Af and tummy upsets - are they related?

I was diagnosed with PAF, flutter and svt last September. Been on 2.5mg bisoprolol and all has been well. I've had the odd funny sensation but nothing bad. However since Sunday I've felt really funny. My stomach has been rumbling and with that I've been a bit breathless. Today, I had a funny turn and felt my heart beat rapid and went slightly dizzy and hot. Lasted for a few seconds. I still don't feel right and wondered if my palpitations could on any way be related to my "funny tummy"? Fee down as I think heart starting to play up. Am also waiting to be transferred to a different hospital which is on my mind as if anything did happen I'm not sure which hospital to go to as my consultant has apparently write to my new EP? Sorry for rambling x

11 Replies

  • They are with me. i.e. my stomach affects my heart, but not the other way round as far as I know. So if and when I had a problem it would because of a stomach upset or just plain eating too much. I only graze food now, no large meals ever, unless it's chill-con-carne then I go for it and regret it afterwards :-) .



  • I have had AF following an upset stomach - the doctor said probably because having a bad stomach for a couple of days can reduce your potassium levels. I've also seen people write before about rumbling stomachs etc before an AF episode... That vagus nerve gets everywhere, it has to be said - it affects the heart and the stomach so there is a link.


  • G'day Millie,

    About 4 months after I was diagnosed with AF I made the connection between the onset of an AF event and food and my digestive system. I experienced massive and painful bloating, burping, diahorrea and lower intestinal gurgling - not all at the same time - but I felt that as food was digested it worked on these areas in turn, progressively. As the bloating worsened I could feel pressure on the heart. The link is - as eatsalottie has already said the vagal nerve or vagus nerve (Google it) - its also know as the 'Wanderer' because if you search the net you'll see diagrams of the vagal nerve and you will see it reaches everywhere - hence wanderer. But significantly it controls the heart and the digestive system, cutting a long story short - I consulted a Nutritionist and went on two diets, gluten free and FODMAPS (Google it too).

    Now, some 4 years down the track I can't remember my last AF event.

    Thing is you may not get a Cardiologist to recognise this - but a gastroenterologist almost certainly will grasp the connection.

    Hope this helps - good luck


  • Couldn't agree more with the above. I always felt that if I could control my stomach issues I would control my AF episodes. I found the answer, for me, on a gastro forum and there discovered acidophilus, a pro-biotic, which had brought enormous relief to many suffering from tummy upsets of all kinds including the ubiquitous IBS. I started taking it in high dosage (available from any good health store) and began to notice the results almost immediately. In concert with only eating small meals, my stomach issues disappeared and guess what? Not a single AF episode since. That's a result!

  • Good morning leelec,

    Yeah I forgot to mention that too - probiotics .... my Nutritionist put me on that right at the beginning too brand was - VSL#3 - 450 billion bacteria per sachet. Its in powder form and my dose was half a sachet per day, mixed in half a glass of water.

  • Thanks so much AussieJohn and Leelec, sounds like I need to progress from 95% Gluten free to FODSMAP & acidophilus - re the latter Leelec can I ask what is your 'high dosage' and do you take it every day? Could it not cause problems?

  • Good morning orchardworker - yeah agree with leelec, please see my comments to him this morning. Good luck.

  • Much appreciated, AF'ers certainly need persistence!

  • I take Holland & Barrett's Probio 10 (10 billion good bacteria apparently). I have no adverse problems with it - I don't see why I would, even in the long term, it's only what's in all those 'good for you ' yogurts that one can buy, only this delivers the little beauties in much greater quantity and without the sugar!

    At nearly £20 for a 4 month supply (1 capsule per day) some might think it expensive and if it doesn't give you the benefits it's given me then I guess it is. Probably worth a try though as I found relief almost immediately. Good luck.

  • Thanks also AussieJohn for your personal answer under 'Q10' - very useful info to put in the pot.

  • I was on bisoprol for while but after a few months I developed ibs and am now allergic to all beta blockers they make my stomach real bad. Have now been put on diltizem and that seems fine so far.

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