Is acid reflux causing me heart problems?

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mattuk
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted Yesterday 2:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 23 years old and have very recently been diagnosed with Acid Reflux, now by 3 doctors, although I am yet to see a specialist.
 
I am very very worried about the implications this is having on my heart, as I dont really get too much of the burning sensation, just really bad palpitations, chest tightness, and even a numbness in my left arm...All the symptoms of a heart attack
 
I have had an ECG, Chest X-Ray, Blood Pressure Test & Blood Sample taken, all of which came back clear.
 
Naturally I am very scared, everyone I seem to speak to that tells me they've had problems with this also agree my symptoms sound extreme.
 
Any words of comfort or advice would be greatly appreciated!

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted Today 4:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi MattUK,
 
I suffer with very similar symptoms and it can be very scarey.  I'm 28.
 
I get a pain in my chest and a tighteness, which then progresses to my left armpit and then down into my left arm, often my fingers can go tingley, if it's really bad then the feeling can go down into my left leg too.  Very odd. 
 
The tightness in my chest feels like it's impossible to take in a full breath of air, like I cannot fill my lungs cause of the pressure.
 
It is scarey, but because I know that it is GERD I do not panic, I just get up (I mainly get theses pains at night) and take a walk around the house, to free the trapped wind and let gravity take the reflux down.
 
The reason we get these feelings is because the esophogus runs down the chest and the reflux can cause spasms etc...  not pleasant.
 
It's good that you've had all the heart checks, it helps to reassure you when it happens that it's not a heart attack, but can still be very frightening.
 
I take Omprazole, 20mg in the morning and another 20mg 30 - 45 minutes before bed that seems to help me get some sleep.
 
This forum has offered me a fantastic place to talk to other suffers, it helps to know you're not alone.

mattuk
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted Today 8:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for that, yeah its very reassuring to know im not alone!

So have you had acid reflux for a while then, or is it something that can be got rid of?

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted Today 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   

I've had it for around 2 years.  I have good and bad times.  I can go 2 months without having trouble and then all of a sudden I'll have a nightmare month where I'll go a whole week with about 3 hours sleep a night because it's so bad. 

My diet doesn't seem to make a massive difference, there are somethings that I just cannot eat (milk etc) but more of the time I stick to bland foods, salads etc (no lettuce, hard to digest) and my reflux will flair up with no reason!  

It's very frustrating. 

 

 


mattuk
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted Today 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Is alcohol generally out of the question then?!

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/18/2008 2:23 AM (GMT -6)   
For me it is.   I've been stone cold sober for the last 2 years.   It's just not worth it as I can suffer for up to 3 days until my stomach calms down again. 
 
I sometimes have a small glass of wine with food but even that is for special occasions.  I pretty much just drink Water and Ribena, I often ask for apple juice in pubs as people tend to assume you are having a cocktail but I guess that's easier for girls.  :-)
 
 

Post Edited (katie1808) : 6/18/2008 4:15:21 AM (GMT-6)


mattuk
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/20/2008 4:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh well, ill just have to hope it all gets better I guess, although im not going to hold out too much!

Just wondered aswell, do you find yourself having any anxiety with this at all? And does exercise generally make you feel better?

Its just recently ive gone out and done a bit of exercise and ive came back and the symptoms have got terrible, a really sort of numb pain on the left side of my chest :S Also just recently I have had a couple of sleeping issues.

Last night I suddenly felt very strange, with palipitations and couldnt get comfortable in bed, then started to sweat a little. Eventually I drifted off after about 30 minutes or so. Something very similar happened a few mornings ago where I woke up at around 5am with similare symptoms.

Could this be down to anxiety?

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/22/2008 7:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

I do find that exercise can help, but I have to exercise first, eat second otherwise I feel really bad.

I guess that all these problems can bring on anxiety. However, as the esophogus is so close to the heart it can cause strange feelings as a swollen esophogus can press on nerves etc.

I can only really go on what I feel and I always have more pain and trouble at night, either unable to sleep or waking up gasping for air (nice). But my advice is only based on my experience, have you visited a GI? Gastroentrologist? I'm visiting mine on Monday to see if he can help me some more.

You might benefit from some more investigative tests......

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/24/2008 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Matt,
 
Just wanted to update you and perhaps offer some advice.
 
I went to see a new GI yesterday and he has suggested a number of things including probiotic tablets.  I cannot take the yougerts as I cannot tolerate dairy, but my GI told me that the tablets are stronger, he recommended a tablet with over 1billion good bacteria.  i've had my first tablet today so see how it goes..
 
How you getting on?
 
 

pr glo
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 6/25/2008 8:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I am soo glad I looked at your post I have been dealing with Acid reflux since 2004 and it has been soo bad within the last year. I have been on several meds some worked some helped a bit but now I have really bad burning in the stomach, Stomach pain, and everytime I eat anything I feel the food coming up and down and I end up vomiting. I have also experienced like you bad chest pains wher I thought I was having a heart attack pain under my rib cage to my back hot and cold flashes and my heart palpitates very fast, nauseaus and tingly fingers too. I have an appt with a GI on 7/24 they want to see me but they really want to do an edoscopy to check everything our and do a biopsy beacuse they say it sounds like either a hernia or ulcers. But just info for you and anybody else going through what we are going through my Friend has Acid reflux and she told me to have my gallbladder checked because her problem was not acid reflux it was that her gallbladder was not contracting properly so her GI did a HYda scan to check that out she says when you have a weak gallbladder it can cause a lot of acid to come up because your food isn't properly digested. so check that out too as I will be checking the same. Hope you start feeling a bit better. I know your pain as I suffer everyday from this horrible disease. PR Glo 

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/25/2008 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi PR Glo

I've had so many tests, just this morning I've had another blood test..

I've had an endoscopy, gallbladder ultra sound, blood test for celiac desease, erm... thinking oh yes Helibactor Pylori tests and just this morning a blood test to test liver, kidney function etc... It's crazy that doctors cannot seem to help us manage this pain. But I have found a very sympathetic GI and at last I seem to be finding some long sort after relief!

It's good that you are having an endoscopy if nothing else it offers reassurance that you have nothing serious. Good luck..

NanaMarie
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/26/2008 2:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Well im 18 years old and i have been suffering from acid reflux for a while. I have trouble falling to sleep at night because of the chest pains, burning sensations in my chest and stomach, pain in my left arm and shortness of breath. I wanted to know if any one could give me advice on how i could make the pain can go away so i could fall to sleep easier, and foods recommeded to eat. I've tried sleeping with pillows but i get anxiety because i can't breath. what should i do?

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/26/2008 3:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi NanaMarie.

I completely understand.... First of all the most important thing is to stay calm. You know what is causing the pain and tightness in your chest, I find that taking slow deep (as possible) breaths helps me to relax. I think the most important thing for me is that when I get these feelings I need to get out of bed and walk around the house and try and move the trapped wind.

I have been taking tablets that are peppermint oil in capsules, sorry cannot remember the name I will look it up and post for you. They are available over the counter. However, some people find that peppermint can make it worse as it relaxes the sphincter muscle that stops food from flowing back up, but for me it helps to free the trapped wind.

I sleep almost totally sitting up.

I find that if I keep my diet as bland as possible then I am pretty good. I have to avoid most dairy and rich foods. I mainly eat salad (no lettuce) and light meats, fish, ham, chicken (no skin) etc. I find that if I have something fatty if I then follow it with something that will "soak up" the oils in the food, for instance I have madiera cake as a dessert as it's very dry, or perhaps have a roll or bread and butter with food.

Remember it's also quantity of what's in the stomach as well as what, so smaller meals are better and don't drink too much liquid with meals as that increases the volume of the food.

Have you seen a doctor etc as this is just my advice and what works for me, it's always good to get checked by the doctor.

Good luck NanaMarie....

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/26/2008 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
The tablets are called Colpermin.

mattuk
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/26/2008 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey all. Just rhought id post an update...

Went to see my GP on Monday and he doesnt seem to think it's anything to do with my digestive system, but he hasnt quite told me what he thinks it is. I've been prescribed with Beta blockers now for my anxiety which are helping a bit.

Went for blood tests on Wednesday aswell, fingers crossed I should get the results tomorrow, and then maybe finally someone might tell me what is going on, or not! Hoping ill at least have some sort of idea what is wrong with me soon.

Have to see my GP again next Thursday whatever happens as he said to see him again in 10 days time to see how I was getting on, will have my fingers tightly crossed!...

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/27/2008 2:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the update Matt. Keep us posted. Good Luck...

NanaMarie
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/27/2008 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
 Thanks Katie 1808
 
                    I will try your advice! I do find that i do get a little scared at times because i feel like im going to have a heart  attack. O and yes ive seen so far only two doctors and they have told me the same thing. That im to young to have it and reason why i probably have it is because i dont eat healthy. I've took alot of acid reducers but most of them mad it worse. I eat mostly spicy foods and the doctors have said that will harm my stomach because it is very sensitive. I know thats not good so i will try eating foods that are not fatty. Thanks alot and if you try something new i would love to know so i could try them as well. thanks NanaMarie

rijssel
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 91
   Posted 6/28/2008 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Matt

Do you find taking beta blocks helps with you palpitations? I take 25mg pill everyday and I think it helps. I started taking them because I had those symptoms of a heart attack, but it was not one. Three months later I figured it out to be acid reflux and found this website, which I found to be very helpful.

my palpitations can happen whenever, so I still don't understand them

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/30/2008 4:45 AM (GMT -6)   

I found this:

"Acid reflux, sleep apnea and heart palpitations can all be traced in some way to the food we eat. Hydrogenated fat, refined table salt, mono sodium glutamate, sugar, chocolate, corn syrup, refined oils, baking powder, fried foods, junk foods, carbonated soda and alcohol are all toxins that will cause problems in the human body. Replace these poor health choices with natural foods and you may begin to notice a change in your overall health and you may be able to sleep better at night. Fruits and vegetables have plenty of fiber and natural enzymes that balance the acid-alkaline ratio in the body.

Acid reflux can cause chest pain because stomach acid causes the esophagus to become enflamed and can lead to chest pain. This pain may feel quite similar to pain associated with angina, which is felt by people with coronary heart disease. Acid reflux does not directly cause heart palpitations but it may cause a person to feel extremely anxious which in turn may cause palpitations. Another scenario may be that the person may actually be experiencing a heart related attack of pain of some sort. In this case, the palpitations may be the result of a heart attack. Other symptoms of heart disease that could rule out acid reflux include nausea and shortness of breath."

The full article can be read here...

I have definitely experienced some relief from changing my diet, I've switched from Pizza hut, Curry, Italian foods, carbonated drinks, tea, milk etc. To salads, veggies, white meat, soya milk, water and fruit juices.  (The milk is not out of choice, I can no longer tolerate Cow's or Goat's milk.)

It hasn't cured my GERD but it does help reduce the symptoms along with my Nexium, Colpermin and Probiotic tablets.


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 6/30/2008 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Matt,

I don't get chest pain, but I did have lots of shortness of breath from my LPR until we started the proper treatement. Now I don't have any problems unless I misbehave regarding my diet. I've found that I feel noticeably better when I do avoid *everything* on the trigger list. *sigh*

percycat

katie1808
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 7/1/2008 2:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm gonna join you in that *sigh* Percycat.....

-SHARK-
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/19/2008 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Katie1808 THAT IS SPOT ON how i feel ..... I get a pain in my chest and a tighteness, which then progresses to my left armpit and then down into my left arm, often my fingers can go tingley, if it's really bad then the feeling can go down into my left leg too. Very odd. this has calmed me down alot i have been to 8 doctors 3 er wards and all say anxiety and acid reflux

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/19/2008 6:48 PM (GMT -6)   

Shark,

Welcome to HealingWell.  We are all glad to meet you. I am wondering if you have your anxiety under control or do you need some advice on decreasing anxiety?

See you met someof our members.  WE do have a welcome thread if you would like to post in it.

Again welcome

Kitt 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
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Bartman
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/31/2009 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I am 40 and have similar issues.  May of '08 I went to the emergency room after several episodes of arithmia and palpatations over the course of a week or two.  I had a nuclear stress test, chest MRI, heart ultrasound and the only issue according to my cardiologist was my eject rate was around 38% which was "low normal" for a 39 year old.  He concluded that because of other symtoms like heartburn and wakening at night with acid backed up in my throat, my palpatations and chest pain was acid reflux.  I have been on prevacid ever since.  I still have issues from time to time.  Most of the time things are good.  I have lost about 30+ pounds from 272 to 238.  I am concerned my chest pains are more than acid reflux.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/31/2009 8:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Years ago, before I was diagnosed, I woke up with chest pain so bad I was about to call 911. I chewed several antiacids belched and the pain went away. After that episode whenever I ate something I would get a feeling of food sticking and chest pain. My vision would begin to darken like I was fixing to pass out. Then the pain stopped and I was okay as long as I didn't eat another bite. I hadn't thought about that episode in a long time.

Joy
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