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VAGUS NERVE and STOMACH or HEART LURCHES (spasms)
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VAGUS NERVE and STOMACH or HEART LURCHES (spasms)

I'm a sixtish male with a history of mitral prolapse/systolic functional murmur, PVCs and PACs. I take very low dose Atenolol. I was told that I have mild acid reflux, but decided to restrict diet rather than take a prescription for that.

I often get what I call "lurches" that seem to be centered in the area of my diaphraghm. These lurches (spasms?) seem to correspond to the old phrase "my heart leaped into my throat." When they were first noticed about 25-30 years ago they were closely correlated with eating spicy food, but were quite infrequent.  Over the years they have varied in frequency of occurence, from a good many days with none, to several a day, to several an hour, to one every few minutes. (Generally, more often as I aged.) About 18 years ago I had them more or less continuously for about 4 hours. A Holter monitor test about that time indicated PVCs and PACs, but no treatment other than the minimum dose Atenolol, and I have never had activity/exercise restrictions.

I have long been convinced that most, if not almost all, of the lurches are STOMACH SPASMS. Doctors have seemed very sceptical of that, insisting they were irregular heart beats. This week I had left arm pain that occurred while having fairly frequent lurches. In the emergency room, bloodwork and EKGs were normal. The doctor (an internist) indicated that the left arm pain might have come from a nerve problem in my neck, and when discussing my "stomach spasms as cause" theory said that the vagus nerve could possibly transfer stomach spasms to the heart.

What is the possibility that my theory is at least somewhat accurate? I would worry a lot less about stomach lurches than if the lurches were from a heart problem!! I have asked several doctors if I could try having my heart monitored aftr eating known "too spicy" foods such as mustard or hot sauce, but got no agreement.

Could the stomach/vagus nerve be a significant source of the lurches? If so, could the lurches  be mistaken for irregular heartbeats? Or, would they almost always/always trigger irregular heartbeats? If the irregular beats are triggered by stomach/vagus, does that mean less cause for anxiety than if they  originate solely in the heart itself? I'd greatly appreciate any information/suggestions/referrals to other info sources, etc. Thanks.  Pete

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If there is continuing concern that the spasms are coming from the upper digestive tract (i.e. stomach and esophagus), there is testing for that.  

You can consider a 24-hr pH probe with esophageal manometry.  This can evaluate the upper digestive tract, and when any such spasms hit, it will be recorded.  The pH part of the probe will evaluate for GERD.  

This test can be arranged by a GI specialist and can be discussed with him/her.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
42 Comments
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Have you tried to take reflux medication to see if the "lurches" subside?

I've often seen patients who are unable to control their acid reflux with diet alone.  Usually starting them on a PPI therapy would subdue any/all symptoms they've seen.

PPI therapy is the most efficacious therapy out right now - because it turns off the activated proton-pumps in the stomach that produce the acid - as well as work on all 3 of the enzymes released during acid production (medication such as Zantac or Pepcid only work on 1).

hope this helps ...

-ckg
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I posted similar symptoms a couple of weeks ago.  I can actually see the beating in my stomach area.  I had an ekg while in symptoms and it showed an extra beat but blood pressure was good etc..  Are your symptoms relieved or made worse by lying down?  Mine are relieved by getting into a prone position or by exercise such as walking.  I NEVER get symptoms while exercising (Over 60 minutes of cardio) and actually feel excellent for hours/days after.  I was given Prevacid which eventually made my stomach feel "lousy" and then Acifex which did the same.  Did you ever try sipping water, it helps me since sometimes my mouth gets dry during symptoms?  I will look into your supposition...it is interesting since sometimes I will get symptoms by sitting with my left arm on an arm rest above my shoulder or my crouching over a computer with tightness in my upper stomach muscles.  Good luck, I will let you know my research.
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Hey Wally,

Have you ever tried Nexium?
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No, I never tried Nexium.  How would that be different from Prevacid or Acifex?  After writing my last post, I remembered that just before the symptoms really appeared in full force, I suffered a fall on ice inwhich I hit the back of my head pretty hard.  I did not lose consciousness, but the blow was pretty severe.  I was wondering, after doing research on the Vagus nerve, whether that fall could have caused the damage to the nerve.  I appreciate the posts of experience....thanks.
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I disagree totally about the effectiveness of acid reflux meds. The simple fact is you must have stomach acid and enzymes to digest food. Nexium and all the other meds are simply another way for the drug companies to make money. Acid reflux or heartburn as it used to be called can be helped with digestive enzymes and a good probiotic. Your colon must also be moving at least once a day if not more. I suffer from benign pvc's as well and experience the exact same stomach lurches. I was told this is an adrenaline rush(fight or flight response.) This is what makes pvc's so very exhausting. Working on strenthening your adrenals is a good step. Licorice root is good, and there are many combination formulas available in your local herb shop or GNC.
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hey wally,

nexium, from my practice, is a far better agent than both AcipHex or Prevacid -- as it is a derivitive of Prilosec.  From the studies that i've read -- it's a cleaner, longer acting version of Prilosec -- so more patients receive symptom relief faster and better with Nexium than with all others.

if you'd like more comparitive data, i'd check out the american college of gastroenterology website for all of the data on the different medications.  they should have a journal search or something of the sort.  I know that Dr. Donald Castell & Dr. Philip Miner have published a lot of studies on the different PPI therapies, I'd check them out if you'd like more info too.

Nexium is the agent that I prescribe most often -- when -- the awful insurance companies will pay for it.

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I'd do a little more research before totally discounting all of the allopathic medical sciences.  There is a difference between simple heartburn and acid reflux disease (or GERD).  I'd check out the Am. College of Gastroenterology website for a lot of info on the different disease states.
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Acid reflux is not a disease. It is called one so that the pharmaceutical companies can make money off of people who want a quick fix for their health problems. Long term use of your PPi's can cause more problems than it supposedly fixes. I don't dismiss all allopathic medicine, but I have a huge problem with Gerd all of a sudden being a disease. The key is to find out what is causing the reflux and go from there, not masking symptoms.
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astro - you sound like one of those conspiracy theorists that think the big evil drug companies are selling phoney meds to enrich themselves without benefit to their patients.  There is no question that GERD is a disease, and medical science isn't "masking the symptoms".  Physicians routinely search for the cause of reflux disease and treat it. Typically, the cause is a weak or dysfunctional Lower Esophageal Sphincter, which can be treated medically, or as a last resort, surgically. Bowel cleansing, unfortunately, has nothing to do with effective treatment of GERD.

There are numerous web sites connected to reputable teaching hospitals where you can do scholarly research to improve your understanding. I know it isn't the easy way out, but the effort is worthwhile. Please try it. You may want to start with a search of the literature on the Lower Esophageal Sphincter.

Best regards,
Chicken Soup
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Thank you for your comments.  I think I will try Nexium although I have been without any medication for almost three weeks and only have occasional "gerd" (after eating too late at night) which is quickly eliminated by Mylanta liquid.  I only had one "episode" of flutter/spasms which lasted 5-10 minutes and was relatvely minor in strength.  I find most of the "episodes" are preceeded by emotional moments (stress).  I am working on eliminating the stress and eating earlier in the evening.  I think in my case, behavior modification would certainly help.

Thanks again, I appreciate other perspectives.
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Well, I don't think I sound like a conspiracy theorists, but obviously we look at things differently. I don't think anyone can deny that the state of our health in this country and the Western world in general has declined dramatically since the advent of processed and refined foods along with the thousands of prescription drugs that have so many side effects(that are listed on the label) and do damage to the liver. Since immunizations became required, there are thousands of children with autism and other learning disabilities. And the list goes on and on. I know on a personal level about pain and gastrointestinal issues. I was bedridden with them. I tried every prescription drug under the sun trying to get better. I never did until I had a car accident and went to a chiropractor who explained to me how the body works. It was for me a "light bulb" moment. I began to research everything I could get my hands on concerning natural means of healing and lo and behold, it worked. Whether you personally believe in it is of no consequence to me, but if I can touch one persons life and change it for the better, then that's what I will continue to do. If you think the pharmaceutical companies want to cure your disease, then the jokes on you. They have NO interest in curing anything. If they did, then it would have been done by now. We spend too much time studying the sick instead of looking at people who aren't sick and seeing what they do and eat and how they live. Prescription drugs for the most part do mask symptoms. That's why at the end of the commercial for the purple pill, it states that a serious stomach condition may still exist. Doesn't sound too good to me.
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Pete, it was interesting reading about your symptoms as I suffer from exactly the same. I could especially identify with the "heart in my throat". I am a 45 year old male living in UK and I have been suffering from what I thought were palpitations for the past few weeks. My fast heart rate occurs first thing in the morning or after I have eaten (usually in a hurry). I visited my GP yesterday and he explained that it was the vagus nerve and I should not worry. He suggested I take magnesium everyday, so I will start doing this and I will post again in 1 month to let you know how I am getting on.
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After 2 years of utter frustration, I was heartened by the posts I just found from Pete, Wally and Bluebottle.  Those symptom descriptions are the closest I've found to my experience, and I'm desperate for answers.  I have a history of GI problems and was thrown into the IBS "bucket" many years ago, though it never seemed to be a very good match for my symptoms.  My first "lurches", or jolts as I call them, were probably 8 or 9 years ago, but they seemed to be rare and isolated events.  Two years ago I had an acute onset of diarrhea, jolts, tachycardia, dizziness, GI pain, and weakness.  The acute phase lasted 8 weeks, during which I lost 25 pounds (20% of my body weight).  I've had many tests (colonoscopy, endoscopy, 24hr urine for catecholamines, EKG, holter monitor, CT scans, screens for thyroid, glucose, blah blah blah).  While stress certainly doesn't help, I don't believe it
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Elizabeth4, I don't think you're crazy at all!  I went to the emergency room on August 12, 2005 with severe chest pains that radiated through my body back between my shoulder blades.  My arm was also numb.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  I had suffered from reflux for a couple of years, but never thought that there could be a connection.  Well, no heart attack!  It was esophageal and stomach spasms brought on supposedly by acid reflux.  An upper GI series a week later showed only mild reflux (perhaps because I was on a double dose of Aciphex).  My upper endoscopy last week showed "nothing remarkable."  No erosions, no Barrett's Esphagus -- just nothing.  So, here I am with the spasms (even as I write this) and no answers.  My new gastroenterologist took me off the Aciphex and told me to take two Gaviscon tablets followed by 4 oz. of water after every meal and at bedtime.  It seems to be doing a good job of controlling the heartburn. All the Aciphex did was delay food being digested in my stomach.  No stomach acid, no digestion.  So, I feel a million times better in that respect, but I'm still on Donnatol (Belladonna) for the spasms.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  Today?  Not.  

Has anyone in this forum been tested for liver problems?  I have not and I'm wondering if I should ask my gastro doc about it.
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Well, a month on and the "heart in my throat" feeling has all but gone away however I still get the sensation 2 or 3 times per day. From what I am reading, I have not been suffering from the same spasms as some of you - it sounds awful. I have been taking 350mg of magnesium everyday (most days) but I really do not know if this has helped or not. I have not changed my diet particularly however I do think that I have been quite stressed recently and that may have been a trigger for the problem. The particular situation that I was worried about(a presentation in front of 50 people) has gone. A coincidence? Maybe I am more relaxed now. Can stress cause refluxing?
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I had the sudden onset of symptoms very much like yours three weeks ago and am having the same experience of tests being normal and no real answers.  I had diarrhea, then racing heart, irregular heartbeat, couldn't catch my breath and then nausea that lasted for nearly two weeks.  Now, the nausea is gone but I have no appetite, never feel hungry.  I've lost 10 pounds and I was only 132 lbs to start.  Did you experience nausea and loss of appetite too during your initial episode too?  You say it lasted 8 weeks, how did it go away?  You also mention that you have recurrent episodes.  Are they as bad as the first one?  How long do they last?  My Dr. says it looks like my stomach is slow to empty, but she can't say what caused it or if it will go away.  The weight loss is very frightening to me, and I can't seem to find anyone else who's had these same symptoms.  Please reply, thank you, and I hope you are feeling well now.
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About two or three weeks ago I started having regular upper stomach lurches,spasms. Now I have pain in left arm. I have been doing some strenuous yard work and house repairs and have been under some stress mentally. I also have change my diet a lot about the same time eating more healthy. I'm 46 very healthy not overweight. This problem came on suddenly. My doctor does not seem to be concerned but gave me famotidine to try for two weeks. I've taken it for three days with no effect but will go on with his presciption. I also had a lot of neck pain, thats gone but the arm pain is still there.

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I have had all the same problems/symptoms as all of you and the same meds nothing has worked. SIX years now and counting! I even have suffered stroke/neurological symptoms from it. But one thing I know that it IS the Vagus Nerve that is causing all of this. My Cousin is a Nurse Practitioner and trys to help me learn. Now the great problem into solveing this is, why do Gastro docs know this and choose to ignore it, ignore us? Vagus Nerve controls alot of things, read up on this please. Vagus nerve causes stomach/intestinal spasums  which in turn throws that fun acid up into the throat and Wah-Lah, GERD! Vegus Nerve controls the heart, epilepsy, it causes malfunctions in the brain and can tell the brain to release adrenalin into your system mimicing STRESS (heart lurches), to name a few......Now what causes the Vagus Nerve to malfunction and cause such pain? It's a "HECKIFIKNOW" thing. I know... one of us needs to go to Med school then come back and cure us all. I have litterly been to over 200 doctors and not one can help. WHY- WHY-WHY-!?! Well as soon as one of you find a doctor that has 100% understanding of our plight, please post it so we all can go and get help. I know there is a new treatment for Epileptics called the "Vagus Nerve Stimulator" which helps to control siezures in epileptics. It is a little box like a pacemaker that turns on and off the Vagus nerve. I wonder if it would help us???? Again any one know a good Doc?   I do agree with the person who said to see a Chiropractor. It does help.  TA-TA!            Val in Cal.

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hello everyone...
at last i feel i have come across people who understand what it is i've been going through...
my ordeal started off with an episode of palpitations two years ago (i am just 28 years old, overweight, sedentary lifestyle with occasional exercise), and it basically changed my life. i became a nervous wreck, waiting for the next episode to happen. Additionally, on and off my heart would 'skip' for no apparent reason, though it would seem to occur more when i am bending or taking in a deep breath (i mean when it happens, not all the time). And then came the 'lurches' which were really bad last year, which i would suffer around 3 times a day. Since then the number of occurrences has reduced a lot, but i still do get them on occasion. I had some heart screening test done 2 year ago (EKG, Stress EKG, Echo sonogram and Holter Monitor -  all the noninvasive tests. Thank God they all turned out negative...
The symptoms toned down a lot within the past year (except for the occasional mild lurches)until i recently experienced palpitations  2 months ago. Since then i feel my health and peace of mind have  gone downhill...i get extra sensitive over any changes in heart patterns, get anxious easily, sometimes feel like there's 'wind' in my stomach right up to my chest... basically lots and lots of symtoms (symptoms) that would suggest something wrong with my heart (especially the palpitations, lurching, and feeling out of breath sometimes).

My questions are:
1) Does anyone think i should have heart screening tests again? (the last one i had was 2 years ago - negative, had AKG done 2 months ago - negative)
2) What should i do?

thanks for listening...
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I have come across this site after looking for help on the web. I have been having extra heart beats for several years. They actually feel like missed heat beats. Recently they have become worse and after one really bad session,when I thought my heart wouldn't start beating again, I saw my consultant and wore a monitor for a week. Needless to say although they did pick up some there were no really bad ones. However for the past few days they have started again and have changed slightly. As well as the missed beats my heart seems to thud and flutter and beats in my throat. Today it it was bad for about 20 mins and although it is doing it now less frequently I feel very uncomfortable. I have read on this site that some people think it is related to reflux and the vagus nerve. Now I have been on Prevacid for 6 years as I do suffer from GERD and have a hiatus hernia and have often thought there was a connection between irregular heart beat and eating, as mine sometimes came on after a heavy meal but am worried that this is not the case with me as my reflux is being treated. Does anyone here being treated for reflux still have the irregular heart beats. I would add that I watch my diet and dont have anything with caffeine in. I am sorry to go on for so long but am sitting here terrified as the feeling of my heart beating irregularly in my throat is so unpleasant. I am a 56 year old female.
Also I have a blood pressure machine and when I am having these episodes I use it as it shows the beating of the heart and I can actually see that it is missing beats. My one worry on this though is that all the family use it and it always works properly, but when I use it when I am having the symptoms it keeps showing errors and won't take a reading. Does anyone know why this is? Thank you.
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spearoelo, the thing that u mentioned with the bp reader is normal..it reads as an error because when ur heart skips the heartbeat becomes irregular and the machine does not know how to calculate it... so it goes into error.

hope this helps
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Thank you.
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After reading your posts I was wondering if any of you have tried Chinese Medicine, or seen an Acupuncturist.
Obviously everyone's body responds differently, but it may really help some of you.
I hope you find some answers, it sounds uncomfortable and disconcerting.
I know someone who suffers from chronic cough with incontinence and was told after all other tests were negative that it must be a vagus nerve problem. Does anyone else experience cough as a symptom?
Is there any way or information about treating a vagus nerve problem?
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Pete and, especially Elizabeth's descriptions closely match my own symptoms.  One thing that is heartening is that, in spite of how unnerving these attacks are (as are my own),  you both seem to have been surviving these for some time now.  For me,  (I have acid reflux, gastroparesis and some irritable bowel issues),  the most disconcerting aspects of my condition are the palpitations and rapid heart rate which occur in tandem with episodes of diarrhea (after several days of constipation). Now even my blood pressure shoots through the roof!

In between these bouts,  I feel great as long as I control my diet and exercise. If I could keep my bowels working daily,  I would find the reflux/gastroparesis quite manageable. Of course,  the cardiac involvement is the most frightening aspect of all of this.  

I just began calcium channel blockers because my blood pressure was alarmingly high during my last episode.  But in between bouts,  my blood pressure is fine,  so I worry about taking medicine for this!

Anxiety does not precipitate these spells, nor exertion.  My cardiac and pulmonary testing indicated no heart or lung problems.  I'm also convinced there is a vagal element to my particular cluster of symptoms.  

I am wondering how often you have these episodes, Elizabeth?  Mine have been occuring about every two or three weeks.  It just seems that my bowels can only take so much and then they need to expell everything in them which seems to put my whole system into overdrive!  These spells are very frightening, but no doctor seems to understand the problem which only increases my existential angst!  My gastro doc says my symptoms are atypical, but that I'll survive.  Sometimes it is hard to imagine what I will be experiencing 5, 10 years from now.  (I am 46). It would be great to know just one person who shares my condition, but I know nobody who does!  This forum offers the first glimmer of hope!

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Wow, I accidentally came across this cause of a paramedic friends story about the Vegal nerve. So I googled it and this post came up.

I've had the same exact symptoms many of you have detailed.  Heart racing, skipping, stomach pumping, leaping, arm tingles pain, sweating, etc.  I went through the battery of blood tests and heart tests too with noting found. I had some panic attacks several years ago so I assumed these symptoms were all part of anxiety problems and never paid much attention to it.  The reason I was able to disregard these symptoms was something actually works for me to stop them.

Years ago my Uncle suffered irregular heart beats and he told me his doctor said to "bear down" like he was taking a large bowel movement to steady his heart, apparently due to the Vegal nerve stimulation.  This works for me too.  (At the least the heart symptoms stop.)  

In my case it is a diet/stress thing.  There are certain spicy foods that I'll pay for eating, especially if I'm physically active or stressed out.  Also, I have a mild case of gluten intolerance or celiac disorder.  I went gluten free for several months as a test and it really made a huge difference for all symptoms.  However, I enjoy bread, deserts etc.(all contain glutens) and spicy foods so I'm back on them in limited doses and have these symptoms return from time to time.

I'm not suggesting it is a cure and make sure you get all the tests but if there is nothing else wrong, here's what works for me. When I get the onset I "bear down" on the Vegal nerve, sometimes take an antacid then go do something that occupies both my mind and my body!  It seems getting busy as well as bearing down makes the symptoms stop farily quickly.

Hope this helps someone!

Best Wishes Friends!

Thanks for reading,
Rob
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I began experiencing some of these symptoms after of what was diagonosed as severe flu which put me in the hospital for two days.  I woke up, felt dizzy, got up, passed out, came out of it and had an extreme need to use the bathroom.  After this I went to the hospital, had all the tests EKG, blood pressure(which was low and normally is low), etc. which all came back normal.  Then I was taken to my hospital room and after laying down passed out again.  Whenever I stood up, I passed out.  As I said this was all attributed to flu.  After I went home I began to experience extreme heartburn (which I thought was a heart attack)I again went to the doctor had normal tests-all normal.  Told me I was experiencing acid reflux. Been dealing with the acid reflux (on occasion) for about 2 years. Recently had another experience which I attributed to having the flu again.  I worked all day, went golfing, sat down to eat dinner with friends, felt a extreme need to use the bathroom and again passed out.  When back home I then experienced all the flu symptoms (chills, fatigue,etc).  Since that time(about 4 weeks) I just have'nt felt myself. My stomach hurts, diarrhea, dizzy off and on, not bad, but just not right. Going to the doctor again...This is new to me--any information?
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Hi Rob,  How long did your uncle suffer from this and how long have you been experiencing this?  I really think you may be right.  The other night,  I woke up with my chest pounding and my heart beating rapidly - a little over 100 beats per minute.   I went to the bathroom and it stopped!  I just started taking new medicine and my bowels are moving more regularly which has helped a lot. But I now have mini versions of what I had before in that my heart will start to pound and beat fast - only now it only lasts a short time.  I go to the bathroom and it stops.  So I think you're on to something!  Just knowing what it is and reassurance that it isn't dangerous is all I need.  Thank you very much!

Maria

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It has been very helpful to read these comments and find out others have had the exact same problem I have.  I have been having PVC's off and on for several years, but lately they have really been acting up.  After reading other stories, I came to the conclusion that these were related to things other than just cardio.  Most of the time, stomach distress has accompanied the worst episodes and that led me to believe that excessive stomach acid and possibly food allergies were contributing to the problem.  I started taking  a product called "Acid Ease" by Prevail, (find it at your health food store) before and after meals.  The PVC's stopped.  I've taken it another step and eliminated my most common food items (yeast, wheat, dairy, POULTRY OF ANY KIND) and caffeine and the episodes have stopped.  This diet is low in acid...almost vegetarian, but I can eat fish and beef, but rarely for the beef.  This is a little restrictive, but beats the heck out of trying to live with a thumping, jumping heart.  I have had food allergies in the past (dairy) and after 3 mos of abstaining was able to add some dairy products back in.  Give this a try and see if it helps anyone you  PS cut out the sugar, too.
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Hi fellow suffers

Out of blue in May - started getting retrosternal pain and PVCs (+ awareness of heart beat most of the time + short runs of PSVT (although never caught on ECG)) with lightheadedness.  Also had panic attacks (was told it was vasovagal)and sleep starts (zapping in head when trying to get to sleep). Out of interest - I am 44 & have menopausal hormone levels.  

Lost weight - stopped exercising - scared to eat a lot.  Now 6 months down line I have more a feeling of spasm behind sternum - often this is connected to a 'missed beat' sensation and it seems to be worse after I have eaten.  I have a feeling there is something still in my oesophagus - I drink herb tea to try and shift this to no effect.

Had various tests - endoscopy clear (slight gastritis)- ECG clear.  Been into casualty a number of times with chest pain/dysphagia. But no-one interested. Pain is often retrosternal but also in back and diffuse intermittent & stabbing.  I been told a variety of things - from wind to spasm to anxiety to GERD. PVCs are benign apparently.  

Drs have tried to get me on anti-depressants.  I have been on Gaviscon (short term relief), Ranitidine (didnt help much)Omeprazole (made discomfort worse), Nexium (only had it a week and couldnt stand the discomfort in stomach). Am now eating bland diet - small meals - mostly semi-solid and lots of herb tea.    

I have been trying to find connection between symptoms and also came up with vagus nerve. Will keep a look out to see how you are all getting on - I am a pale reflection of self prior to May and want to get my life back!

D
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I just stumbled across all of your posts.  I too have all the symptoms you have.  This has really scared me but I am still here to tell you about it.  

I went to acupuncture last Friday and he has done wonders to help my pain in the back, the swallowing problems I am having, the feeling of the roof of my mouth and throat being pulled down to my stomach, the spasms of the stomach and spasms all along the inside of the vertebral column, the sternum pain and left reaching movement pain, etc.

Also have had intermittent slow heart rate.  Sleeping is a challenge as well.

I drink out of a lot of plastic.  I have my favorite plastic 20 ounce glass that I constantly refill, etc.  I also buy bottled water and use a Brita filter pitcher to clean my water.

Maybe we all need to go to distilled water?  How to get this in non-plastic bottle?  Anyone have a distiller they can recommend?

Thanks,

Gerda, Hemet, CA
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I thought I was all better after my last post.  My esophageal spasms were down to one a week and I had no reflux!  But then, the pain in my stomach started.  A stabbing kind of pain, right underneath the breastbone and radiating under both rib cages.  My gastro doc says it's the reflux -- that I'm just feeling different symptoms now.  My endoscopy showed no esophageal erosion, which was good, but it also didn't give me any answers.  I'm back on Prilosec now and I don't really feel like it's doing anything.  I'm supposed to see my doc next month to tell him how the Prilosec is working.  When I see him, I'll ask him about the Vagus Nerve thing.  

For those of you who have experience heart palpitations and panic attacks with this GERD nonsense, I have too. My arm goes numb...the whole nine yards.  All I want to do is feel good again.  Someone told me to try apple cider vinegar (a tablespoon after each meal).  It's supposed to cure acid reflux.  We'll see...I'll try just about anything!  (And, I'll keep you all posted as to my success or failure with it.)
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Hello,
I found this site doing research for my husband who suffers from
these spasms of his heart.  I cant wait for him to come home and read the comments here of people who understand what he is feeling.  My question is to anyone who can explain why when he has an irregular heart beat or feels it coming he has to constantly burp.  Sometimes he burps a couple times and the feeling goes away.  The food allergy idea was interesting as well.
He lifts weights and does cardio regularly and this never happens during the exercise.  A few times this has occured at the gym following his workout.  Sometimes the bearing down works but not always.  All tests have shown no heart damage but he says it if very scary.  
He refuses to take drugs and over all is very healthy.
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Avatar_n_tn
I`m so glad I found this site .
I had been feeling that I was going crazy , the doctors here are not much help .
I too ended up in casualty with severe chest pains but all the heart tests were negative .
The doctor told me the pain was caused by severe spasms and the only treatment was the spray used by angina sufferers . I don`t want to use this though .
My latest trip to the doctors resulted in him prescribing me Prozac !
I`m so glad to have found people who can relate to what I have been going through .
Iwas told my dizziness was down to me hyperventilating even though I knew I wasn`t .
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I am glad I came across this forum. I have finally found parallels to my symptoms. What is going on? I have met at least three other people who have the same symptoms, with about the same time of onset, which are going on undiagnosed. Starts with bloating and stomach pain and over a month it proceeds to chills, nausea and dizzyness. I also get burning of my face and upper body. All tests seem normal, I had this for three monts and had abdominal ultrasound - pancreas and gall bladder sizes normal, no stones. Amylase test is normal. Then I had GI Cat scan, no finding. I'm still so sick! I am too dizzy to drive aroung, I have lost 15 pounds (from 125 to 110) and I don't think I can loose more. No diarrhea, though, only once in a while. Stool culture negative. The ER send me home a month ago because the blood tests didn't show anything really abnormal (that's Canadian healthcare for you).
These days the stomach pain is less, I'm on Librax for the GI, but the nausea and the flushing in my face and burning of skin on upper side of my arms and back across my shoulders, chills and extreme weakness is really worrying me and is getting worse. I look at my little 2 year old and wonder if I'll be here for her. Things just seem to be getting worse from day to day. Some days I get a bit of a break and feel almost normal, just to get a lot worse the next day or next few hours. The periods of feeling better are further in between. I feel quite hopeless and scared. What to do?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had a very similar set of symptoms to those described.

This began around 2 years ago.  The main symptom is a lurching/wobbling sensation in the stomach/lower sternum.  Initially I was getting several a day, and they were very scary.  Now I often go for a couple of weeks without them.

They seem to happen more often just after drinking water, when stooping, or occasionally during bowel movements.

I would also have hot flushes, esp. neck and face before having them, and feel very washed-out after.

A gastroscopy has recently shown that I have a sliding hiatus hernia, but little else.  I have chronically low folate, though my diet is healthy and I do not drink alcohol.

I am amazed by how many people are describing the same or similar symptoms.  I really feel for those who are describing the severe impact this has on their lives.
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Since reading everyones posts here it seems that doctors don`t really have a clue what they are treating .

I decided today to "go chinese"
I had a consultation with a chinese doctor today and he gave me my first session of acupuncture ( he recommends 20 sessions total ) and some herbal tea which he promises will taste foul:-(
  I went in with an uncomfortable feeling in my chest but that has gone now . I will keep everyone posted .

Gerda , how did you get on with your acupuncture ? Did they recommend follow up treatments ?

Queen Spasm , How is the apple cider going ?

The chinese doc said that drugs "poison" the body , we need to treat the whole body instead of individual symptoms.

Good Luck everyone
  tracy x
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Avatar_n_tn
I totally understand.. I'm on your side.. same symptoms, same frustrations.
First of all a question. Were any of you checked for leaky heart valves? (I have Mitral Valve and Tricuspid leaks) Only a doppler-pulse will tell. The doppler-flow might miss the leaks but the "pulse" one will catch it. I also have a partial bundle branch block. I think all these things are related.
From reading your posts, I also avoid some of the meds like Protonix, Prevacid, etc., these have hormones in them.  If you read the side-effects you'll wonder why these things are on the market. I would say stay away from all of these drugs.
One thing I've also learned is that if you cough when having the palpitations it helps to put the heart rate back into a normal rhythm. My cardiologist also told me of a spot on the side of the neck near the carotid artery that if you push on it, it can slow the heart down momentarily.
As to the gastro issues, the older we get (I'm a 54 year old female) the less acid is in our stomach.  So by taking these acid-blockers it causes major side effects.
Another question. Has anyone been given the antibiotic Tequin? I had horrible reactions after taking it for two months.  I started having arhythmias and other severe adverse reactions to it.
Can I share a small warning about going to a chiropractor due to pain in the arm. My friend Willy was misdiagnosed by his primary doctor when he complaned of pain in the chest and arm. The doc knew Willy had asthma and sinus problems.. and something wrong with his heart. The chiropractor pushed on his chest, Willy suffered a heart attack, and eventually died. I'm not necessarily against chiropractors, I just have a little caution about using them as a cure-all.
Last question: Have any of you had any recent procedures where anesthesia was used? I'm really interested in your response because I think in my case the anesthesia is linked to my recent attacks.
Thanks.
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I havve been reading all of your comments and I have had many of your symptoms and then some.  I am a diabetic and over the last 2 1/2 years have suffered from nausea, vertigo, dizzy/lightheaded spells, abdominal pain, lurches, numbness and tingling in arms, eletrical shock type feelings, the feeling in my face that it was burning, difficulty with sweating in my extremities, however in the torso and up excessive sweating, difficulty emptying my bladder, or leakage from the bladder as I did not empty it completely.  I have been seeing a GI, Cardio, and neurologist.  Last May I told them I thought it was Diabetic Autonomic neuropathy. Went to Mayo Clinic to evaulate for this.  Mayo told my I had it but that the nausea and the dizzy spell I had were not being caused by the Autonomic Neuropathy.  They were able to determine by my leak of sweating in my lower extermeties.  It ws not until this year when I started vomitting and not being able to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time that the Dr. finally took my bp and pulse while laying, sitting and standing.  Needless to say my bp went from 138/80 to 100/? and my pulse went from in the upper 70's to 162.  He was know able to conclude that I did have the Autonomic Neuropathy and started me on mestonin which has help.

I tell you all this because the Autonomic Neuropathy is linked to the Vegas nerve.  Diabetes is not the only condition linked to Autonomic neuropathy, autoimmune disorders are also linked.

If anyone would like more information regarding these conditions you can search online or you can let me know and we can communicate of via email

thanks,

amelia
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I can't tell you how happy I am to have found other people with the same kind of symptoms.  I have sufferd for more than 20 years with recently at 59 having some of the worst attacks I have ever had.  Irregular heart beats, that feel like my diaphram is going to blow out of my chest.  I burp, have bloating, run to the bathroom etc.  Been through a battery of tests with the Cardio Dr. Treadmill, dye in the arm, pictures of the heart valves.
Nothing harmful they say "then why do I feel like ****.  Very healthy thin lady, active, eat well balanced diet.  Intolerance to milk products, sugar.
I have read your comments about the vagas nerve. .  VERY INTERESTING CONCEPT. I almost feel vindicated from the Doctors thinking I'm crazy.  I do take antidpressants, Lexapro, Wellbrutrin, but Cardio Dr. says no they don't affect my irregular heart beats.  I have fast runs to 169 sometimes lasting on and off for several hours.  Lots of indigestion. I feel like there is a golf ball in my diaphram. Right between my boobs. Sorry, I need to describe the place. My mother suffered from this and the doctors just said, oh! she's a nut case.  I have tried to get Librax for spasams.  Will see my internist on Monday and I am going to take this web page with me.  My digestive track is all screwed up and getting worse with age. I have lost weight.  Nothing sounds good.  If I eat a good meal, like tonight.  Filet Mignon I will be in the bathroom first thing in the AM.  Almost like an emergency.  My urge to go to the bathroom comes on so fast with lots of bloating and gas.  Everything goes right through me.  Then nothing for several days.  I have to force myself to eat.

What medications have some of you taken to lesson the spasms in the upper GI track.  Thanks to all of you I know I'm not crazy and I feel informed and armed with knowledge to share with my internist. By the way my holter monitor test, showed positive for many severe fast and irregular heart beats.Valves normal, doctors can't explain it. They suggest doing an ablation, which is shocking the heart back into sinus rhythum.  No one ever mentioned the Vagas Nerve.  
I will post follow-up with my internist on Monday.  

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Boltz
Hi-I have had the irregular heartbeat bloating -gas burping for at least 35 years.I also had severe diarhea (diarrhea)
on and off all this time.Ihave had two ablations for rapid heatbeat after medication failed to correct this problem.Unfortunately this worked but left me where i was before -a very slow heartbeat (50-60 BPM).
Prior to the rapid heart beat problem i tried acupuncture for the irregular heartbeat and bloating etc.It acutually worked and whenever it returned i would go back for another treatment.(it worked for a long time
5-8 months at a clip)The acupuncturist advised me the vagus nerve was in fact the culprit for most if not all the above problems.(also some foods would trigger the stomach problems which in turn would trigger vagal nerve agitation etc)For whatever reason acupuncture did not work on the rapid HB.I have been taking a product call Sun Chorella and as a result I have normal bowel movements ,This product is fantastic and I very rarely get the diarhea (diarrhea) anymore.I still get the night gas and irregular heartbeat on ocassion and am going to go back to acupuncture for that .glad i found this forum
Boltz
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i would love more information.. please!! contact me through my myspace.. which you can find me.. under the same name.. Mozartcowgirl. THANKYOU SO MUCH
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I absolutely love this forum.  I too have the bloating, gas, heartburn, PVC's.  I've been prescribed Nexium, Omeprazole, Prevacid, etc.  They haven't really helped.  I feel like I just need something to keep the digestion and bowels moving normally.  All the Dr.'s I have talked to about this look at me like I'm crazy.  They all eventually suggest that I have an anxiety problem and should look into medication for it.  I KNOW it is a digestive problem.  

When I'm having an "episode", usually soon after I eat, I feel very lightheaded and I have the constant need to belch.  I also have an occasional palpitation, accompanied by the feeling that I can't catch my breath - but it all seems to get better if I can make myself belch.  The breathless feeling and the palpitations used to seriously freak me out - to the point where I would panic and call 911 - because it feels like you are having a heart attack!  Now that I know it's not a heart issue, I remain calm and just try to belch, usually by bouncing around and trying to push the air out.  Antacids help as well - although I don't want to get in the habit of taking something that is neutralizing the stomach acid that I desperately need to aid digestion!  

I just scheduled my first appointment with a gastroenterologist (have never seen one before), but after all these posts I've been reading, it sounds like that may be a waste of time and money!  I've been printing out a lot of these posts and want to show them to the Dr., so they know this is going on and that I'm not crazy!  

I'm so glad to know that there are others with this problem that I can talk to!  Why do NO doctors recognize a link between the digestion issues and the breathless/irregular heartbeat/lightheaded thing?  I am going to look into the vagus nerve theory - very interesting.  Thank you everyone for all the advice and for sharing your experiences!
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A related discussion, Vagus nerve was started.
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A related discussion, vegas nerve was started.
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A related discussion, How about Asthma? was started.
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A related discussion, Over Sensative Vagus was started.
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Hi guys. I have been experiencing similar symtoms (symptoms) such as missed beats for many years and saw 2 cardiologists in that time. The symtoms (symptoms) were so distressing that it affected my physicoligical well being until I became to scared to leave my house (aggoraphobic). Last feb I had a take out and within 5 hours woke up to find my heart was fluttering continually and thought I was going to die. My wife called an ambulance and when I got there I was quickly diagnosed with 'atrial fibrilation'! At that time I told the doctors there that this is what I had been experiencing in the past but only for a few seconds at a time and not the 7 hours this attack turned out to last. I was sent home within a day with no diagnosis as there was no physical problems with my heart and a mystery. Firstly I believe that prior to this I was having vagal problems. I visited a dietician and when I mentioned the attack the first thing he asked was 'did you eat take out that day?' I said I had pizza hut in the afternoon and chineese in the eve as it was my wifes birthday. He told me to find the ingredients of both meals as he suspected I had eaten a large amount of MSG or monosodium glutamate. So I checked and sure enough both had E621 which is MSG! He put me on a strict diet of low glutamate (no cheese no poultry or beef and NO MSG) sure enough a year has gone by and no major attack yet. I still get the short flutters like before but some times not for days. I tend to get them if I eat chicken and tomatoes which was what I used to eat a lot of. I am also on a very low dose of tambocor but only half a tab a day when usual is 2 or 3. I hope you guys may find this usefull as I am not the first to be hit by the MSG bullet!
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A related discussion, VAGUS NERVE was started.
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A related discussion, twitching through body was started.
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