Gastroenterologist - AF/SVT&IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)

I have tried to convince my GP and Cardiologist for 2 years now, that food bears some connection to SVT for me anyway. Eventually I found a clinic for Gastroenterology and spoke to the secretary of problems with gas and stomach which occur almost at the same time as episodes of AF/SVT after food. I had recorded all episodes and foods eaten time duration etc. I was scheduled for an appointment that week, and had lots of blood tests urine tests done etc. He knew my GP so wasn't worried about the referral, well I went to see him yesterday. Apparently I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome all the tests are clear, and he referred me on to a dietitian. I found something interesting when I tallied up my episodes over the past two years. The episodes were 3 times higher after food than any other recorded ones, for overdoing it like stress etc. I said I would be letting everyone who has helped me on this forum know what had transpired. Unfortunately its now another condition that the medics are not fully conversant with. If there is anyone who has experienced this, or knows about IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) I would appreciate some feedback thanks to all


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13 Replies

  • Hi Ultramarine, I too have SVT. It came on following a pulmonary embolism following hip surgery. Am now on verapamil which at last appears to be controlling symptoms. Prior to hip surgery had one episode of AF (whilst in A&E), so am on aspirin as well. For several months before all this I was experiencing short episodes of AF/SVT not sure which, after food. Belching seemed to stop this! Have not had this since commencing verapamil. Have been told by my GP that the nerves which control the stomach are situated very close to the nerves which control the heartbeat so this could be an explanation!

  • Thankyou for your reply Orchid1. I have taken note of the medication. Its strange that my GP and cardiologist, did not want to connect the two together, which has caused me to go to such extremes, and trial my own food, this time will be getting a dietician to help. Glad I am not the only one.

  • hi I have had ectopic beats which were so bad I was set for an ablation, I have to take bisoprolol 5mg a day to keep it under control I went for the ablation 3 times but there was never enough of the problem on the day. I too have ibs and fibromyalgia I take lansoprazole everyday too. I just wanted to say that when I had or have a full stomach it was also a trigger point for the ectopics to flare up, under any stress wether it be mental or physical they are also trigger points. I told the cardiologist this and he said it was because the stomach is so near to the heart when the stomach was full it caused the eptopics to start. so it may not be what u eat but when u have eaten and the stomach is full xxx hope this helps

  • So sorry not to have got back to you reikilady58, I am assuming lansoprazole is for the IBS. Looks like I will be need to cut down on portion size, but will be checking in with a Dietician this week, and will be taking my notes with me, if you look at the AF Association site, you will see a reply from a gentleman who has looked into this problem in depth. At least I know now what the problem is (or name of the problem) its now up to me to find out more about it. Thanks for your help. Ultramarine xx

  • My heart will flutter / wobble about 5-15 minutes after eating, and it doesn't mater what I eat. I had a stomach upset some months back and it affected my heart quite badly. In my case my stomach doesn't need to be full but the more I eat the worse it would be, so similar result.


  • Hi ultramarine. My life was made a misery by SVT for many years and I was told the only treatment was ablation............which I was unsure about but was considering. Then I asked my GP if I could be referred to a different cardiologist for a second opinion. After monitoring my symptoms for 5 days this new doctor offered me a choice between ablation or Flecainide. I opted to try the Flecainide and I have now been free of attacks for over two years.

    My attacks hadn't been slight flutters, they were full blown attacks of 140 beats pm lasting up to 8 hours and landed me in A&E several times. I wasn't expecting this drug to make any difference and was resigned to the ablation I was amazed by its immediate effectiveness. It has made a massive difference to my everyday life and I am so. so grateful.

    I've suffered with IBS for approx.20 yrs and take Colofac. They would probably be more effective if I took them as prescribed (every day) but I'm on so many other meds. so only take them when I have a flare-up, but they do help a little. Cat x

  • Hi cat3 I have tried for 2 years to sort out what this condition is all about, and I wasn't getting much help in Australia, they are a little behind in knowledge on this one I think. The GPs haven't offered me Flecainide, but they have tried me on Metropolol, Sotalol, and now Amiodarone, which I'm not really happy about. I have taken a note of the brand name Colofac, and will be seeing a dietician this week, it seems to me that different countries have different medications which they prescribe. I was hoping to get a prescription to use only when an episode flares up too, I will know more about this soon. I am also considering a 2nd opinion at the moment as its becoming more and more bizzare. Thanks for your reply

  • I've actually been taking Metoprolol for a couple of years now to treat high blood pressure. I started on the Flecainide about 6 months before then and it really has been, well....almost unbelievable the way it has stopped the SVT. And it wasn't a gradual thing either, it had immediate effect. I know everyone responds differently to medications but I sort of want to 'spread the word' where Flecainide is concerned when I see what a dramatic improvement it's made to my life.............and perhaps there ARE others who would benefit equally. I know we're not actually supposed to recommend medication on here, otherwise I'd write a blog about it.

    Take care ultramarine. x

  • Hi all.

    I can completely understand this connection.i have been trying to explain the situation to my for years.

    im not sure exactly which arrythmia I have, as both afib and svt have been noted on my record. I have then on average 2/3 a

    times a year.But on most occasions I can relate them to exercise and bending/lying down or the feeling of compression in and around the stomach.

    I have also been diagnosed with ulcerative.colitis, so im certain this condition has an impact on my palpitations/arryrhmia.

    im waiting for results of a recent 24 hour ecg of which had some abnormal results' not comforting words from the nurse I must add'

    in a nutshell im.convinced that the stomach has an impact on palps.

  • Hi everyone, it would seem that my episodes of AF/SVT (I have both) would be more chronic than yourself rich101. In the two years I have had 18 episodes after food, 8 after exertion ie: (moving house). the other 5 attributed to maybe anxiety of sorts and after 3 infections. The infections really mess your whole body up, not just your stomach. I had to record these as no one seemed to interested in what I had to say. I will be continuing on this line now with a dietician which should hopefully shed some light onto the subject, I have had one session with her. I am also looking into an ablation/second opinion at the moment. I don't know what ulcerative colitis is but my guess would be ulcers in the colon?. The immediate relief she gave me was to try peppermint tea, which for me at least got rid of the trapped wind and settled my stomach considerably, the other over the counter medicine was "mintec" for IBS" which I have also recently been diagnosed with. I use peppermint tea daily, but the mintec I use for going out to dinner with friends and family. I will know more as time goes on. I must stress that in the future any changes in my diet would be for my particular body and would not apply to everyone. However, the peppermint tea (used in moderation) seems safe enough for everyone. In the meantime I read somewhere (sorry cant remember) that a consultant gave a talk to the AF Association in the UK regarding the stomach connection, so the word is getting around. During my move I had a bad time and ended up in Emergency with a diagnosis of skeletal muscular problems. This could be attributed to my age though I am not sure. The only time an ECG gave accurate readings for me was when I attended ER the other times did not pick up anything. I try to bend from my knees down when I remember.

    Keep well

  • I think this is acknowledged by some Eps. Mine did. The vagal nerve is affected by food and can cause heart irregularities. You have to try to not over eat. Ii nearly passed out after eating in hospital post failed ablation. Although not eating much at time.

  • There is a very clear explanation of how the stomach can press on the vegus nerve which controls the resting heart rate and cause the heart to run too slowly by yorkcardiologist on YouTube. Paste this into your browser address bar.

    Or click on it as it seems the site automatically recognises a web address.

    All the best.


  • Forgot to say he also explains in one video I watched how sleeping position can cause pressure on the hearts natural pacemaker and cause it to malfunction. He has 176 informative videos on YouTube


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