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Irregular/Rapid Heartbeat from trapped air/gas bubble?
An_245778 posted:
For ten years or more I have had infrequent instances where I experience irregular and/or rapid heartbeat when I have a air/gas bubble stuck in upper stomach. It usually happens when I I am laying down or not doing anything in particular and it goes away quickly(a few seconds) as soon as the bubble clears up. But recently it happened when I was riding my bike and my heart rate was already in the 130's. When it happend my heart rate monitor jumped up to 215 and I had a more difficult time getting the bubble to clear up. It took a couple minutes before my heart returned to a regular and lower rate and it was a bit alarming. I have two questions: 1) Is what I am xeperiencing likely related to a bubble and, if so, what does the bubble do to cause the irregular or rapid heartbeat? 2) If I have difficulty getting a bubble to clear like I did on my bike recently is there anything proactive I can do to get it to clear?

Thanks, DT
cardiostarusa1 responded:
Hi DT:

As applicable, some individuals have reported, palpitations (PACs, PVCs), atrial fibrillation (AF), or tachyarrhythmias (tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia/paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia) being triggered off by GERD/acid reflux/heartburn, swallowing (food or drink), gas, bloating, belching, burping, or coughing, or after a heavy meal/on a full stomach.

These are known as indirect causes or an "reactive-arrhythmia". This may/can also be a side effect of some foods (which includes additives and preservatives), drinks, or drugs. On the flip side, in some cases, belching, burping, or coughing may/can terminate/relieve an irregular heartbeat/arrhythmia.

As applicable to the patient, the most common type of palpitations, premature ventricular contractions (PVCs, occurs even in many heart-healthy individuals), is described that the heart is flip-flopping, fluttering, jumping, pausing or stopping briefly (though it's actually not doing that), pounding, skipping, thumping, or strong, hard, or forceful beats being felt in the chest, neck, throat, and has various causes (cardiac and non-cardiac) or triggers.

PVCs are typically harmless (benign), be it isolated (single), couplets (2-in-row), triplets (3-in-a-row) or salvos (short bursts of 3 or more in-a-row), bigeminy (occurring every other beat), trigeminy (occurring every third beat), quadrigeminy (occurring every fourth beat), etc., etc.

Medical rule-of-thumb, report ANY bothersome, concerning, troublesome, worrisome, worsening, or new symptom(s) to a/your doctor promptly.

Best of luck down the road of life.

Take care,


WebMD member (since 8/99)



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Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel or emerging) for atherosclerosis, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation) , diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes second/thirdhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity"), high blood pressure (hypertension), Low HDL (now questionable, according to recent studies) high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).



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For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center