In a small study of 22 people with long hauler post-COVID, 27% of participants showed evidence of inflammation of the vagal nerve. This nerve tends to counterbalance adrenaline and supports digestion in our body's dance of autonomic function. It shows one more mechanism, in addition to limbic and hypothalamic dysfunction, contributing to the sense of adrenaline overdrive and POTS that many people with CFS and fibromyalgia have. The decreased movement of the diaphragm muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen may also be one factor contributing to the sense of breathlessness that many people have.
Meanwhile, another study showed that famotidine (Pepcid) stimulates vagal function to block cytokine storm. This is just one more reason why Pepcid during COVID can be so lifesaving. It may also help with the vagal nerve dysfunction and chronic viral infections seen in CFS and fibromyalgia.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.