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    GERD causing heart palpitations?
    zen332 posted:
    I have mentioned this in previous posts and had attributed my heart palpitations to the use of PPIs. What I have discovered after much research online is that there appears to be a connection between the autonomic nervous system (Vagus nerve) and GERD. I had never experienced heart palpitations prior to my GERD. They come on suddenly, sometimes wake me during sleep and have lasted for several days on several occasions.

    When I asked my cardiologist about this, he claimed he had never heard of this and recommended that I begin a regimen of "anti depressant therapy". His conclusion was reached after I tested normal on my holter monitor, EKG and ECHO. I am very discouraged about some physicians not thinking out of the box or even being "open" to this concept.

    Has anyone else encountered these symptoms or physician mindset?
    acg521 responded:
    I have GERD and sometimes I get palpitations. I took prevacid for a year and never had a problem with palpitations. My insurance changed and no longer covered prevacid so I took prilosec for 2 weeks while waiting to get a new prescription for something else. I started getting the palpitations when on Prilosec. I finally got Kapidex (which is the new Prevacid) and didn't have any problems for 6 weeks or so. One night I had indigestion really bad and getting palpitations so I took another Kapidex and had palpitations pretty consistent. I decided it was the medicine so I quit taking medicine all together for a whole weekend and still was having palpitations. I can't tell if it is from the medication, from the GERD or if they are unrelated. I feel fine otherwise, I just get a lot of indigestion pains in my heart/chest/arms area that always tend to bring on quick panic attack until it goes away. I plan to see my doctor this week just to check, I don't drink caffeine and eat very little sugar. I am also not under much if any, stress. I wonder if the kapidex is just not doing it's job and it is from GERD? I need to go see a specialist and hope my GP will refer me to one! This has been going on for 4 years. I am 29 year old mother of a 2 year old and have always been healthy. I do light to medium exercise about 4 times a week and am very conscience of what I eat.
    jimmyjagger responded:
    Same thing happened to me woke up with a heart beat in head and my whole body felt like my spine was beating, I was told I had Gerd even though I had barium drink and x-ray no ulcers seen, I read that licorice root helped heal the stomach lining, bad Idea I took 2 tablets went to sleep and woke up with pounding heartbeat all over, Licorice root gives you high blood pressure also I was sleeping on my left side when it happened, which can set of heart beats too when you have esophageal spasms. My symptoms are muscle twitching and like someone has tied a tie to tight around your neck, also have been told to sleep on right side of body as your heart is on your left & If you sleep on the left you push your heart closer to the damaged esophagus causing nerve irritation setting the nerves off and a rapid heart beat, you may have diffuse esophageal spasm or nutcracker esophagus. Mine is definitely Gerd brought on by a virus, im on prevacid, I lean to the right when sitting on a chair or at computer. Gerd takes up to 4 months so nothing to set it off or your back to square 1 you have to give your body 4 months, bananas, yogurt, milk, vegetables, basic rule read the cans ingredients the less the better and you can eat lean meats, no citric drinks orange juice fizzy drinks and beer triples your stomach acid No "fat" stakes beacon or spices. suck on lozenges Ricola no sugar is best. To help your stomach sphincter heal faster TIP your bed up the 8 inches so you sleep at an angle this will keep the acid in your stomach, no food or water 4 hours before you sleep. you can heal it faster by sleeping upright on the right on a recliner chair you will be good in 3 weeks but keep on the meds and the diet for 4 months you really need to give it a while, think of acid burn on your skin same healing time only if you heal and then throw acid back on it it will cause skin to tighten this is what happens If you do not get it right, you got to do it or your just scaring the insides and your spasms will damage your esophagus and cause these symptoms. You got to do it meds bed up and no spices or you will continue to suffer. hope your all well in 4 months. I would give your insides 1 year before hitting the hot sauce at the barbecue. come back in 4 months at let us know how it went.
    gerdy22 responded:
    I am experiencing this problem now. It's very real. I don't have a diagnosed heart condition. I've seen my PCP about the palpitations and he did not mention GERD as a possible cause.
    htimsyram responded:
    Steve, I have found as we age, we do not have all the enzymes needed to digest food properly, thus causing gas. Beano is an over the counter enzyme advertised for gas. If you take from 1 to 3 pills before you eat, depending on the type of food, you will find unexpected relief. I won't go anywhere without Beano. Hope you try this and it works for you, too.
    airplane212 responded:
    wow i had heart palpitations for a over a year, not one doctor said it could be because of acid reflux, wow so glad to here this, had all kinds of test, somtimes it feels like my heart is going to beat out of my chest!!! I have never!!! had this, thougth it was due to age my age 55, wow what eye opener :
    airplane212 responded:
    I have had the exact same thing 5-6 er visit thougth I was having a heart attack!!! I have constant bad tast , chest pain and heart palpitations, if I do me work out I feel like my heart is going to pound out of my chest!!!! I have had every kind of test available, now I know it is fro m the acid reflux!!! No one doctor out of 5 specilist ever put it togerther!!!
    AZEK77 responded:
    I am a physician and I first noticed these symptoms about two years ago.I was diagnosed with GERD and put on PPI's but I noticed that I would wake up in the night suddenly sweating with chest pains and palpitations. I told my cardiologist friend who sent me for a cardiac cath and which was normal. Last year in June I had a sudden attack of SVT which is a kind of palpitation or tachycardia.Noticed that PPI was making it worse so I stopped taking it.Had an EGD which showed a small hiatal hernia.Told my Gastroenterologist that when I feel my stomach enters my chest through the diaphragm (hiatal hernia) and when I lie down in bed I get a feeling of having chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath, numbness in both upper extremities and tachycardia or palpitations and feel like having an impending SVT which freaks me out. He said he never had heard of this relation and asked me jokingly why I should I not publish this as a case report.I was sure there was some relation to hiatal hernia /Gerd to my SVT.Is it because the herniated stomach changes the position of the heart in the chest cavity which irritates it to cause arrythmias or due to a relation existing between vagus irritation in the stomach and palpitation? ER docs have labeled my attacks as Panic attacks and anxiety.I personally now believe after going through much hell that too much stress causes anxiety and which in turn precipitates or worsens my GERD/Hiatal hernia which then brings my SVT/palpitations. I am thinking of trying RF ablation for SVT followed by Nissen Fundoplication surgery for hiatal hernia.I do not think any one of you guys here are wrong here when you talk about this correlation or observation. I just feel we need to make more and more MD's aware of it.
    muskee responded:
    You might try something for the panic and anxiety attacks to see if that helps before heading for surgery. Also, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) has been shown to be very helpful for many. You'd just want to be sure to get someone very good with a lot of experience. The thing is, the "problem" will remain. Surgery results average about 10 years when it's successful, so you might end up with these options anyway. Why not give them a try first? They may help and won't hurt. You're right about physician education, please include LPR in that when you lobby your colleagues. AND, we don't have that many laryngologists. Good luck and please keep us updated.. Take care, Muskee
    muskee responded:
    How many cardiologists do you think see patients who have palpatations due to GERD or the PPI's? What we need is to get some data gathered on this and then get it published. That and physician education. Muskee
    radio100 responded:
    Thanks for all the posts..

    To anyone who has had a Nissan Procedure the GERD presents differently, I found out about my GERD after emesis every 15 minutes for three days, strangely it abated at night. After an ER visit the ill equiped internist wanted to know if I wanted to see a psychologist. Drs. are like a car mechanic if you have a gd one keep him/her if you have a bad one get another; your state of mind and health depends on it. No good Dr. minds another opinion. I know i married one.

    While i get the symptoms, the Nissan seems to to make GERD present without much esophagus discomfort for me, at least so far. Having designed pacemakers during my working lifetime the symptoms i have and that are discussed here do indeed bring an MI to mind. I have had some really good cardiologists examine my problem and not made this connection. I have chronic asthma as well the GERD. The Gerd made my asthma much worse, the Nissam helped both for me.

    I searched for a hand held EKG device so i could if there was an irregular heartbeat. The best one i found was an OMRON HCG-801. it gives a pretty good surface EKG, good enough to take to your Dr to be read. It is a lot easier than a holter, and is there for the episode in question. If you are throwing PVC's or PAC's it will help the Dr. figure it out and give substance to your sensation. Check your BP and HR at the time as well. Keep a discriptive record to help. To get a gd EKG you must lie down and relax, it will NOT take a gd EKG sitting period. After a few tries it becomes rather easy. EKGs are stored on a removable SD memory card. It runs on regular AA batteries forever.

    Best place to buy was a small Florida outlet. Make sure the sale includes the extra PC software most places that sell it don't..The downloaded EKG strips present much better on the screen than on the device display. The screen display can be printed and the sheet carries well to the Dr.

    Seeing what you have going with respect to your EKG on may ease some of the anxiety that others report.

    Thanks again for your comments. As they say misery loves company, and it was helpful to read about others experiances, it brought focus to mine.
    slpanda responded:
    Hello everyone. I am a female 50ish I am new here but not new to GERD. I have been trying to live with this as well as IBS. I went to the ER this week with a pain on the left side of my chest. This was new to me. I have had bad pressure on my chest like someone was sitting on me. I get short of breath and light headed. I had been doing pretty good for a couple of years until this week. I am not sure what kicked it off but it is scary. I have had many heart tests, gallbladder, blood tests, colonoscopy, endoscope, etc and they all come back negative and it must be GERD or IBS or both. I take Symax and Acifex and a nose spray. I also take Citrucel twice a day and do not eat gravy, spicy foods, very little caffeine. Last night I had really bad pressure on my chest and was ready to go back to the ER. But I took a couple of Mylanta tabs and it got a little better. I still have heartburn today but not too bad and my stomach is bothering me, but I can do ok like this. What if anything gives you or anyone fast relief when you have this pressure and light head feel like you are having a heart attack feeling? Any other ideas for testing? Is the Gastro doctor the right one or an internists? Anyone have GERD and IBS? I have read many books and hours on the internet but still feel alone. Family and friends do not understand. I am so glad to have found this message board. Any ideas or suggestions would be great. Thank you all.
    sahdust responded:
    Hi, everyone. I thought I would post my experiences as well. I am 30 years old. Female, about 15lbs. overweight. I have had ocd my whole life. I have not, however, had anxiety on a daily basis my whole life, like I have had this past year +. It all started with a bad break up coupled with graduate school stress. I went out for drinks one night and the next day woke up with a pounding heart, thought I was dying (the whole bit). I stopped drinking alcohol which I didn't even drink much in the first place, and I also cut out caffeine. I recognized that I was anxious due to my circumstances, so I didn't think alcohol or caffeine would help me. Then I developed heart palps. Never had them before. I had an echo cardiogram done (as well as my thyroid checked) and wore a monitor for a month. everything was (is) fine, even though I was having palps, the doctor said it was probably anxiety. After hearing that the palps subsided for a month or so. Then, I recently decided to go to the gym to shed the excess pounds. A trainer there pushed me pretty hard and I passed out, but my heart was beating crazy before hand. I couldn't seem to catch my breath or make my heart rate slow down. Needless to say, I was completely scared and went back to the doctor. They checked me for diabetes (everything normal), checked my thyroid again (normal), did a stress test on a treadmill (normal). I am still under a considerable amount of stress so I know this is related if not the cause. Why I am on here and posting is that this past two months I have had heartburn (never had it before) and I developed thrush in my mouth (and no, I don't have HIV or something more serious related to that). I cut out sugar for a few days, took zinc, ate yogurt, and took enzymatic therapy's little pro-biotic pills. Thrush and heartburn went away. So I started eating badly again and late at night, and again here are the heart palps, plus heartburn, plus anxiety. I also feel a lot of pressure in my chest and head sometimes. Leaning over sometimes makes my head feel heavy. Since I've been cleared to go back to the gym, that's what I've been doing. I make sure I'm hydrated and don't do any exercises which strain my back or chest. After reading your posts, I'm going to go get checked out for GERD and a hiatal hernia. It makes a lot of sense to me. Thank you to folks out are not alone...

    P.S. Other things I've been feeling along with all of this (which is most likely stress related but my hypochondriac self thinks is MS):

    Sensitivity to light, headaches, tingly feeling in nose when exercising, pain in abdomen near time of month when running, very tight shoulders and neck cramps (god I sound like I'm 80, haha)
    flowermeblue responded:
    Hello, Thank you for writing about your problems with GERD! I'm an older person of 61 and can say Dito, Dito, and Dito. It is scary thinking all they tell you about heart attacts and doing what you think you should when you have those type of pains that make you think your having an heart attact. I too experience like so many of you that posted here.

    Although I haven't had the doctor go so far to look inside of me yet. Mostly was suppose too but didn't have the money for the co pay. Maybe when I do have the money I will see what is really causing my problems besides the GERD.

    The Gaso doctor without any test told me I had GERD because I describe it to a tee!

    I try not to ever go to the ER again after several times going thinking I had heart attacts. One of the last times I went they did do a stint. But since then, just like several of you who wrote here they think simular as you about me~

    I believe i DON'T HAVE THOSE PANIC ATTACTS probably going back to GERD that is all I have.

    Here just for FYI my the way they see on Xrays that I have a Hyderle hernia. Burning pain to my underarm area. Pain sharp running down my left arm. Only pain I had in my chest was always sort of off the middle of my chest towards the left breast area. It would be easy to put my finger on the spot. The other thing is now they are wide spread like spreading my fingers out across the chest/ Yet, like so many of you they dont' see it in the blood work up.

    So probably just GERD~

    The Gaso doctor gave me Phx for stronger then zantic pills and I haven't fill that yet. I just found that Phx just yesterday from back in Sept when I last saw this guy.

    By the way he wanted to do both upper n lower GI with me// I had bleeding from the lower part. But since stop. I had polups before years before. When I had a complete hestorecomey they found them and took them out. I have never really had a GI upper or lower since they found them in 1985.

    First reason I didn't do the those GI last year was my boss threaten my job if I lost any more work/ would demote me. etc. and they do it and can do what they want. Right to work state here. The second was mostly it because I did what my boss told me and waited for holidays to try to do it so I didn't miss any work. Well I didn't find out until almost the day what the co pays were. Then it was about money.

    So i hope done of you will wait and just do it

    Now I have been just told I hav e COPD and on oxygen 7/24 and maybe that also has something to do with pain in chest on my left side only.

    Who really Knows I don't trust doctors and they dont care really. That is what I found out here any way. They always tell me it's in my mind. So I can truly say......I been there and done that too with the rest of you here.
    zen332 responded:
    Hi, Muskee,

    I was the person who originally posed this question and haven't posted in awhile, but do continue to avidly read what's here.

    It was my cardiologist who looked at me quizzically when I asked him if my palpitations could possibly be related to the Nexium I was taking (40 mg daily) for at least 6 months. He answered that he did not think so. He also expressed that he did not think my palpitations were caused by my GERD. As I mentioned previously, my EKG, holter monitor, ECHO, and thallium stress tests were all normal. Doing my own research, I discovered I was very sensitive to both H2 blockers and PPIs and that they changed my heart rhythm. I cannot even tolerate TUMS because of the rebound acid effect.

    There are apparently so many uncomfortable, sick people who cannot find completely tangible solutions to their physical problems. I prefer a more holistic approach (diet, exercise, certain natural remedies), and the journey to obtaining relief is trial and error. This illness is definitely life changing!

    As you stated, this relational data should be published. Why did it take so long for the medical community to recognize and accept the correlation between H. pylori and ulcers?
    queenofbarf responded:
    It is called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia (POTS). A rapid heartbeat that comes on from changing position, standing too long and several other causes.

    People who have POTS also tend to have acid reflux. And to make things more confusing, a bout of tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) can be triggered by heartburn or by eating too much.

    Look up POTS Symptoms and see if they match. Or try this link:

    POTS has several "cousins" that go by several names:
    Neurally mediated hypotension
    Vasovagal syncope
    Neurally mediated tachycardia

    The test for POTS and other variations is called a Tilt Table Test. You may have to make several calls to find a doctor in your area who owns one. Try cardiologists and neurologists.

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