Heart Palpitations after Eating

Palpitations are the perception of heart movement. Palpitation after eating is one of the major non cardiac causes of palpitations. 

What Food or beverage cause heart palpitations after eating? 

Feel Heart Palpitations after Eating/Drinking

There are a lot of foods and drinks that can be associated with palpitations:

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated caffeinated drink (for example coca cola)
  • Caffe, black tea
  • Energic drink (red bull)
  • Spicy food
  • Food that cause flatulence (cabbage, lettuce, beans etc.)
  • Heavy meals with fatty meats (pork, lamb etc.)

Why you would experience heart palpitations after eating?

You are experiencing these symptoms because eating too much of a food feel and stretch your stomach which is in close contact with your heart. This is why after a heavy meal you may be aware of heart beats (i.e you feel palpitations). (The same reasoning is during abdominal flatulence because small and especially large intestine is in close contact with diaphragm and heart too.). 

Alcohol, energy drink, caffeinated drink and tea cause palpitations through their direct effect on cardiac work. They enhance sympathetic system activity, which cause tachycardia and other arrhythmias (which are field as palpitations). 

How to avoid having heart palpitations after eating?

The general rule to avoid palpitations in this patient  is: "don't eat foods (or drink) that be the cause of your symptoms".

  • As a first thing to do is to avoid excessive drink of alcohol, café, black tea, energy drinks etc.
  • Secondly is to avoid eating to much, to soon.
  • Thirdly he should eat small quantity of foods and to often (five times a day).
  • Fourthly he should avoid excessive use of red meat especially pork and lamb.
  • At least but not the last he should avoid spicy foods and excessive use of cabbage, lettuce, beans etc.if you see that their use is associated with palpitations. 

What medications to use in patients with Heart palpitations?

Usually, these symptoms are mild and don’t require special treatment. In few cases they require symptomatic treatment because they may be followed by other symptoms (tachycardia, chest discomfort, heart burn, tachycardia, abdominal cramps etc.). 

In case of tachycardia the use of a betablockers (for example: atenolol 25 mg, metoprolol 25 mg, bisoprolol 2,5 mg etc.) is of help. In case of heart burn or GERD use of antacids and PPI (for example omeprasol 20 mg, pantoprasol 20 mg etc.) is of help. Also is the use of charcoal tablets is indicated in patients with excessive flatulence.

What examinations are needed for patients who experienced heart palpitations after eating?

If you are experiencing palpitations after eating is recommended to do the following examinations:

  • Blood work especially liver and pancreatic enzymes
  • ECG
  • Cardiac ECHO
  • Stress test
  • Holter monitoring
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Upper endoscopy

These examinations are of help in determining the right type of arrhythmia you do in this conditions and precipitating factors. Also these examinations are of help in ruling out serious cardiac problems and to determine the best treatment for you.

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