Bubbling in chest causing heart palpitations?!! Help!

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/14/2010 12:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

I'm a 25 year old female and I've been dealing with what I'm about to describe for about 6-7 months now.

One night while sitting down eating dinner I had a large THUMP in my chest, it scared the daylights out of me and my heart raced for about an hour because I was so scared. Since then I notice about 3-6 times a week I'll have a palpitation or flutter feeling in my chest. It actually feels more like a spasm than anything else. All of the time when it happens I'll be either sitting, resting, bending over, turning my head, or walking along. It never happens when I'm working out or doing something exerting. It happens sometimes a few times in a day then goes away for a few days then comes back for two days. Sometimes I'll only feel one, sometimes it's a few in a row, sometimes it's one or two throughout the day. Mostly they happen at night, but sometimes they will happen in the middle of the day, but never in the morning or during sleep. It's began to affect my anxiety levels, and makes me very anxious throughout the day.

Since then I've also noticed quite a few other symptoms come along.

*my nose sometimes feels like it swells on the inside, feels tight and hard to breath through
*my hair is thinning
*twitching and muscle spasms randomly through out my body
*bubbling and build up of gas in my stomach/chest that doesn't seem to want to come out
*bubbling, gurgling and lots of noise when I first wake up without eating anything at all
*sometimes a little bit of acid reflux - never hurts my throat and I never get heart burn
*diarrhea on and off for a day or two
*extra anxiety

Sometimes these palpitations occur when my bubbling is really bad at night about an hour after eating, sometimes they happen with no other symptoms happening.

I've been to the doctor a million times, I've been tested for digestive problems, candida, overgrowth of bacteria, heart disease, hyperthyroid, celiac, all come back normal. I don't have any real pain except for the occasional bloating from the gas. There is no chest pain, my heart doesn't race, no shortness of breath.

I've tried a million things that don't seem to help. I've tried extra magnesium, extra potassium, extra calcium, I drink more than enough water, I eat really fresh mostly veggies and fruit, little chicken and meat. I'll cheat every once in a while with a pizza slice or bowl of ice cream, but for the most part very healthy. I'm not over weight, I exercise occasionally throughout the week, I don't take drugs, I don't use medication, I don't even take aspirin. I have not tried any antacids or gas medications, as I heard that it may effect people with acid reflux strangely.

I've kept a journal of my food intake for a little longer than a month and I can't pin point a certain thing that may be causing this. It happens at strange times and nothing in particular seems to bring the palpitations on except the bubbling under my chest and excess gas.

I'm thinking it could be GERD related but I don't know what I should or shouldn't take to relieve the bubbling and gurgling without irritating it more. I want to get rid of the bubbling and gurgling, as well as the acid reflux and palpitations.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! I feel extremely lost.
Thank You!!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/14/2010 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning,
May I kindly suggest that you see a GI specialist if you have not already.  You have many symptoms and some of these could be anxiety related as well as GERD.
You should be able to obtain a dx from a GI doctor.
Good luck and I am sorry to read things are so rough for you right now.
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/14/2010 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the reply stkitt. I have not seen a GI, is that a Gastrointestinal Doctor?
I actually don't have insurance and I pay out of pocket for my other doctor visits, so from all the tests I've taken I'm pretty much in the hole right now.

My main doctor seems to think that all of this is anxiety related, but I don't think I'm getting reflux from anxiety. And I'm not even sure if I can call it reflux, it never burns or hurts coming up, I'll just feel it in the back of my throat and it will go back down. Sometimes when I burp something will come up with it as well, but it never hurts.

Most of my symptoms never really hurt except for the gas they are just really annoying and stress me out.

Do you have any suggestions for things I can try to help get rid of the reflux, bubbling, and heart palpitations, without having to go to the doctor. Maybe diets that work or over the counter meds that help? I won't be able to see another doctor for at least a month because of my bills.

Thanks for your suggestion!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 12/14/2010 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Check into some of my old posts about keeping a food journal, also cardio-esophageal reflex. Put the words into the search box at the top on the page.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/14/2010 7:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,
I do believe you commented on my earlier post about this. Thanks again for replying and helping me out. I actually lost the original post somehow and couldn't find my way back to it to reply to you. I kept a food log since the day you told me to, and I honestly just can't pinpoint anything that is actually causing it all. and I have noticed the acid reflux, I really wasn't noticing it before and now that someone mentioned it, I do realize that I do feel it come up my throat without a burn or any sensation, it just comes up my throat, sometimes in burps. The bubbling and grumbling in my stomach is getting really loud in the morning now, even before sitting up out of bed or eating anything. But still the palpitations don't occur until after I've eaten. I'm still not sure if I should even call them palpitations, because sometimes they feel so differently. Sometimes I'll be laying down with no other symptoms and I'll feel a thud or flip flop, sometimes I'll be walking my dog and because of the cold weather I'll shiver and I'll feel a flutter, other times when my gas and acid reflux are acting up it feels more like a spasm like I lost my breath. And the gas build up I get feels like a bubble bath over flowing in my stomach up into my chest. It just feels like it bubbles up and up and up and doesn't want to actually come out.

So besides the food log and avoiding certain foods (because I'm not sure what those foods are yet), what other things do you do to stop the palpitations and reflux? I've heard of apple cider vinegar, carrot juice, and ginger tea? Also what are your thoughts on over the counter medicines like Prilosec OTC and gas pills like phazyme? Someone in another post mentioned those to me, but I always thought that people with GERD and things of that nature, it was bad for them to take?

I've also taken gas x and beano and things of that nature many years in the past before my palpitations started and they seem to do no good for my gas.

Also I just think it's strange that these palpitations came on out of no where, because I've always had a loud stomach and excess gas, never noticed the reflux until someone mentioned it, but I never got the palpitations like this.

Could it be that Anxiety and Reflux are both causing two different types of palpitations?

Any reply is greatly appreciated again!
Thanks for your time

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/14/2010 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Something else I've been thinking about can gluten cause these effects in me? The bloating, gas, bubbling, acid reflux, hair loss, and heart palps?

I've been tested for celiac disease and it came back negative, I don't eat much of it, but I'm thinking maybe trying a total gluten free diet may help? Maybe I have an intolerance for it?

I'm sort of up to try anything at this point, it's been bothering me more and more each day.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 12/15/2010 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
The blood test for celiac isn't very accurate, but the biopsy is, so it depends on which test you had. also you can have a wheat allergy and not have celiac. I feel better when I avoid wheat, although I am not celiac.

The arrhythmia could be just triggered by a gas bubble in your stomach. The gas bubble is what I noticed first, but I also had a bunch of food intolerances which started the heart going fast and the stomach refluxing. It took me months of recording my foods to figure out that half an hour to 2 hours after eating I would get reflux from a large list of foods. Certain meds, including OTCs will do it too!

I saw a cardiologist who had me on a monitor for a week, but it never recorded an arrhythmia since the radio signal was on a cell phone frequency that isn't available at my house - so the monitoring company got a signal every day when I went into town, and they said no arrhythmia. The 24 hour Holter monitors aren't much better because you might not have a problem on one single day. But they're worth a try!

I have no clue about the hair loss, although I have it as a senior. Maybe an endocrinologist could check your hormones.

Before starting on acid reduction treatment you should see a gastroenterologist.

Bloating and gas can be caused by a huge list of "gassy foods." You can do a search for the lists. They have mostly complex carbohydrates. You might try avoiding them for a while, maybe reintroducing them one at a time. Understanding these foods is key to avoiding bloat. I didn't realize that the artificial sweeteners did this - because of the dextrose in them which we don't digest but the bacteria do! Soluble fibers are digested by the bacteria too! And of course sodas, which give you gas in the stomach.

Other causes of gas are gallbladder, appendix, and celiac. "Cures" are probiotics - like adding yogurt. But that doesn't stop everything.

Well, that's enough for you to research for now. Do see some doctors! I'm not one!!! We're just all patients here, and our stories are just personal experiences.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 12/15/2010 4:29 PM (GMT -6)   
My heart is very sensitive to what my stomach and transverse colon are doing. If I have alot of gas in my stomach, it gives me irregular heartbeats. If I have stool in my transverse colon, it gives me irregular heartbeats. I too have that vibrating sensation in various parts of my GI tract. I think its gas bubbling along. Then again, maybe its sort of a muscle twitch/spasm. You might try some sublingual B12. That sometimes calms muscles down.
You just look at my heart funny and it beats irregularly!
Good luck to you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 12/15/2010 9:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I am pretty new to this fourm as well. I feel the fluttering, thudding or palpitations in my chest as well. I can be sitting down and think about some up and coming event that may excite me and I get a quick thud, then I may think if something that makes me up set and I feel the flip flop fluttering in my chest. I can be doing nothing at all just sitting here at the computer doing nothing physical and feel it. In the past 6 days it feels as thugh it has been happening more. I do suffer form GERD, I have recently had a ultrasound a week ago and just had a barium swallow and am going to the doc for my results tomorrow. Which is why I am thinking that maybe it is my anxiety bringing on the flip flpo flutters. The only thing different is that I do have chest pains, somedays all day, somedays none at all. My doctor tells me it is GERD related, but until I find out what the issue is I will have to suffer. It's been going on for months now.
I guess I am probably not much help, but I just thought that I would let you know that you aren't the only one.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 12/16/2010 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Jaki......are any of these episodes related to your menstrual cycle?

New Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/9/2012 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I am so glad you have posted your symptoms as I have been experiencing them as well. I am 45 years old. 2 years ago I went to the ER because of stomach pain and shortness of breath. They ran a battery of tests on my heart and it is fine. They diagnosed me with GERD. I later followed up with a GI Doc that found out I have a small hiatel hernia as well. I had my gallbladder removed 15 years ago due to gall stones. I am on Pantaprazole 40 mg daily for the last year. I still experience stomach acid, gas and bloating. I experience PVC's off and on. They are more frequent before my monthly cycle. I also have on several occasions had that feeling of gas in my chest causing my heart to flutter or spasm. It can last several minutes. It is scary! I have been wondering if all these issues are caused from a combination of food sensivities/intolerances. I am lactose intolerant and am thinking that I may have allergies to wheat and nuts as well. I eat a lot of carbs since protein and raw fruit and veggies are really hard for me to digest. I am unable to eat a lot of my favorite "healthy" foods and it is quite frustrating. I have issues with anxiety but do not take any meds for it. I know that when I am stressed and anxious it wreaks havoc on my GI system. I think that my hormone levels are declining and fluctuating which are also adding to the GI/heart issues. I just wanted to thank all of you for posting. It is nice to know someone else out there is suffering with the same issues and can offer advice.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 5/9/2012 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum, Katthy.

Although you went a couple of years ago to the GI doc, it might be a good idea to follow up with a visit to a cardiologist. As a patient, not a doctor, I would want heart "flutter" for several minutes to be checked out.

But as a patient only, I'll still put my money on the stomach and esophagus, from your description. Cardioesophageal Reflex (not reflux) can trigger heart arrhythmias. I get tachycardia, rapid heart beating.

To identify your food triggers, I hope you'll keep a good food journal. Lots of posts on that - put the term in the search box at the top of the page. It's not unusual to get lactose intolerance and wheat sensitivity or even allergy as you get older.

I have a hard time getting enough protein because of a sensitivity to sulfites, found in pork and beef, also a lot of processed soy. I mostly eat chicken and fish. I'm gradually adding in peas and some types of beans, along with lots of Beano, which doesn't seem to help me much. When I ate mostly carbs I just got fat, and it was really hard to get my diet more healthy and lose it. I eat cooked veggies because I don't seem to tolerate raw ones well. Some fruits are more tolerable than others. I do try to eat salads because I don't get enough vitamin K otherwise.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/4/2012 12:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys, I've had alot of these problems aswell. I went through all this in 07 and it took a while for me to figure out. The PVC are from eating things that are harder or take more acid to digest, that kick it your chest or feeling like your heart is beating too slow, that's a PVC stay away from beef jerky. I was 190 and in 2 months dropped to 130 but I found a safety food which was turkey sandwiches so load up on them. After about 6 months of regular walks and turkey sandwiches I was cured no more protonix or panthoprozole.. I was eating chocolate, pizza and oj again, but I did it too much and got right back in this position again although its worse now. Just so you know you can fix it! Just take care of your body and it will take care of you, good luck all!
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