Ectopic heart beat and stomach issues! - AF Association

AF Association

21,618 members26,313 posts

Ectopic heart beat and stomach issues!


Hi everyone, i'm new here and this is my very first question on my health issue.

i feel bloating for the past 4 years after every meal, my stomach becomes full of gas and i keep belching, which is bothering me a lot but can live with it, the problem is, at first my stomach issues and specifically bloating and gases in stomach made me fell dizzy, very dizzy but i manged to reduce that and live with it by eating small variation of food so that my stomach wouldn't get irritated.

but lately i no longer feel dizzy when my stomach becomes full of gases but instead my heart skips so many beats and i feel like my stomach puts high pressure on my heart that when i belch that beat skipping go away.

it happens maybe while eating and 30 after eating, especially when i'm sitting down, it does not happen a lot when i'm standing or lying.

so my question is, does the beat skipping has any thing to do with that stomach issue, or my heart itself causes that stomach issue?

Note: i'm 24, i did not changed my medication for the last 3 years.

thanks everyone :)

10 Replies

Welcome Mekawy. There is a well known relationship between heart and stomach and gut as they are connected by the vagus nerve. I always have skipped beats (ectopics) and racing heartbeat when I have eaten something which disagrees with me. Other times, the ectopics start on their own.

I have had to change my diet to exclude all processed food, alcohol, artificial additives, onions, garlic and large helpings of red meat. Eating small meals often is also recommended.

Many of our posters have similar problems to yours and hopefully someone will see your post and give more detailed advice.

There is a search box at the top right of the screen and if you type ‘vagal’ into it, there are many posts about the vagus nerve and its influence over heart and gut.

Mekawy in reply to Finvola

Thanks for reply Finvola, that's what i also did, changed my diet and helped a lot with that situation.

Are we talking ectopics or atrial fibrillation (AF) or both here? Have you had a formal diagnosis of AF? Are these atrial or ventricular ectopics?

24 is young to be taking 3 medications. Perhaps you could tell us a little more about your medical history, but only if you are comfortable with doing so. We can give you more informed opinions, if we know more about your particular situation.

Mekawy in reply to Badger2021

I don't actually get the difference between them, cause my doctors did not ask me to do any heart diagnosis, so i tryed to describe it by my heart being skipping beats.

Yes i do take 3 or maybe 4 medication all for my stomach (Nexium, Librax, colofac) and Pancreaze.

My current situation that I'm diagnosed with Gastroesophageal reflux. the problem is that i suffered those symptoms (especially dizziness) so long before i even diagnosed with that reflux, so that makes my always think which came first, a reflux caused bloating and digestive problems which led to that heart skipping matter, OR stomach issues (relating to depression , psychological issues or anything i don't know) caused digestive problems and made my stomach always go full of gases which puts high pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and caused that GERD and dizziness. especially because that GERD symptoms always missing from me.

That always puts me in confusion, heart issue affects stomach or long term stomach problems affect heart, and how far that effect has gone, cause I've been experiencing Palpitations for the last 4 or maybe 5 years, and it was all out of a sudden, like i woke up late in the night my heart beating 3 times faster and feel dizzy like if i was poisoned.

Hi Mekawy,

My comments are made - NOT - as a healthcare professional, but as an AF sufferer of some 8 years standing. So, its my own experiences, and in this regard with your issue, we are all different even though we may have some common themes.

That said, many months after my AF diagnosis at the age of 65, 8 years ago, I found an AF event was triggered by food and the symptoms I suffered were massive, massive and painful bloating, intestinal gurgling, diahorrea and burping. Not all at the same time, they were all at random but the most common and the one most likely to trip me into AF was the bloating. Exactly as you describe - the bloating put pressure on my heart and I could feel this battle going on within my chest. Then ..... bingo .... into AF.

Long story short I saw my GP who carried out some blood tests to check out IBS and Coeliac Disease and they came back clear. He offered to do more tests but I declined. I went and consulted a Nutritionist. She was quite familiar with the link between digestive issues and the vagal nerve.

Finvola makes some excellent points but if you 'Google' Vagus Nerve Schematic diagrams (or something similar) and you'll see what an awesome nerve this is - in effect an information superhighway between the brain, heart and digestive system ........ but also other organs and parts of the body. Vagal means wandering .. and that's just what it does.

Anyway, the Nutritionist suggested I diet and also keep a food diary. She put me on a course of probiotics and got me to go gluten, wheat and oats free. That was the start of a long journey of learning and discovery. Over time my diet significantly widened to including a massive range of foods. A big thank you to the farming, food processing and manufacturing industries for stuffing up my body (NOT).

I remained free of AF for nearly 3 years until a (hopefully) one off incident occurred (on 15 Feb 2018) I was asleep one night and tripped into AF because I was sleeping on my left side. A sleeping posture thing. I have made a serious change to my sleeping posture and I'm pretty much back to normal.... well, except for food exclusions, a lot of which are similar to or identical to Finvola's.

I am not alone in reporting this link between posture and AF and many on here report the same as me that sleeping on their left side triggers AF.

Others report AF starting in the early hours of the morning while asleep, but not necessarily as a result of posture. Maybe they have eaten late and had a heavy meal which has contained foods to which they are not so much allergic to but are intolerant of.

What I just can't say is at the moment ( in respect of myself) .... is there a relationship between some foods I am intolerant of which give me grief, only when I sleep on my left side. One thing I am totally convinced of that whether it be food or posture ......... my AF has a very deep seated origin in the Vagal Nerve AND not from any electrical or mechanical malfunction of the heart or the cardiac system itself.

Then there is the very much open question of genetics.... is there any history in your family of unexplained strokes or unexplained cardiac issues. I have and the weirdest is my daughter ( aged early 30's at the time) had two pregnancies both of which tripped her into AF on each occasion. When she stopped breeding the AF never returned. Of course what happens to her when she is in her 60's remains to be seen. I would suspect that this pregnancy thing with my daughter may also be vagal nerve related too.

Hope this helps, just one of life's little mysteries that pop up from time to time :-)

Good luck.


Mekawy in reply to carneuny

Hi John,

Its always nice to hear other people experiences, i do agree with all you've said relating that sleeping posture has something to do with that AF situation and even sitting posture, i have to sit up straight when i feel bloating and if don't that beat skipping triggers, I've experienced that AF so many times when i bend down for long time as well.

And also relating to diet and how it affects that matter, i did not consulted a Nutritionist or anything i just found myself stop eating food ( lots of variation actually) or drinks (water only) that makes me feel bad no matter how it affect other people or doctors say to me, but of course that made me experience some kind of malnutrition and lack of some vitamins.

With that being said, the problem is related to the stomach not heart, which what doctors always say to me (regardless the fact that they are not convinced with my heat skipping or dizziness matter as its not happening during consultation), In my situation i never know what makes my stomach bloat and gets irritated.

So wish you good luck too with all that and good luck with everything else too.

I don’t think cardiac problems generally cause the sort of gastro-intestinal (GI) symptoms you describe. But GI problems are felt by many patients and doctors to provoke AF.

I would think you have enough cardiac symptoms to ask for a referral to an electrophysiologist. At 24, they need sorting out.

Hi Mekawy,

Just briefly, I have the same problem, bloating - ectopics - sometimes leading to AF. A few months ago I read that as you get older your digestive system produces less digestive enzymes which means your food is not digested as efficiently and this is what causes gas to build up, leading to bloating. The expression 'old farts' is a truism! The bloating causes the distended stomach to press (or stimulate) the vagus nerve which sets off the ectopics etc. You can buy digestion enzymes as a supplement which will boost your digestion thereby producing less gas. The supplements are not very expensive and you only need to take one just before, during , or after a main meal. Don't worry about light meals or snacks.

I started taking digestion enzyme supplements about 3 months ago and honestly I have not had a single episode of AF since! Normally I would expect to have 2 or 3 a month.

The supplement I take is Holland & Barrett Full Spectrum Enzyme Formula.

Hope this will help you and any other similarly afflicted readers.

try a test for lactose intolerance,


Your symptoms are virtually the same as mine. I eat food, my stomach feels bloated, my ectopics increase, I begin belching and I mean BELCHING and my ectopic beats subside. I have a hiatus hernia too. This past week I had a stress test at the hospital. My resting blood pressure was

118/80. My resting heart rate was 57bpm. During the whole time I was monitored during the stress test, I did not have 1 ectopic heart beat. Before the test, I did not eat for 18 hours. After the test when I got home, I ate a meal and sat down to watch TV and immediately started having my ectopic beats. My ectopic beats are heart pauses and are <3 seconds but I sure feel them.

You may also like...