Palpitations, IBS and GERD: One symptom I've... - IBS Network

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Palpitations, IBS and GERD

JonQ
JonQ

One symptom I've been really confused about which has got worse for me personally over the last few months is the feelings of palpitations - fast heartbeat, feeling of skipping a beat, feeling of brief pounding in the chest - after eating or even drinking just small amounts.

The sensation is often accompanied by a small amount of pain in or around the chest area and sometimes nausea. I'm told this is neither a heart problem nor a acid reflux problem so I'm at a loss as to what could be causing it.

In summary, I have the feeling of heart palpitations after eating or drinking, even small amounts. That could be fast heartbeat or the feeling of missing a beat. This is often accompanied with mild pain down the centre of the chest or off slightly to the upper right rib.

Has anyone experienced this before with IBS/D?

46 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi JonQ

Yes, I have.

The best advice I can give you is to look up York Cardiology on YouTube, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he is a great cardiologist and explains the gastro-cardiac symptoms very well.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to Sasical

Thanks I'll take a look

Are you by any chance taking Amitryptiline?

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to texty18

No, I am aware that amitriptyline can cause this so I tend to avoid it as I don't want to make my palpitations any worse. I know it's sometimes considered as a treatment option for IBS.

texty18
texty18
in reply to JonQ

Yes that would have been my answer im at a loss then sorry hope u feel better soon x

johnspe1263
johnspe1263
in reply to texty18

hello

texty18
texty18
in reply to johnspe1263

Hi x

Sounds a lot like me and I wonder if it isIBS as when I read up on it seems more pain and discomfort in lower abdomen.

If all tests have been done and come back ok then look at food intolerances & magnesium deficiency.

Yes this can happen if you suffer from Gastritis So I have been.told

I think ( with me) sometimes I`m waiting for it to happen and it often does and I think it might be me bringing it on in anticipation if you know what I mean. I get the throbbing in the head when I go to bed if it crosses my mind, other times when I`m tired and don`t think about it I don`t hear it.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to OldTimer74

That makes sense but not how it happens for me. It's functional, I can actively trigger symptoms at any time irrespective of mood. Sometimes I only need to drink a glass of water and the symptoms come on.

OldTimer74
OldTimer74
in reply to JonQ

All copied Jon, my symptoms chop and change all the time (not sure how old you are) just wait till you get to my age(75) along with all these digestive problems you`ll be struggling to walk on your worn knees and hips. Hope you get it sorted, it`s not nice having a problem that no one else can see, if you have a broken leg people can see it and give you comfort but these internal problems can get you down and people around you get fed up hearing you complain.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to OldTimer74

It's something you just get used to after a while as I'm sure you know, I'm middle aged now and had problems since I was a teenager. Never give up trying to find something to help though.

Yes - I’ve experienced this for years. Initially I was terrified but have since relaxed about it.

I’m told it’s to do the vagus nerve.

Mine usually comes on after a period of ‘excess’ ie food I wouldn’t usually eat, and alcohol.

A bad episode can drag on for days, even weeks. In the past it’s woken me up.

I have a touch of it at the moment - the toast I’ve just eaten won’t help 🙄

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to McMurtagh

I think mine might also be connected to the vagus nerve as there doesn't seem to be anything functionally wrong with my heart. Also had some Gallbladder issues so that could be connected.

McMurtagh
McMurtagh
in reply to JonQ

I’m not aware of any issues with my gallbladder but I know that my heart ‘takes off’ she jumps about when my stomach is irritated.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to McMurtagh

It's a weird connection and no cardiologist will seen to acknowledge it. I'm like attach an ECG to me when I eat and it'll blow your mind.

McMurtagh
McMurtagh
in reply to JonQ

During the holidays one year I had a particularly bad attack. My GP surgery was closed so I went to the ‘walk-in’ at the hospital.

I knew exactly what it was and exactly what I needed. The poor doctor was visibly horrified by my weird, erratic pulse! I reassured him, got my prescription and here I am 10/12 years later to tell the tale 😉

loveyourbunny
loveyourbunny
in reply to JonQ

I think your symptom are basically from stress/fear stuff. All this lockdown stuff is causing so much worry and misfortune. Isolation weakens the immune system and it is really counterproductive in this 'apparent' pandemic. Keep calm, carry on and do some inner work on yourself while it lasts. Don't listen to the fear making propaganda. Watch some good movies, get creative and learn to love yourself.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to loveyourbunny

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. These symptoms I'm talking about here are present irrespective of mood and were present way before the lockdown etc. Stress can have a big impact though so I make sure to manage my stress well.

Thank you that’s encouraging, I’ve been very anxious last few weeks with the lockdown and suffering with toothache (due to go to urgent clinic on Thursday) I get palpitations sometimes at night in bed

In the past I have had feelings of a thumping sensation in my chest, which felt like ectopic/random heart beats, but I think it was actually gas that had built up in my stomach after eating and then individual large and small bubbles bursting or 'exploding' into the upper oesophagus. I've come to ignore it if this happens. As long as you've been checked out for anything heart related (ECG etc.), then this might be all it is. One way to check perhaps is whilst this is happening take your pulse - I find the easiest way to pick up the heart beat is in my neck to the left or right of my wind pipe. If the pulse is a steady beat and not matching what is going on in your chest, then this could indicate the sensation is gas related. I haven't tried this myself, but might be worth a go.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to xjrs

Thanks I'll give this a go

If you have acid in your oesophagus this can irritate the heart wall next to the oesophagus. How bad is your acid reflux?

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to Philbs1980

I had a 24hr stomach acid monitor and they said it didn't register that bad. I do get some though.

Philbs1980
Philbs1980
in reply to JonQ

I had that test. Not a fun 24 hours eh? Have they checked for a Hiatus Hernia?

Yeah they did, said I had a small one, maybe 3cm, the doctor reasoned this shouldn't cause any symptoms though. Still, I'm a bit sceptical about that.

Philbs1980
Philbs1980
in reply to JonQ

Have you ever tried apple cider vinegar before meals?

Philbs1980
Philbs1980
in reply to JonQ

Also avoid caffeine as this relaxes the oesophagus sphincter. I know it is hard to give up tea/coffee but this could really help. At least try it out.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to Philbs1980

I don't drink any tea or coffee or any stimulamts like energy drinks. Basically only water and kombucha right now. I have been thinking about apple cider vinegar so will give that a try.

Sasical
Sasical
in reply to JonQ

Please do look up Dr. Sanjay Gupta cardiologist at York Cardiology on YouTube. You will get a lot of answers from his videos

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to Sasical

I will check this out but there's a lot of so called experts out there trying to take advantage of vulnerable people with vague or undiagnosed conditions so I take it with a pinch of salt

Hi JonQ , I couldn’t just read this without adding my two pennies worth. I have this! I used to feel ill after a BM I had a lot of diarrhoea 😬, acid reflux, heart palps and nausea. I had it for months and had every test known to man (even an endoscopy!) and tried every diet. I constantly googled my symptoms to get to the bottom of it all and the drs conclusion was anxiety! I was very surprised as I had never suffered before. Mine did eventually go and I get relapses which aren’t as bad! Good luck 🤞🤞 xx

Thanks for sharing, did you ever find out what caused it?

No I was just told it was anxiety and there’s a link between our brains and stomachs. Once I came to terms that I was ok and not dying I started to relax and it slowly started getting better. When I’m stressed out now I get the palps, acid reflux and diarrhoea still but not as bad as before. I know what to expect and try to take time out of life for me when I get a relapse. I was as shocked as anyone to find out it was anxiety and when I looked more into anxiety it ticked a lot of boxes over what I was going through, good luck 🤞 what helped me was having someone to talk to. Everyday I would ring my dad and list my daily symptoms and I would start laughing about the way I was. It slowly started to get better but I still have flare ups 🤞xx

IBS is exasperated by anxiety and anxiety is exasperated by ibs. So they are like a viscous circle. As you probably know anxiety will cause palpitations chest pain headaches arm pain dizziness and bowel problems as well as abdomen pain. Some say anxiety causes IBS and as they say there is no cure for ibs but you can manage it and keep it away. Usually dealing with anxiety will improve your ibs but then bad symtoms of ibs will make anxiety much worse and again it becomes a vicious circle.

I also will mention ppis proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole lansoprazole pantoprazole and h2 blockers like ranitidine. These are all used to reduce acid or neutralise acid and can have direct side effects like causing dizziness bone pains and things like pernicious anemia which will stop you absorbing vitamins and therefore cause other health conditions. PPIs and H2 blockers have therefore been accused of causing IBS and I certainly believe they caused mine. I personally believe everyone can have ibs but I think healthy levels of anxiety and a healthy diet does keep it at bay and that once things get out of balance you start getting gut problems that are hard to reverse

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to Leemccluskey

Anxiety does play a part in it but for me personally the symptoms remain whether I'm anxious or otherwise. As you say though it can become a vicious circle.

I have stopped taking all PPIs now as I read up on the issues they can cause and frankly didn't help me with reflux. I couldn't say they caused my IBS though as I had it before I took any medications.

Leemccluskey
Leemccluskey
in reply to JonQ

The problem is you can be suffering with anxiety without knowing it. Many people will say oh I'm not anxious when in fact they are. Functioning high anxiety is extremely common.

Gastritis too much acid etc can cause ibs and a H Pylori infection will also cause ibs symptoms and can cause lots of gut problems that lead to anxiety chest pain palpitations etc they all link in some way. Similarly taking ppis can upset the balance in the gut by reducing production of acid. Acid is needed to breakdown our food and vitamins so blocking it or neutralising it can make you vitamin deficient. Even taking ppis for a short time can cause problems. Ppis are taken to help ulcers heal by stopping the acid burning the ulcers but it also allows H Pylori to come out of the stomach lining. H Pylori doesnt like acid so it beds in the stomach lining and can erode it. Eradication therapy is a ppi and two different antibiotics all three taken at the same time. The ppi reduces the acid so the H Pylori comes out and then the two antibiotics kill the infection. They use two different anti biotics so the h pylori is attacked by two army's as it were incase the H Pylori becomes resistant to one of them. They dont always work so another two need to be tried. When two antibiotics are used along with a ppi and a bacteria infection you can imagine how this will play havoc with your gut flora and then of course it's hard to get back to normal so most will suffer IBS of some level and then the anxiety will arise along with other problems like fibromyalgia.

Professor Peter Whorewell this countrys leading expert on IBS from Manchester Wythenshawe hospital states that a huge number of ibs patients will suffer anxiety and/or fibromyalgia

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to Leemccluskey

That's really interesting thanks for sharing

As a dentist, I have done orthodontics which require a lateral X-ray of the head and neck. Retrusion of the lower jaw is seen with a loss of the normal curvature of the cervical vertebrae (Forward Head Posture) putting stress on the muscles of the neck and shoulders. The nerves from those muscles sometimes refer to the Vagus nerve, resulting in symptoms from those organs you refer to. Confirmation is the lateral X-ray and treatment is orthopedic, NOT surgical, advancement of the mandible. If you get confirmation of the FHP, let me know and I'll help you find proper treatment.

JonQ
JonQ
in reply to BRdog59

That's really interesting, thanks for the info I'll look into it.

I had similar symptoms a few years ago. My pvcs were showing up quite frequently when they did heart monitoring tests. I had all kinds of tests done, including a stress test, a gastrointestinal endoscopy, and a sleep test for sleep apnea. Sounds like you had everything checked out, which is good.

What fixed it for me was Magnesium. I take 600mg of magnesium taurate daily (1 with lunch and 2 with dinner for the 200mg tabs). Took about 2 weeks initially to fix the problem. Now that I've taken it for years, if I let it slip for a week or so, I'll get the palpitations again and then just one day of the magnesium will settle it down again. I would also recommend getting yourself a Pulse Oximeter. Personally, I found it comforting to know it wasn't just in my head. On the Pulse Ox you can see when the palpitations happen and (hopefully!) when they clear up. A way to track improvement is helpful in my opinion.

Like you, mine did get much worse after eating or drinking. I think maybe that's because digestion puts a strain on your body? Before I tried the magnesium, doctors had suggested to me: acid reflux, gas, ibs, apnea, and anxiety. I honestly think it was just simply magnesium deficiency though. The magnesium worked wonders for me once I got the dosage right (I had tried it in smaller doses before that). This solution has worked for several other people I've suggested it to as well.

Sorry for your troubles and Best Wishes.

Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try.

Hi Jon my bf has been suffering similar symptoms he had helcobactor pylori infection over ten years ago his stomach has never been the same he’s been really suffering with stomach pains, nausea he’s losing weight when the symptoms are at their worst he has been getting palpitations chest pain and pins needles or tingling in his hands & face Paramedics were called and they seem to think it’s panic attacks but his heart goes into aterial fibleration but his heart rate usually goes back to normal in its own he’s had lots of tests and they can’t find out what’s causing all his symptoms so are putting it down to ibs with constipation

It definitely seems hard to diagnose, having such temporary symptoms makes it hard to measure and understand but thanks for sharing.

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