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Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 8/21/2014 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I have GERD and I am a little confused and wonder if someone can clarify something for me....when I have that awful fluttering in my chest that many people get with GERD, which feels like animals scurrying around in your chest, am I right in thinking that this is my esophagus in spasms and not a heart arrhythmia..I have looked online but its not really clear to me...thanks a lot

Trotters
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 8/21/2014 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I suffer with palpitations with gerd and I can actually feel them on my pulse. I have had monitor and a scan on my heart and they came back clear as benign ectopic beats which the cardiologist reluctantly agreed that can be caused my stomach problems. I know mine are stomach related as they "play up" when I've eaten a trigger food or if I lay down to quick and also if my stomach is hunched up like at a desk over computer.

Try not to worry too much. I have come to realise that gerd can have many weird symptoms. Might be an idea to get checked out to be on safe side and to stop any anxiety.

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 8/23/2014 5:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Trotters...it may surprise you to know that I'm not anxious, or a worrier, I had my heart checked and everything was fine, so I'm not going to worry on that score...but I suppose the question I am having trouble articulating is that if my heart is fine then it has to be my esophagus in spasms right?

I'm not on any meds for this and have managed it so far through diet, exercise and my chiropractor, I have UC and I'm finding GERD more difficult to deal with than that would you believe!
Samantha, 45 yrs
Diagnosed. Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014
Pentasa..2g daily
2 x Ultimate Flora 50 billion probotics, Vit D, and Multi vitamin tab daily.
Stopped smoking Jan 2013.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 8/23/2014 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
The heart and esophagus, and a lot of other things, are connected by the vagus nerve. If something irritates one, the other can react. It can go in either direction. It's called cardio-esophageal reflex. I've even had a nasty arrhythmia caused by diverticulitis. The heart can check out just fine in the office and still react when you're eating or have just eaten.

So if your heart checks out OK, then you may suspect something going on with the esophagus or stomach. Keeping a food journal (search with the search box) is a good way to find out if you have any specific food intolerances. For some people it's various chemicals in food, for others it can be texture. Once you get a list of suspected culprits, if there are any, you can google them with "food allergies" and find out what's going on.

It's possible to just have esophageal spasms too. But to check that out you'll need your friendly gastroenterologist. There are all sorts of tests. Barium swallow is one that isn't too bad, not invasive.

Keep in touch!

Poppie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 2152
   Posted 8/24/2014 3:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Alcie, that has been very helpful..I will do some research on what you have mentioned.
Samantha, 45 yrs
Diagnosed. Left sided UC, 8th Feb 2014
Pentasa..2g daily
2 x Ultimate Flora 50 billion probotics, Vit D, and Multi vitamin tab daily.
Stopped smoking Jan 2013.

gtothep82
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/26/2014 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I get those occasionally, but I am pretty certain it's just a spasm in the esophagus as opposed to anything heart related. Had my heart checked out and came back perfectly fine and I could never feel a change in pulse or anything. But I can see how it could be easily confused for a heart palpitation.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 8/26/2014 5:33 PM (GMT -6)   
The problem with transient heart arrhythmias triggered by foods is they never happen when the cardiologist is looking. You might ask for a Holter monitor for a couple of days or a week to catch what's going on.

If you get the monitor, keep a journal so the heart action can be correlated with eating and activities.

On my own, I got a little wrist heart/BP monitor. When I feel the palps or tach I check to see what's going on. When my tach gets over 120 and stays there for a couple of hours despite doing Valsalva and atenolol, then it's time to go to the ER. This all goes in my journal too. It's part of how I determine my food intolerances. (I'm not really apprehensive or nutso. I have autonomic dysreflexia that needs monitoring too.)

Heart arrhythmias, especially atrial ones, are ordinarily felt in the throat. They feel like something running up and down the esophagus, or sometimes just some hiccups or a little throbbing. It's because the esophagus is right beside the heart. Food intolerances seem, at least to me, to mainly cause atrial tach. It's the big ventricular ones that feel like a one-time whack in the chest. Those happen to a lot of people, but tell your cardiologist if you have an awful lot of them because that's important!

Never ignore chest pain. Better to raise a false alarm than miss the heart attack.
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