Menopause and GERD and PVCs ?

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bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/25/2012 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 53, have reflux (GERD) along with "new and improved" stomach issues, am in perimenopause, and now have frequent heart palpitations (PVCs).  In 4 months, I officially graduate to "menopause"... whoo hoo  rolleyes  
  
I've been on Prevacid 1x/day for reflux for several years, and until recently, it has generally been controlled.
 
Approximately 5 months ago, I noticed several physiological changes that concern me  smhair
 
- Anemia
- Stomach irritation including bloating, excessive gas, and frequent bowel movements with darker stools.
- Reflux that is not as well controlled as it used to be. I recently upped prevacid to 2x/day.
- Heart palpitations (PVCs), which have become frequent and bothersome to about 850/day, based on last holter monitor.
 
My cardiologist has done all the tests to confirm a stucturally sound heart. A routine colonoscopy and endoscopy was done 7 months ago and was fine. A recent Fetal Occult to test for boold in the stool was negative. Iron supplements have helped the anemia.
 
In my web search for answers, I have seen many posts correlating 3 things:
Menopause
GERD (or other stomach issues)
PVCs
 
My biggest concerns are the stomach/gas/stool changes and the frequent PVCs. Several posts suggest a correlation between stomach issues and PVCs, which interests me since they both started around the same time. One post suggested magnesium supplements to help the palpitations.
 
I was just checking in with others to see if anyone else has seen these correlations or has a similar situation, so I don't have to worry that it's more serious.
 
Many thanks for reading this long post and posting your replies.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 2/25/2012 6:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, thought I'd reply on a couple of points. There is an older thread about menopause and GERD - I'll see if I can find it for you.

Regarding darker stools, that can be due to the iron supplements, but if you have had that sign before taking iron supplements then it may be worth doing a couple more FOBs to rule out bleeding from the gut or the stomach.

I have also had anaemia with my GERD and at first I thought it was due to my GERD (I have mild gastritis) but after having monthly blood checks for a while, my GP felt the anaemia was more likely a side effect of the ppi (my white cells and platelets are also slightly lower than my normal values). After monitoring it for a while it became clear things were stable. I was willing to do FOBs but they are no longer available - they just do colonoscopy if they suspect blood loss!! That seemed a bridge too far, and my haemoglobin being stable from the anaemia point of view, I just plod on.

I do think hormones must play a part - certainly I had bad reflux during pregnancy (for the entire 9 months). I think it's entirely possible the LES can experience more relaxation due to hormones swinging around during the menopause - probably a combination of factors....

Did you get your thyroid checked - thyroid problems can affect iron absorption.

Hope you make some progress soon.

MMM
New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 2/25/2012 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
MMM- thank you very much for your reply, but I am unfamiliar with terms FOBs, ppi, LES? Please elaborate/explain what they mean.

Fyi...
-Darker stools occurred/still occurring prior to iron supplements
-Thyroid is controlled with synthroid currently @ 125 mcg to maintain levels under 2.0 (about 1.86 now)
-Gastroenterologist's next step is fo me to swallow camera pill to examine parts of intenstine/colon that colonoscopy doesnt get to.

Thank you MMM

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 2/25/2012 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
FOB = faecal occult blood
LES = lower oesophageal sphincter
PPI = proton pump inhibitor e.g. omeprazole

Sorry about that!

Yes, if you had signs of blood loss before the iron supplements then they would want to try and track that down. Did you get tested for coeliac disease?

Hope things get sorted for you soon.

MMM
New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/25/2012 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Beth, about a year ago, at age 58, it was discovered I had severe anemia (I was barely able to stand). I'm sure, from most of the symptoms, I'd been anemic for years. After many scopes, tests, etc, no one could tell me why I was anemic but I started taking iron supplements twice a day. Doctors also decided I needed surgery for a large paraesophageal hernia (stomach herniated into chest) which was causing erosions in my stomach and esophagus. It was when I researched the surgery (nissen fundoplication) I discovered anemia is common with these hernias. The gut is bleeding into the body somewhere and the body absorbs it. No doctor ever told me this. I don't even know if they know it's related.


Before my surgery in December it was discovered I had PVC's. Had to have last minute stress test and found my heart was in good shape and the PVC's were harmless. Could be related to long term anemia.

Anyway, it's something to think about. Do you know if you have a hernia? Have you had a stool study to check for blood? Getting older is kind of a drag, huh?

Best wishes to you!

Starry

Post Edited (imstarryeyed) : 2/25/2012 7:48:23 PM (GMT-7)


bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/1/2012 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Starry-
I have never heard of this- hernias and anemia. I have had endoscopys and colonoscopys and wonder if hernia would show up?? How did they find yours...CT scan?

I am less worried now about PVCs as I now understand how common they are with menopause.

My real concern is the constant IBS like symptoms, followed by immediate bowel movements and unbelievable excess gas all day long. I have been on prevacid for years but perhaps it is not working.

Yes...had stool study ...no blood.

and yes...getting older is a major drag.
thx
beth

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/1/2012 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Interesting post by Starry.  Beth, if your  Fecal Occult test was  negative and the  Iron supplements have helped the anemia then I would go with your GI physician's plan to do further studies. 
 
I agree with aging we have changes in our body that we are not always prepared for but most of the time the changes are part of the normal aging process so try not to overthink the darker stools.
 
IBS is one disorder that can be nasty to live with but it generally does not harm us.  Mine waxes and wans.  redface
 
Keep posting with us. We understand what you are going through. We are here to listen, support and help where we can.
 
Kindly,
Kitt 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination."

Tinlou
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 395
   Posted 3/1/2012 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Many women, including me suffer from the heart palpitations and gerd and peri-menopause has a lot to do with it I believe. It is quite common as I know from experience unfortunately.

bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/5/2012 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you all

imstarryeyed
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 3/6/2012 2:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Beth, My hernia showed up in an x-ray when I was being checked for pneumonia. After it was found I was sent for a barium swallow. That was several years ago and it was decided to be harmless. 2011, new surgeon and by now severely anemic immediate surgery recommended.

I have never had IBS like symptoms. When I was younger I had more stomach issues but over the years I've learned what I can and can't eat and stick with that. (No meat, dairy, no fried) Could you be reacting badly to a certain food or food group? I hope you get this figured out.

Starry

bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/13/2012 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
accidentally deleted subscription to my own thread and trying to reestablish it with this post.

Lizzy8956
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/15/2012 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Just joining in to say I'm another sufferer of GERD and palpitations associated with menopause. I take omeprazole (20mg daily) for the GERD, propranolol for the palpitations and HRT for the hot flushes! I don't have any magic solutions I'm afraid, but at least there seem to be lots of us in the same boat and we can take comfort in that :-) According to my mum, things do get better once your body has got used to all the changes brought on by menopause, and she's 89!
 
Oh, might be worth checking with your doctor about whether the treatment for reflux is interfering with iron absorption. Meat sources aren't affected, but if you get most of your dietary iron from vegetable sources then acid reduction can interfere with absorption.

Post Edited (Lizzy8956) : 3/15/2012 5:09:40 PM (GMT-6)


bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/19/2012 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I had the capsule study which showed nothing... thankfully.
 
My gastro says anemia sometimes does present, and they often do not know why exactly. He said since my Jan bloodwork showed I was no longer anemic and since iron levels, although a bit low, have responded to iron tablets, he does not recommend further GI testing, such as a belly cat scan, which has fair amount of radiation.
 
I have noticed also that the gerd itself and excessive gas has also subsided a bit, as have the PVCs. If the PVCs are  related to anemia then it makes sense since my iron levels are rising.
 
I did also visit my gyn to have exam, and he gave me script for pelvic ultrasound and internal just to ease my mind about the female cancers associated with bloating, etc. I await those results. If that is negative also (hopefully!) I will likely chalk all this up to trials and tribulations of menopause and getting older.
 
beth

bethg0516
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 3/25/2012 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Well...results are in.
Capsule study negative
Pelvic ultrasound negative.

Gerd and gas better since taking prevacid 2x/day. PVCs come and go.

Time to chalk gerd, pvcs, gas up to good old menopause.

Aint it just great getting older ;)
thx

Featherstar
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 3/26/2012 4:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi beth156,unfortunately menopause can be linked to palpitations..these are usually harmless and resolve as you go through menopause...I have just has a return of Gerd...since becoming menopause...so many of us seem to have onset of Gerd around this time...I have read that ppis are associated with less iron uptake..as reflected above in earlier posts ..but also sometimes women's periods get heavier during peri menopause and can be associated with fibroids but your pelvis u/ s was normal so probably not the cause...good luck
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