Digestive Issues

Is there anything that can be done for digestion issues with ES? About 4 years ago I had rapid weight loss, reflux type issues and blood in my stool. I had scans and a colonoscopy and everything came back normal. For the past six months I’ve been experiencing digestive issues again. I had a CT scan of my abdomen and everything appears normal. My GI doctor isn’t very concerned but my digestion is obviously not normal and I’m reaching the age that serious issues can occur. My biggest fear through this whole thing has been that I would develop some other serious condition and write off the symptoms as part of my ES. I noticed cutting nuts out of my diet helped calm down my issues some and I take digestive enzymes now but I’m still not normal. I meet with Dr. Hepworth in two weeks for my first appointment and I’ll definitely talk to him about it but I wanted to get thoughts from anyone else that has had digestive issues and ES. Thanks!

Hi @stuuke,

I have a good friend who’s older (early 80s) who began having some serious digestive issues last year. Her gastroenterologist put her on steroids & another medication & diagnosed her w/ IBS. The meds only helped slightly. On her own, she decided to cut gluten out of her diet. That turned her digestive tract around. She had no prior indication of gluten sensitivity. She does take some sort of an enzyme that helps her digest gluten when she knows she will be eating a little. I can find out what that is for you. Regular digestive enzymes don’t seem to help.

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The styloids can sometimes irritate the vagus nerve which can then affect digestion, so it could be from ES…you can use the search function to look through past discussions if you don’t get any more responses. I hope that your appt with Dr Hepworth goes well!


I’m hoping surgery helps my digestive issues!!!


Bummed because he canceled my appointment a week out. Fortunately they are able to get me in a week later but the travel costs are much more expensive. I just have crappy luck with out of town doctors. Actually I have pretty crappy luck with in-town doctors as well :slight_smile:

That’s frustrating, especially with more expense, but luckily not too long to wait…

I’m sorry that happened to you, stuuke! Very frustrating but I agree that it’s good you haven’t been put off for long. That same sort of thing happened to @hyperichard in Dec.

Wishing safe travels for you when you do go.

I had a surgery scheduled in colorado with Dr Hepworth and it cost us 1500$ for my mom and me to do a round trip, we got there and then the surgery got canceled because of covid the night before. +there were hotel expenses, food, and a car rental. Thankfully a couple of months later I got to have the surgery and everything went well. Just keep plugging along, life throws us curveballs all the time, but I like to think it just makes us stronger (: You got this.


That’s terrible. Glad things worked out in the long run though. He’s definitely a difficult doctor to nail down but other than that everyone says really positive things about him.


Its kind of like the saying “you get what you pay for”. In this situation, you have to pay with time, but it’s 100% worth the wait. Very positive experience with him. You are in great hands.


Hi Stuuke. I have been dealing with major digestive issues for the past 8 years. I have been diagnosed with GERD, chronic esophagitis gastritis and colitis, IBS, SIBO, gastroparesis, malabsorption syndrome with resulting malnutrition. GI doctors haven’t been much help. My vagus nerve was severely compressed by the right styloid. This also resulted in my whole endocrine system be way out of whack as well along with POTs and bradycardia. I am now 12 days post op from bilateral styloidectomy. I am praying this helps but haven’t seen improvement n those symptoms yet. It may take a while for the vagus nerve to heal. It’s amazing how much havoc is created in the body when your vagus nerve is not functioning.


Sula - I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough go w/ your digestive tract! That’s pretty awful! I hope & will pray that as your vagus nerve heals you will begin to notice healing of all the issues you listed. There is a chance that not all are vagus related, but I bet some will improve & maybe as those do, others will follow. :crossed_fingers: :pray: :hugs:

Sula, I hope you see some improvement. Somewhere I read it can take months for the nerves to calm down. The GI doctors have definitely been frustrating. I feel like I’ve been adding food allergies since my whiplash/concussion.

So if I’m just having my left side removed will I still be dealing with Vagus nerve symptoms?

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It’s hard to say, stuuke. The largest part of the vagus nerve bundle passes over the left side of the body so there’s a good chance you’ll get at least some improvement, but it may require both styloids to be removed for you to get the optimal results.

Vagus Nerve Image.docx (81.7 KB)