GERD and heart palpitations

gerd and heart palpitation

What is GERD as per definition?

GERD(stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease)- it is a chronic  digestive disorder caused by an affection in the lower esophageal sphincter. (LES). Normally, the food passes through the esophagus to the stomach and not the other way around. In GERD, the insufficient LES allows the stomach content(stomach acid and semi-digested food) to flow back up  into the esophagus.

The stomach content burns and irritates the lining of esophagus causing GERD symptoms. The classic GERD symptoms are :

1.    Heartburn- a burning pain starting from the stomach and rising towards the throat. Sometimes it is located in the middle of the chest.

2.    Regurgitation-the flow back of the food from the stomach to the throat and even to the mouth.

3.    Acid taste in the mouth-caused by the stomach acid.

4.    Sudden increase of saliva- a defense mechanism. Saliva is produced to neutralize the acidity of the stomach content.

Some other symptoms of GERD are:

1.    Cough- especially at night. Aspirating the acid content of the stomach can even result in aspiration pneumonia.

2.    Laryngitis.

3.    Asthma- GERD worsens asthma by irritating the airways.

GERD is diagnosed by measuring the esophageal pH and it is treated by making lifestyle changes. Sometimes drugs, and even surgery procedures are needed if the lifestyle changes fail to treat it.

How can It cause heart palpitations?

GERD and heart palpitations may be related to each-other in some individuals. This is due to the link that exists between the heart and the stomach: The vagus nerve.

Excess amount of acid reflux in esophagus can trigger extopic beats in the heart, resulting in palpitations.

The link between GERD and heart palpitations can also be the treatment used to treat GERD. One common drug used to treat GERD is Omeprazole. In some occasions, Omeprasole depletes magnesium in the body, and this brings the electrolytes out of balance. This can lead to PVC(premature ventricular complexes- one form of palpitations), or can worsen one’s PVC.

But, regardless to the theories, it is unclear the mechanism how GERD can trigger heart palpitations. Further studies are yet to be made.

How to resolve heart palpitations when having GERD?

If one is having GERD and heart palpitations simultaneously, getting the reflux under control will result in getting heart palpitations under control too.

Getting the reflux under control can be done by:

1.    Drinking a large glass of water- It will help In washing the acid away.

2.    Eating an apple- a lot of people have found eating an apple very effective in relieving heart burn and palpitations.

3.    Making some ginger-it can be taken in form of a tea, eaten or in a spiced form.

Preventing acid reflux is as much important as treating it. Prevention can be done by:

1.    Eating smaller meals-to help your body to digest more easily the food, by preventing the reflux.

2.    Do not lie down at least 2 hours after eating- Staying upright after eating allows gravity to keep stomach acid and eaten food in the stomach.

3.    Avoid foods that trigger GERD- foods such as onions, garlic, alcohol, wine, caffeine and citrus fruits irritate the stomach and cause GERD.

Despite the increasing number of people suffering from GERD and heart palpitations, the relation between this two conditions is yet unclear due to the lack of studies on the matter.

More related info.

Can stomach gas cause heart palpitations?

Gallbladder and heart palpitations related?

Hiatal hernia palpitations

esophageal spasm palpitation?

Can gas cause heart palpitations?

Are bloating and palpitations related?

Heart Palpitations after Eating

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