Are problems with gallbladder and heart palpitations related?

gallbladder and heart palpitations

The gallbladder is one of the typical organs of the body that one is unaware of unless having problems. It is a sac, located in the right upper abdomen, sitting just below the liver.

Gallbladder’s main function is the storage of the bile, a liquid compound produced by the liver, which breaks down and digest the fats we eat.

It does not produce bile, it merely serves as reservoir for it.

Palpitation is the awareness of the heart beating, a sensation of a skipping beat which can be felt in the chest, or even in the throat.

Gallbladder and heart palpitations can be related to each other.  The following situations of gallbladder affections can stimulate heart palpitations, amongst other symptoms.

1.   Gallbladder attack- is a result of a blockage any part of its bile extraction ducts (cystic duct or choledocus). The most common cause of gallbladder attack is gallstones. Its main symptoms are sudden abdominal pain, vomiting and jaundice.

But, gallbladder attack can be associated also with palpitations.

2.   Gallbladder infection- It is commonly due to the obstruction of one of the ducts that move bile from the gallbladder to the intestine. In some cases, there can be a superimposed infection upon the obstructed gallbladder, causing gallbladder infection.

Its main symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting, fever and differently colored stools.

3.   Gallbladder disease- also called cholecystitis, which is acute or chronic inflammation of the gallbladder. It is the most common type of the gallbladder disease. Its main symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.

4.   Surgical removal of gallbladder- in certain diseases the removal of the gallbladder is inevitable. The procedure, called cholecystectomy, can often be associated with heart palpitations.

Even though not a typical symptom, every aforementioned affection of the gallbladder can cause heart palpitations.

How can gallbladder problems cause heart palpitations?

Gallbladder and heart palpitations can be related to each other. Heart and gallbladder are related via “vagus nerve”. Also called “the wandering nerve” vagus nerve is a cranial nerve, that goes from the brain to the heart and stomach, and works by sending signals to the brain about how these organs are doing.

Some gallbladder problems, like cholecystectomy, cause indigestion. This is due to the improper bile release in the intestines after eating. Indigestion increases the pressure within the intestines causing thus, irritation of the vagus nerve. Being irritated, it cannot function properly and fails to transmit crucial neurotransmitters to the heart, which help in lowering its rate.

Also, indigestion causes an increase in the intestinal blood flow, causing the heart to beat faster. The increased heart can be perceived as palpitations.

In case of a gallbladder attack, gallbladder infection, palpitations can be due to the pain, anxiety or fever.

1.   Pain-it affects vagus nerve which can result in increased awareness of the heart beating.

2.  Fever- fever stimulates the heart to beat faster, due to increased metabolism, and this rapid heart rate can be perceived as palpitations

Anxiety- sometimes palpitations can be due to the anxiety of people who underwent cholecystoectomy or, in case of having other affections such as infection or a gallbladder attack, fear of experiencing pain can cause anxiety and palpitations.

What is the solution?

Heart palpitations in a case of gallbladder problems are caused, most of the times, by the improper function of the vagus nerve. Some home remedies for vagus nerve induced palpitations can be very helpful. Here are some of the remedies you can take into consideration:

1. Ginger capsules- 550 milligrams taken three times a day with meals.

2.   Diet- eat small portions of food various time a day, in order to improve the indigestion

In the case of a  gallbladder infection of gallbladder attack, treating them will improve the palpitations.

In the case of palpitations resistant to the aforementioned tips, a full check to your doctor is a must, because there can be an underlying heart disease causing them.


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