Oesophageal Patients Association
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Arrhythmia and Low Blood Pressure ?

I had my IL almost 10 months ago and have been doing very well until a few days ago . About an hour or so after my usual morning meal of crackers and cheese I felt uncomfortable and that my heart was palpitating etc. After a visit to my doctor my blood pressure was very low and I had an irregular heart beat . Doctor decided that  I had to go to hospital and by ambulance !! My heart beat stabilised after a few hours and remains stable . My blood pressure is still lowish 95 or so (and certainly lower than usual (120 ish) . The hospital is not the one where I had my operation and medics would probably not be familiar with esophagectomies etc. Has anyone had a similar experience ? 

3 Replies

You haven't said how old you are nor the general state of your health pre-op and any other conditions you may suffer from.

But I would lay ten pounds to a penny that you have had your first experience of 'dumping' followed by hypoglaecemia.

This two-stage syndrome frequently kicks in six to twelve months after the Ivor Lewis.

It can be extremely dangerous so please take the trouble to go back through the years and acquaint yourself with what everyone here has posted. It probably is the single most common topic/source of worry.

Do not expect your GP or local A & E to know the first thing about it!

See the advice about low GI diets.

In your case the tell-tale was crackers. These are high GI and, first thing in the morning will provoke a subsequent insulin spike followed by a slump in blood sugar, with the classical symptoms that that induces.

It is a good idea to start the day by getting on-board a portion of unrefined slow-release carbohydrates to carry you through. I have Swiss Muesli and a slice of genuine brown wholemeal spelt toast (low GI and Gluten). Like you I also eat cheese; the theory behind this is that the protein does not go amiss and, crucially, the fat content slows down the rate of stomach tube emptying. This last is a defence against dumping.

Ten months is very very early in terms of your rehabilitation, be patient.

We are here to help so don't hesitate to ask further questions either as public posts or by private messaging, if you prefer.

1 like

Thanks very much for that  and for taking the time . I am 70 years of age and would have been considered fit and healthy before the operation . I was 98kg and am now 80kg .  Over the 10 months since the operation I have reduced the number of meals  to no more than 4  . Cheese and crackers at 7  ,porridge or small fry at 10 , soup or avocado at 1 and grilled meat or stir fry at 6/7 . Since my last I have had a second bout of Arrhythmia and am now in Cardio care and have had an "elctro cardio version" which didnt work but my heart stabilised anyway . My blood pressure up to this point was usually in the good category ie 125/70. I have had a few readings in the "80s"  mainly in the 90s but an occasional 100 + high teens . In the last few days I have had a CT scan and   Echo test and I dont think anything of significance has appeared .

I have found that I do not drink near as much fluids as I used and can go for long periods without feeling thirsty or thinking of a drink. So I will try to change that from now on . Also I will go back over the old posts as you suggest . Thanks again - your support is very much appreciated .


Another concern with heart palpitations is dehydration.  Many of us have a hard time getting enough fluids in, and poor diet makes dehydration or electrolyte imbalances an ever-present threat.  Hopefully the doc did some blood work which would show anything like that.


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