Food, burping and erratic heart

Hi everyone, hope your enjoying the sunshine 😊 

I have a quick question, does anyone have really erratic heartbeat after eating that is eased by extremely forceful loud burping?  I have had this over the years but  over the last few days it happens even if I drink water. It also feels like my heart is beating very high in my chest. I have constant quick runs of af and sometimes my heart will just jump to 90 bpm and stay like that for a few hours then I will have lots of burping and it slows back down. It makes me feel quite poorly, light headed and can't think straight. The feeling of my heart beating very high up is also really uncomfortable. I have had afib for years and also had svt before that but this is a new development 😞anyone else have this? Any idea what it is??

Many thanks


23 Replies

  • I'm sure that others will have had similar experience as this sounds like classic vagal AF to me.

    It could also indicate a possible hiatus hernia or  the start of such. My view was always that if I ate too much or became bloated from food then my diaphragm was forced up against my heart making me more aware of its beating.

  • Thanks bob, I do feel quite bloated and it feels like that us making my heart beat funny.  The strange thing is that even when my heart rate goes back to normal it still feels like it's beating high up, it's a horrible feeling. 

  • Very similar to what happens to me and I have a hiatal hernia and have had indigestion/ulcery symptoms off and on for years   and more or less constantly for the past few months.

  • I appear to have a link between the volume of food, the comfort of my stomach, occurrences of af and palpatations - and i find that carbonated water provoking 'burping' certainly eases the incident. 

  • Thank you For that I will give if a try

  • I keep a can of 7 Up handy others take bicarb. Of the indigestion remedies I find that Bisodol gives quick relief. I always have some in my pocket and beside my bed.

    A doctor once told me that with my history that if I have chest pain similar to a cardiac one to take bicarb and if a huge burp does not relieve it in three minutes to dial 999. 

  • Hi Kelly

    My AF is also thought to be vagal in origin. I was diagnosed with a hiatus hernia in June last year but, after losing weight, giving up alcohol, caffeine, red meat and high fat/high sugar foods, the hernia appears to have settled down and now I only take a sachet of Gaviscon last thing at night so I do not get any regurgitation when I lie down. 

    The AF is still occurring occasionally (usually in the early hours of the morning) but it can 9times out of 10 be traced back to food.

    Yes, giving up all the nice things in life is extremely boring 😀 but I have to say the weight loss has also really helped with all the arthritic aches and pains that I was suffering from.

    Try to work out which foods and drinks are common to your AF; maybe you will find some triggers.

    Ps include fizzy drinks (or indeed anything acidic) to the list.


  • Thanks for that 😊 I had noticed a whole ago that if I are any carbohydrates especially white like pasta, bread and rice mg heart would go crazy for a couple if hours afterwards. I cut lots of things out if my diet and stopped wine and sugar too and it did help for a long time but recently it seems to happen if I put anything in my mouth.  It's the  feeling of my heart beating high in my chest and the dizziness that I don't like 😞 usually if I burp very forcefully it seems to correct it but not today. I've spent most if the day in bed 😞😞

  • These replies are really interesting - I too have had an onset of terrible bloating and breathlessness. I was avoiding fizzy drinks thinking that by ingesting gas it would make things worse but I will give it a go and let you know if it helps.

  • It is very scary isn't it? Go see your GP and see if he can get some tests done.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Dr. Myhill in Wales wrote this:

    (Note the comment about Gaviscon.) 

    Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)

    In this condition, the patient experiences pain behind the breast bone, particularly after eating as a result of the acid contents of the stomach refluxing into the oesophagus. There is no doubt there has been a great increase in this condition, resulting in a great many patients having to take acid blockers such as Losec to control this symptom. Excessive acid in the stomach can be caused by Helicobacter-Pylori infection, but I have now heard from two Consultant Gastroenterologists that if they discover H-Pylori in the stomach they do not use eradication therapy because it does not seem to help the gastro-oesophogeal reflux.

    For some time I have pondered over the explanation for this because it did not really seem to make sense, but I think now I have a possible answer.

    The normal oesophagus is neutral at pH 7. Normal stomach contents is extremely acid at say pH 2-4, the normal duodenum is alkaline at pH 8. As foods are eaten and enter the stomach, the effect of the food arriving dilutes stomach contents and the acidity rises. The stomach pours in acid to allow digestion of proteins to take place and the pH falls back down to its normal value of 2. The key to understanding GORD is the pyloric sphincter, which is the muscle which controls emptying of the stomach into the duodenum. This muscle is acid sensitive and it only relaxes when the acidity of the stomach is correct, i.e. 2-4. At this point stomach contents can pass into the duodenum (where they are neutralised by bicarbonate released in dribs and drabs from the bile ducts).

    If the stomach does not produce enough acid and the pH is only say 5, then the muscle which allows the stomach to empty (the pyloric sphincter) will not open up (dilate). When the stomach contracts in order to move food into the duodenum, the progress of the food is blocked by this contracted pyloric sphincter. But of course the pressure in the stomach increases and the food gets squirted back up into the oesophagus. Although this food is not very acid (not acid enough to relax the pyloric sphincter), it is certainly acid enough to burn the oesophagus and so one gets the symptoms of gastro-oesophagial reflux. The paradox is that this symptom is caused by not enough stomach acid! i.e. the reverse of what is generally believed!

    Antacid doesn't cure...

    Of course, the symptoms can be totally alleviated by blocking stomach acid production completely. This is why drugs such as Gaviscon, Zantac (H2 blockers) and Losec (proton pump inhibitors) work. It also explains why eradicating H-pylori does not help in GORD. This is because eradication of H. pylori has the effect of reducing stomach acidity, not increasing it!

    Use of drugs, therefore, whilst they may relieve the symptoms in the short term, usually mean that the patient has to take these drugs regularly in the long term in order to prevent their symptom from recurring. This may be excellent news for drug company profits, but I am concerned about the long term blockage of stomach acid production. First of all stomach acid is highly necessary for the effective digestion of proteins. It may well be that if proteins are not digested this could have adverse effects lower down in the gut as well as the problems of protein malabsorption. The second point is that the acid stomach kills bacteria in food and the upper part of the gut the small intestine is meant to be sterile. If this acid production is blocked then one can expect to get bacterial and possibly yeast overgrowth of the upper gut and this may also have long term problems. For example in Japan where hypochlorhydria (no stomach acid) is extremely common, there is the highest incidence of stomach cancer in the world. Taking acid blockers is a major risk factor for osteoporosis because minerals require an acid environment for their aborption.

    Therefore, the worst thing in the long term that one can do for this condition is block acid production because this makes one more likely to get all the above complications.

    ... but acid might!

    The answer is to give patients more acid in order to allow the pyloric sphincter to open properly and prevent reflux. The problem with this intervention is that initially the symptoms of GORD may be made much worse. The key is to change the diet first. See Acidity and ulcer disease.

    The treatment is to take betaine hydrochloride or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) with food in order to make stomach contents as acid as possible in order that the pyloric sphincter will work properly. Small meals will also help so that the stomach finds it easier to become acid, furthermore do not dilute that acid by drinking a lot of fluid with a meal. It may be worth using a medicine which coats the oesophagus, such as De-Nol, or one of the herbal preparations such as Mastica which has no effect on stomach acidity. In the short term one could try one of the drugs which helps relax the pyloric sphincter, such as metoclopramide.

    Also see Hypochlorhydria.

    GORD and allergy

    Finally, it should always be borne in mind that GORD can certainly be caused by allergy and if I had a patient who also had other symptoms such as headache and irritable bowel syndrome, then it would be well worth trying an elimination diet.

    Is it GORD?

    It can be difficult to distinguish between pain due to GORD and pain due to angina. If in doubt consult your doctor! What usually gives the game away is exercise - this makes angina worse but should have little effect on GORD.

    I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and this stops the GORD every time.  

    Recently, I determined, that if I press on the back of my neck, near the spine, with the tips of my fingers on my right hand for about 30 seconds, I can stop the AF.  This could affect the vagus nerve or maybe the blood flow.  Who cares?  It works for me.

  • Thanks so much for that. If I had gird would I be experiencing acid indigestion? 

  • I tried apple cider vinegar and it worsened my acid reflux.

    I have had two duodenal ulcers (as has my wife) and we tested negative for helicobacter each time. As my present symptoms have gone on for a while I asked my GP about a helicobacter test. He said that he has not had a patient test positive for it in years but asked me to hand in a stool sample that I'm waiting on the result of.

  • Very interesting article EngMac. My GORD seems to have settled down now which I suspect was aided by the weight loss. I never eat late now and only eat very small meals (especially my evening meal).

    Thanks for the tip ref stopping AF, I will definitely try that next time.

  • My wife suffered from acid reflux really really bad 

    She tried organic apple cider vinegar and organic honey 

    Unbelievable results

    Teaspoon of ACV. And a teaspoon of honey in a whiskey glass of cool boiled water. Quarter full 

    Sip it down. 

    Worth a try   She used it daily 

    Now just now and then never complains about reflux now 

    Worked for us 

  • Thanks for the suggestion. It's strange isn't it how something works for one and not others but it would be worth trying out your remedy just in case.

  • I have seen this theory  before and changed my breakfast. Instead of tea, toast and some fruit I now have fruit and yogurt. This has really helped my acid reflux and  bloating. 

  • I don't get what you do but my heart is directly linked to my eating. Consequently I can only eat small meals and snacks, just more often. I never fill myself up, but I'm never empty either! Nice and steady as she goes. 


  • I engage in continuous tweaking of my diet to minimize its effects on heart rhythm. 

  • You must have a lot of triggers.

  • and it's nice to have a hobby :) 

  • Tweaking, Twerking or Tweeting? Or is it cooking?

    It is quite surprising how differently a food can affect people.

  • This is all really interesting and incredibly helpful and also very funny! I don't have any heart burn or acid but I do have this bizarre burping and a suffocating sensation  about 30 mins after eating with lots of  afib and odd heart beats. Weirdly though I've just spoken to a friend that has a hiatus hernia and has never had heartburn with it so maybe that could be the problem???

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