophagus condition known as Barrett's Esophagus is not a cancerous-or pre-cancerous condition. Just another aspect--as is the LES Ring--of a hyper-contracted esophageal LMC accompanied by reflux.
I would add my own hypothesis here that toxins, such as mercury, may be a great causative factor in this Esophageal LMC. I have also written on the connection to trigger points, which may be created directly, or indirectly, by mercury or other heavy metals or other toxins. The active trigger points then could cause the Esophageal LMC as trigger points are deeply entwined with muscle spasm. Indeed this ELMC/Hiatal Hernia Syndrome, I speculate, then affects the Vagus Nerve and then many more trigger points throughout the body may more easily be created. Scars are also known to cause trigger points. I wonder how many people with these esophageal/stomach complaints have had a tonsillectomy and resultant throat scar. Of course, the reason the person may have "needed" a tonsillectomy is that throat problems existed because of the already-existing (but undetected) esophageal longitudinal muscle contraction (and Hiatal Hernia?). Advanced Kinesiology actually allows for determining whether A causes (or caused) B, or B causes A! It is not "official" proof; but it is fascinating to see how the body memorizes everything that happened to it and how it can be recalled with the proper methodology.
Regarding trigger point therapy, I have learned manual myofascial trigger point work and have investigated trigger point injections ("neural therapy"). On the plus side, either of these is excellent therapy and can temporarily lead to a respite of being pain-free or symptom-free, and even improve Hiatal hernia, asthma and other conditions. But these trigger point therapies may not last long despite some claims made. So I advise several things. Learn to manipulate these trigger points yourself. Second, learn what may be "triggering" the trigger points themselves. (6) These may include such matters as the causative role of the Hiatal Hernia/Vagus Nerve Syndrome, allergies, dehydration, "critter" overgrowths, nutrient deficiencies, thyroid problems, and other factors.
For the sake of completeness, I present two more theories on these stomach problems. F. Batmanghelidj, MD states that the Hiatal Hernia arises from the following scenario. (7) The pyloric valve (between the stomach and the small intestine) will not allow the stomach's acidic contents to empty into the small intestine unless the pancreas secretes its watery bicarbonate (antiacid) solution into the small intestine. Batmanghelidj states that with dehydration the pancreas can't live up to its part, so the body closes off the pyloric valve to prevent damage to the small intestine. This then will put pressure on the other end of the stomach--the LES--which may then allow reflux up the esophagus and damage the LES, creating the ring and the Hiatal Hernia.
Dr. Batmanghelidj calls stomach pain, "the body's first cry for water."
A related theory is that too many people are too acidic and need to alkalinize. Maybe this, in part, is why the pancreas has difficulty in secreting its bicarbonates, which also are used by allergic people to counter allergic reactions. Note that Dr. Baroody, of Hiatal Hernia fame, also wrote a book on the need to alkalinize. (8) So if you tolerate them, load up on (alkaline) carrot juice, celery juice and the like. Drink more water, and drink alkalinized water. But once the Hiatal Hernia and/or Schatzki's ring are present, one usually has much more to do than this! I believe that changes in diet, lifestyle and self-kinesiological and trigger point methods are absolutely necessary for the Hiatal Hernia sufferer, as well as those with asthma and other problems. I would add my own research regarding dehydration. It is crucial to drink much more water than most people do. However I find that the following dietary indiscretions may be causing the need for greater amounts of water. I would call these "dehydrating foods" or "dehydrating factors." These include: too much food, too much meat, allergic food, toxic food, foods high in monoamines, foods with added sodium chloride or other sodium compounds. Just drinking more water may be pointless unless these foods are eliminated, or significantly reduced.
Given the Stiennon esophageal hypothesis, I wish there were a simple way to simultaneously stretch both ends of the esophagus without being opened up. Then some kinesiological techniques might stretch and correct the length immediately. But perhaps some kinesology, or reflexology, or acupressure/acupuncture energy input for the esophagus along with eradicating any critters present (as quickly determined by kinesiology), along with eliminating food allergies and fats/oils, could end this LMC/Hiatal Hernia/Vagus Nerve syndrome. Some people report improvement in many symptoms when they become vegetarians. This may be one reason why the Fats/Gall Bladder (CCK)/LMC-HHS connection.
But we shouldn't forget the manual pulling down of the Hiatal Hernia and manipulating related trigger points on the front and back of the body. With clients, a learning session is offered on making them expert on doing this. Some experts have even taped a cotton ball above the Hiatal Hernia region after the "pull down" to prevent the stomach from going back up. Perhaps after a while the esophagus then stops trying to contract? I note that Stiennon found--via X-ray--that the LES (Schatzki's) ring disappears after the Hiatal Hernia is (surgically) corrected. The same should be true of manual manipulation, but I doubt if anyone has the X-rays or EGD studies to prove this. So what about surgery for the HHS? Clients who have had the older surgical methods seemed not to have had much stomach symptom improvement. The newer surgery has serious complications. Many patients have long-term intestinal incontinence (uncontrolled diarrhea). Many may not ever be able to regurgitate again, which may be necessary with food poisoning or at other times when the body's wisdom dictates it. Nonetheless, in consultation with one's physician, this should be considered, if the problem is severe.
So perhaps the best we have is to learn how to pull down the Hiatal Hernia and to try to keep it down with diet and lifestyle changes and knowledge of kinesiology, trigger points, etc.
To sum up, we have seen that perhaps some of the misery of Hiatal Hernia (especially if it is "small") may be due to the LES (Schatzki's) ring instead of, or more likely in addition to, the Hiatal Hernia. We have also seen that a contraction of the Esophageal Longitudinal Muscle may be an earlier causative factor in this entire syndrome. Small intestine and/or gallbladder anomalies/overgrowths may even be causative of the Esophageal contraction. Or it could be due to a mechanical weakness. Pulling the Hiatal Hernia down and learning how to keep it that way may be the best suggestion we have (disregarding surgery for the moment), along with learning everything we can and making the necessary changes in our lives.
Allergies and Candida: with the Physicist's Rapid Solution, 4th Edition, written by the author, is available from the author for $19.95 plus $5.50 shipping.
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