What Are the Different Types of Vagus Nerve Disorders?

Vagus nerve disorders are divided into two groups, according to DrSircus.com. One group is composed of disorders that are a product of the nerve overreacting to stimuli, while the other group is made up of conditions that result from an underreacting or inactive vagus nerve.

Running from the brain stem to organs such as the heart and stomach, the vagus nerve is responsible for helping regulating a variety of physiological processes that include breathing, swallowing and heart rates, notes HealthGuidance. Malfunctions of the nerve are also referred to as 10th cranial nerve disorders.

An overreactive vagus nerve can lead to fainting spells, according to DrSircus.com. On the other hand, an underreactive or inert vagus nerve is a common cause of gastroparesis, a typical complication of diabetes. Some of the symptoms associated with gastroparesis include nausea, stomach spasms, stomach pain and weight loss.

Pressure on the vagus nerve can also lead to unconsciousness and a clammy skin, HealthGuidance. Damage to the nerve often leads to difficulties in digestion, as it is responsible for controlling various aspects of the digestive process. If the nerve is placed under pressure, both blood pressure and heart rates fall; these effects are the reason why vagus nerve stimulation is sometimes used to treat depression and certain conditions arising from epilepsy.