Beta adrenergic receptors in the GI tract?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 10/27/2006 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
   I've posted this on the GERD forum also.  I know I have sort of asked this question here before, but thought I would try again.
   I have GERD and IBS.   When I started a beta blocker 6 years ago for high BP, I also re-started my aciphex.  My GI tract symptoms really settled down, and I always thought it was the aciphex.  Well, I stopped the aciphex about 4years ago and did fine.    But in the past several months, I've tried to wean off the beta blocker, and my GI tract goes NUTS.
   Now I'm realizing it's the beta blocker that has kept my GI tract under control.
   I've done alot of internet searches, and can't find any info on why this is happening.  I know the body is VERY complex and I might not ever understand why this is happening.
   I think the beta blocker has made me really stupid over the past few years, and also it has made me really fatigued, so I want to come off it.  But GI tract goes crazy when I try to get off it.  I blow up like a blimp, and feel SUCH pressure in my upper chest and neck.  Several days ago, I had to go to eating very little, just to not have the symptoms.
   I'm just curious if this has ever happened to anyone else........or if anyone has any insights into the role of beta receptors in the gut, and why a beta blocker would help both my GERD and IBS???  Thanks.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/26/2006 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I found your post by internet search for ibs and beta blocker. I'm looking for a link, as you have been. I thought I would share my experience.

I have a loud heart murmur. Cardiologists have differed in opinions. A year ago the cardiologist said I didn't need the beta blocker so I went off it. I may have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; they aren't sure now.

Over the last 3 years, I have had bowel symptoms. Not diarrhea or constipation, but epidodes every 1-3 days where on an empty stomach, with appetite building up, my GI tract abruptly seems to seize up. I bloat, and am unable to eat anything for up to 12 hours, even though my body may feel hungry, or starved. all testing has come back normal. When I had colonoscopy last month, the surgeon told me I had IBS and prescribed exercise.

So decided to go for it, and joined a health club, started aerobic exercise. The bowel symptoms were, if anything, worse. But what happened is the heart murmur got a lot worse with exercise, and I started getting chest pain.

So on my own, I resumed the beta blocker. The chest pain and murmur went away. And I was astonished to find that my GI symptoms also went away. I could eat again. It was amazing and gratifying.

My first thought was that the GI symptoms got better because the circulation improved when the beta blocker did what it did for the heart.

I presented that theory to my cardiologist, who thinks the GI symptoms are unrelated to the heart. He told me beta blockers have a side effect in some people of diarrhea, and that I was benefiting from the pro-motility effects of beta blockers.

I'm still skeptical, and think there is a link between my GI and heart symptoms.
But whatever the case is, I am pleased to be able to eat again.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/26/2006 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi TM,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)
Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure Cathy will be most pleased to read she is not the only one with GI and beta blocker related symptoms.
Glad you are feeling better. Please feel free to continue posting.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
Please donate to help HealingWell continue to help us.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 11/26/2006 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hanki, it sounds as if you are doing well but you do need to find out about about the HCM and if you have it. It is 70% inherited so people in your family, children,etc should be tested. If nothing shows up on an X-ray then they should do an echo. I lost my husband to HCM in 2000 with no warning. Sudden death. None of the warnings they give like SOB, heart palpatations. He never felt sick so never went to Dr. (Not my idea) but we had his children and grandchildren tested per Drs. instructions. He also had intestinal problems but like I said he wouldn't go to Dr. He had diahrea a lot. Perhaps the Beta Blocker would have helped him I will never know but you do need to know. He had a heart murmur also which was discoverd when he went in to the Marines but it was never taken seriously.
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