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acid reflux and pvc's
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acid reflux and pvc's

I am 31 years old, male, I experience pvc's usually after eating. I have chronic heartburn, but not severe, rarely wakes me at night, but have been awakened from aspirating acid and not being able to breath (very scary) thankfully this is very rare (1 or 2 times in the last 3 years). I have had an upper GI series and am awaiting the results about possible hiatal hernia.  However, my question is, What is the connection between acid reflux and PVC's. I've asked my doctor this question a couple of times with no details of why.  Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Dedar William, Medical literature does not report a significant association between reflux and irregularities of heart rate.  If you review our archives, however, you will find many reports of patients with cardiac arrythmias and reflux who report an improvement in the heart problem with agressive treratment of the reflux.  It should be noted that there is  wide array of cardiac arrythmias reported in the archives and there are proposed different mechanisms for the various problems.  On balance, however, you should talk to your doctor about medical therapy for the reflux.  It should not make your heart problem worse (assuming that you do not have other illnesses) and may make it better.
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I can tell you that after I eat mine get worse. I am awaken at least 3 times a week from acid burning in my throat, after I awake an sit up the burning subsides. I then run to the medicine cabinet and pop a Previcid.

I also get a bunch of other weird symptoms, Chest Pain, Burning, down the arm more left than right, Pain in left leg, neck, Throat feels like lump or even tight sometimes, ears burning, headaches and ringing ears. My left cheek from my jaw line to up to my eye feels numb and bruised sometimes.

I have terrible sinus drainage and have a soar throat and cough.

I have had all these symptoms and more for 2 years now, Seen dozens of docs, had a full cardiac workup by a cardiologist, had ultrasounds of the chest and abdomen, been to the ER in the past 2 years at least a dozen times thining I was having a heart attack, everything checked out fine.

So here I sit, with anxiety and I had a whopping Panic Attack the other day when I drove myself to the ER again (was released with everything ok again).

I wish a doctor existed out their that could really help me, but I feel that I may never find on!

PVC's are normal, I get many a day and the cardiologist said they are harmless.

Whats really strange about my symptoms, they are present in the am (very little) and grow steadily worse until they peak right after lunch up to about 4 0r 5 pm, then after sundown, say around 8pm I feel almost wonderful, just with a few underlying symptoms.

Well, don't worry... you'll be alright!


Eric...
***@****
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I GET ACIDS IN MY THROAT FROM THE LEAST I EAT OR DRINK THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A WHILE NOW.PLEASE GIVE ME SOME GUIDANCE AND MANY THANKS FOR YOUR TIME.{EJ}
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You are 100% right about there being a connection between acid reflux and PVC'S. I am also 31 years old and have had two Hiatal Hernia surgeries. I have PVC's all the time. They are worse when my reflux gets worse. They are better when my stomach feels normal. I have a lot of scar tissue from the surgeries which I feel is making my PVC's worse at times.I am being evaluated again by a Gastroenterologist. All Cardiac tests have been normal. Doctor's need to research the link between the esophagus and PVC's. This problem exists and needs to be looked into. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail to discuss.

   Erik  email-  ***@****
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Hi,

My opinion after suffering from GERD for 2 years now is that I feel the connection between the PVC's and GERD or the esophagus is the Vagus nerve!

I have had many strange symptoms from GERD like Pain in the Chest, Arms, Legs, Neck, Head (back of neck) and also a numb/bruised feeling on my face around the cheeks. Most symptoms always after meals and can change when sitting and when standing almost imediately. I feel very strongly that there is a nerve connection between this and PVC's and other symptoms as well.

Doctors will not recognize this because its not 'TEXT BOOK', if they did'nt read it in a medical journal or learn it in medical school then its just plain out voodoo and not valid!!!

This is where the change must begin, Doctors need to learn that not all symptoms will follow the Medical Book Step by Step Guide! The human body is a very complex bio/electric organisim and each mind and soul adds a customized set of unique characteristics!!!

Eric
***@****
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I came across your post searching for similar connections.
I have had pvc's very bad for like ten years, and paroxysmal tachycardia.
This past week something is wrong with my stomach (actually, I've had chronic nausea and vomitting for two years, no clue why, doctor just passes it off as "anxiety" but I am sick every day and not under much stress). I went to the ER, and they just said must be the stomach flu, I'd thrown up dozens of times. Severe stomach pain, and could feel loops of intestine too. Also, no diarrhea, totally constipated. Anyway what was weird was since then, after I eat I have massive PVC's, and tachycardia? Taking maalox, it feels like the PVC's come when the food is moving through the middle of my intestines? I can feel it move there because it is so tender.
Also, every time I eat I throw up, so I haven't eaten since Wednesday.
Have to wait until monday to see doctor again. Now I KNOW there is a connection with my arrhythmia and my stomach. Wouldn't have believed it before.
Probably it is triggering my vagus nerve? Oh, and my blood pressure is dropping dramatically with these episodes. Very strange. Can anyone comment more on this thread?
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One more thing, I think the reflux triggers the vagus nerve, or other stomach conditions can do the same, trigger the vagus nerve. Someone in my family has a vagus nerve/stomach condition, she has IBS and sometimes faints when she has a painful attack.
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Petula-

Yes, the vagus nerve does have a lot to do with the stomach and the heart. And stimulating the vagus nerve can cause the pvc's. It sounds like you have some other underlying condition that is causing the stomach problems. If you have not been worked up by a cardiologist and a Gastroenterologist, then do so. If you have then you might benefit from seeing a Psychiatrist as a lot of this may be anxiety. Believe me, because I've had it. IT caused me a lot of problems. Since I have been taking prozac and xanax, my symptoms have been much better. You may also benefit from taking a beta blocker which will slow your heart and keep it regular. Ask your doctor about these medicatons. I still have pvc's but they're not as bad. Best of luck to you.
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Hi, Can someone explain the initials you use? I have similar symptoms that you are discribing and would like for you to tell me what alot of these med terms and initials stand for? IBS?? PVCS??? My email address is: ***@**** if someone could feel me in.
I feel spasms in my chest after eating is this one of these terms?
Thanks,
Jan
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Yes, yes, yes... I too believe that esophageal problems can trigger skipped heartbeats. I had severe reflux for years which has turned into Barretts Esophagus, but I also had an angiogram with a stent placement done two years ago... the symptoms of my esophagus problems are so similar of what my angina was that I get so confused and worried sometimes that my arteries are blocking back up...how is a person supposed to know the difference? If I went to the ER everytime I had these symptoms, I'd be out there 3 or 4 times a day! It is just so frustrating.
Thanks for listening,
Patricia
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I am the person who originally posted this question.
I am suprised by all the responses.  In my original comment I was waiting for the results of an Upper GI series. I was diagnosed with a "small sliding hiatal hernia"  Bloodwork showed above normal ldl cholestorol and above normal triglycerieds.
everything else normal.  In the past I have been to the emergency room with "anxiety attacks" because I start having PVC's then I freak out because I feel like I'm having a heart attack. ALL CARDIAC TEST HAVE ALWAYS BEEN NORMAL!!!
After so many trips to the E room you start to feel like an idiot and stay home and ride out the attack. Over time I have gotten use to the PVC's and don't get the anxiety attacks as frequently.
    My doctor denies that there is any connection between my reflux and my PVC's. I am a resonably bright person and feel I have a handle on how things work and I believe this theatens my doctor that I may be second guessing him. This angers me because its my body and I am only trying to help figure things out. During my last visit he became obviously annoyed with me using the term "PVC" telling me that we don't know if thats what they are. Its my chest and I KNOW what they are!!
     My father was diagnosed awhile back with the H. pylori virus and underwent the treatment and is cured. He is now much healthier and has even lost some weight. I insisted that my doctor give me the breath test for H.pylori . He told me no because I don't have an ulcer. I told him I was going to have it done and pay for it myself (I'm on an HMO.....go figure) He then told me if I was positive he would not treat me for it if I didn't have an ulcer.
     I am going to research H.pylori and I'll post any other info

   Thank you
email me    ***@****
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When you guys are talking about PVCs, what exactly do you mean?

I have been diagnosed with GERD, although it's not really chronic -- what I mean by that is that there have been two flare-ups of it the last year where I've had to take medication but I'm not on medication all the time and I don't have acid problems all the time either.  (I do have symptoms most of the time but they're not really bad enough to take medication.  I've learned to deal with feeling nauseous a lot, etc.)

However, what I have noticed is that when my acid problem is severe, my heart is affected.  Specifically, I tend to have what I call 'skipped beats' more frequently, about four to eight an hour.  But when my acid problem is under control I hardly feel skipped beats at all.  (Skipped beat is where my heart beats really hard for one beat followed by an immediate second beat, as if the first beat lagged behind the normal rhythm somehow.)

So, I guess what I'm asking is are skipped beats PVCs?  What is the exact definition of PVCs anyway?

Thanks,
Anne
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Anne-

PVC's are Premature Ventricular Contractions of the heart, or an extra beat. They are what you described as a skipped heart beat. You may indeed be having PVC's or PAC's, although you would have to be wearing a heart monitor for your Dr to properly diognose them. When Acid reflux get's bad, it stimulates the Vagus nerve which in turn stimulates the heart causing the skipped heart beats. PVC's and PAC's (premature atrial contractions) are both benign and pose no threat to you. They are just annoying. A beta blocker can help to alleviate these skipped heartbeats. Ask your Dr about taking a beta blocker if they are troublesome. Or you may just want to control the Acid reflux and live with the skipped heartbeats as you know they will not harm you. Good luck.

  -Erik
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I HAVE DEALT WITH ACID REFLUX , CHEST PAIN, IRREGULAR HEART BEAT AND A STRANG FLUTERING IN MY UPPER STOMACH FOR YEARS. THE HEARTBURN STARTED IN 91. JUST HAD SCOPE DONE...HAVE SLIDING HIATIAL HERNIAL AND THE VALVE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO CLOSE AFTER EATING IS NONFUNCTIONAL.  AFTER TAKING HEART MED AND 20ML PRILOSEC 2XS A DAY FOR A FEW YEARS I AM CONSIDERING SURGERY(LAP). IT IS OUT PATIENT AND I WAS TOLD IT WOULD RID ME OF 95% OF MY SYMPTOMS. I WOULD LIKE TO GET MORE INFO ON THE SURGERY AND DOCTOR(AT LOYOLA) ITS HARD TO TRUST THE DOCTORS AFTER GOING BACK AND FOURTH AND NUMEROUS TESTS AND NO RELIEF. ANY IDEAS OR INFO ?
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Thanks, Erik, for the definition of PVCs.  And also for defining PACs in your post -- I'd been wondering what those were, too.

--Anne
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I am a 42 yr old male with hiatus hernia, which has flared up in recent months.  I don't experience heartburn, but do constantly struggle with phlem/and other stomach produced fluids that are the result of reflux.  

Off and on, I'll gag or cough up the reflux matter, and experience the inabity to breathe for anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds.  I also have continuously sore throats....sort of a dried out raw feeling.

Doctors have me on a steady diet of propulsid and prevacid, which help some, but I'm not wishing to stay on medication that I have to take multiple times each day for the rest of my life.

Are there any other options?
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I've been seeing a throat specialst for about 9 months ago, after realizing that my voice has been harsh and scracthy for about 6 months prior to that.  It's not cancer or tumors or anything else that I was tested for. So, my doctor recently put me on Prilosec, thinking that continuous acid reflux could be damaging my vocal cords, or voicebox.  Just curious if anyone else has this condition....??
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What the heck are PVC's.  The reason I asked is because I have the same symptoms that Eric has(third dude from the top of list) and I'm only 22 years of age.  THis has been on going for about 3.5 - 4 months.  I'm scared something is seriously wrong with me and noone can tell me what wrong.  

PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!

email me at ***@****
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PVC's are Pre Ventricular Contractions
They feel like a skipped heartbeat
Read some of the above responses. I believe Erik explains them very well
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Interesting to read so many people complaining of the association between esophagitis and cardiac arrhythmias.  I have been posting messages on this and other forums for over a year now asking questions about this problem.  Initially everyone passed the association off as a coincidence but lately even the doctors are admitting that the empirical evidence is mounting up. I have had the problem of atrial arrythmias for the past 8 years on and off again.  In my particular case the problem occurred every time I swallowed.  This forced me to have an upper GI done which showed significant reflux.  After treating it the problems lessened and even went away for long periods of time.  Has anyone else noticed the 100% correlation with swallowing?  I have rarely had PVC's but plenty of atrial tach with some atrial fib at times.  All my cardiac tests have proven negative also.  I am presently awaiting a follow-up EP study to confirm the association.  I also believe that the irritation of the vagus nerve can influence the normal rhythm of the heart.  In my case perhaps a forward thinking electrophysiologist could isolate the trigger and learn something about this problem.  I suspect there are an awful lot of people out there on heart meds/pacemakers that perhaps don't have to be.  I would be interested in any responses - my email is ***@****
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Hi Me again. I go in for a endoscopy and colonoscopy on the 30th of this month. From my upper GI Doc say's I have mild reflux. I was also diagnosed with diverticulosis two years ago and have numerous polyps removed yearly. Can anybody tell me if these two things are related?? email is ***@**** I am 39.

Thanks
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I just went to the Cardiologist because I get these pvc's I only get them when I have reflux. I did a echo stress test and others and my heart was ok. I only get these during the reflux episodes, so I feel they are def. related.I hope they do some research in this area as it scared the you know what out of me more than once. It casued much anxiety as I was afraid it was a heart attack. I also have gotten pain in chest with the reflux and even down my left arm and shoulder, every time when they treated the reflux, the symptoms went with it, but it had all the heart signs so I went to the er. How does one know the diff. I wonder? Laurie
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Hey guys, just wanted to say THANK YOU to you all for being here!  I have felt totally, utterly alone and depressed since my stomach has gotten worse.  Having you here as a support has made me feel less afraid and less alone.  You may have already seen my post, but I am 40, had my gallbladder yanked in April, and have SEVERE bouts of mid epigastric pain (for which I am getting a CT on Thursday).  I think it's a blocked duct or maybe pancreatitis (as I have inherited a very high triglyceride level).  I wonder if there is anything I can take to help NOT get pancreatitis?  I have just taken myself off lopid for the triglycerides, as I think it makes the pain worse.  Oh well....carry on and again, THANKS for being there and write me anytime :)   Kim, NH  (***@****)
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If any of you that have posted messages re: GERD, reflux, or any problems similar that have affected your ability to take a breath of air at any time have ever taken ACCUTANE - please e-mail me ASAP. Thank you for your help, Sue
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Hi,  I have been diagnosed with Acid Reflux and have been taking Prilosec for three months once a day.  It dosn't seem to work very well as I feel it times out around early evening.  My symptoms are okay in the morning when I take the pill, but as soon as 7 pm comes around then I get the "somethings stuck in my throat" feeling and a strange constant need to clear my sinus (it's like I keep having to swallow the mucus that is stuck at the back of my throat)  This started about three months ago also.  I have had the endoscopy done and it showed a hatial hernia and some red sore spots in my esophagas.  I take the prilosec every day, and for some reason I have started to itch badly down my arms and lower legs.  I think I have be having a reaction to the pills.  If I scratch like I want to I will develope a excema like rash all down my arms.  My doctor does not really talk to me about these other symtoms (symptoms) as being conected to the pills, but I wondered if anyone else is itching and getting timed out with their Prilosec medication.  Does anyone know how long this problem lasts or is this one of those "getting old things" I am 49.  Oh by the way.  I have experienced those heart beat skips on and off for over 15 years.  One doctor told me I had something called Mitral Valve Prolapse, but I later went to a cardiologists and she ruled it out and told me I did not have Mitral Valve Prolapse.  So, I think that those heart beat skips were connected to my acid reflux all the time, but I never knew it.  I also have gone through a huge amount of stress recently with a teenage son who wrecked three cars in six months and I expect that this was a major cause of developing the reflux symtoms (symptoms).  I am managing to keep my stress levels down now, and am getting control of the anxiety, so this should help me get better I hope.  Anyway, I would just like to say that this website has given me a lot of hope and support.  THANKS to all.  Lastly, does anyone out their know the reason for the "something stuck in your throat" feeling.  I mean is it actually something not going down or is it something (stomache contents) coming up and staying there in the esophagas.  Also is it okay to take Gaviscon tablets when the Prolosec times out???
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My doctor said its ok to take Gaviscon with Prilosec when needed.
Gaviscon seems to help more than the Prilosec does sometimes. I don't know exactly what that feeling of something in your throat is but I had it for along time and my Dr took out my tonsils. It did not help and at 40, a tonsilectomy is not a pleasant thing to go through. I have been told that the feeling in my throat is normal, from reflux.
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I was very interested to read of the possible connection between PVC and reflux. I get both and my heart has gone into high speed Tachcardia. PVC in themselves are apparently harmless, however if you have high blood pressure and the PVC happens at a particular time in the heart cycle it can put you out of rhym not a good place to be.
If anyone can share info francis.***@****
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Well, I'll throw my name in the hat as being another person who has experienced the problems with arrhythmias and PVC's and many other bizarre sypmtoms.  Mine only recently started,and I was glad to see that there are people with similar concerns to mine (unfortunately for you though).  Of course I am trying to self diagnose myself BEFORE going to the doctor because I always go there insisting that they listen to ME, or I go somewhere else.  I have no history of chronic heartburn.  Mine started following a weekend of too much Mexican food, yelling at the Arkansas-Tennessee football game, and an innocent afternoon jog.  Immediately after jogging I noticed some unusual burning in my chest, which has never really gone away.  I stopped exercising altogether.  Of course I was worried that it might be my heart, but I'm 30 and in good health.  I noticed some heartburn in the next few days, but it worsened in intensity with time.  Then I started having the BIZARRE symptoms at night.  I was worried that I was having a heart attack!!  But then I noticed that it happened occasionally about an hour after eating as well.  Like you, I too almost passed out on occasion and felt light headed, which I don't know for sure, but could be related to drops in blood pressure.  And I also had bizarre feeling "thick headaches."  And I can't remember who wrote it, but those weird feelings of tingling in the arms and legs are just amazing.  It's almost a feeling as if your body is ready to just stop or something.  I'm sure that doesn't do anything for the stomach acid production due to the anxiety.  I am hopeful that my trip to the Dr. next week will yield a prescription for Prilosec and a lifelong cure, but after reading about your chronic problems I'm concerned about the lingering effects.  My main concern is the heart problem.  I don't like the idea of riding the stationary bike at the gym, having an episode which affects my rythm and keeling over.  I know that may be taking it to extremes, but that's the sort of luck I've had my whole life.  I'll keep you all posted on how my doctor reacts to my "story."
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I also suffer from PVC's PAC's (I feel these every day - some days only a few and some days hundreds). I have also had several episodes of atrial fibrillation that lasted for hours. In addition, I have frequent episodes of elevated heart rate. I have had multiple echos and stress EKGs and all tests are normal. Doctors say not to worry and just to live life.

Anyway, I too have noticed a strong correlation between eating/indigestion and "skipped beats". My doctor doesnt understand this, but nearly every time I have gone into afib (about 5 of 7 times), I was drinking/eating something very cold. I have also noticed syptoms (symptoms) are reduced when I take an antacid or Prilosec for my stomach. These are definite correlations and ones I am not imagining.

I think it is time that this correlation is documneted and that doctors become aware of it (and hopefully even undersatnd it someday!).

Good luck to all!
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Hi to all,

       I don't know how, I don't know why, but I'm be having PVC's for 20 years and 90% of time, they have a close relation with gases in the final
       part of the tick intestine.
       Generally, the gas elimination stops the PVC's, sometimes, helped for some massage.
       My theory is some kind of disturbance in the autonomous system.
       I know who I have propensity for PVC's, but the relation with gases is remarkable.
       Please Doc's, pay some attention for this.

       Thanks a lot.

***@****
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I want to add my comments regarding the association of PVC's and food in the stomach. I have had an irregular heartbeat diagnosed as premature atrial contractions and premature ventricular contractions , PAC's and PVC's, for many years.  They started out when I was around 17 years old and at that time were very few. Now I am 60 years old and the PAC's are very numerous but are especially troublesome after I eat an evening meal.  Sometimess I have them with other meals but more commonly, they occur in the evening.  I also have had various digestive complaints, most recently focusing on the esophageal area and have taken various medications for reflux.  None of them effect a permanent cure but sometimes they help.  I also have many of the other digestive complaints mentioned above.  Although physicians tell me that these PAC's are caused by stress or depression or anxiety, it seems interesting to me that I can stop the PAC's simply by bending forward at the waist or by lying on my stomach and proping myself up on my elbows.  This seems to me to be a mechanical problem, not a mental problem. My mental state or level of stress  stays the same whether I stand up, sit up, bend forward or lie down but the palpitations improve or worsen depending on my position. I think that the vagus nerve theory makes sense to me. It seems that something is irritating a nerve somewhere causing the heart to beat irratically. When that irritation is relieved by changing position, then the problem disappears.  I agree with some of the other comments that physicians are blowing this off. There is an answer and my guess is that it is a fairly simple straighforward cause.  I would sure like for some physician to study this problem because it has ruined the quality of my life as I suspect it has ruined the life of others.
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I agree with you whole-heartedly. I have had PVC's and PAC's since I was 18 and they too have increased with time. I am now 31 and have had a history of Esophageal reflux and Hiatal Hernia. I had surgery twice to correct a hiatal hernia. My premature beats have been worse since my second surgery. I also get some benefit from treating the reflux with medications but it doesn't work all the time. I can stop the PVC's and PAC's from changing my position, burping and coughing which are all methods of stimulating the vagus nerve. I feel the reason Doctors won't look into this further is that they think researching something that is benign and poses no threat to our lives would be a waste of time and money, even though it has had an emotional and psychological impact on us who suffer more than they could ever know. God bless you and best of luck to you. I know how you feel and I am on your side.

   Erik
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I sympathize with all of your problems.  I too have had my fair share of run-ins with acid reflux.  For the last three years I have had chronic issues with my stomach and intestines.  Much of the time I feel like vomiting but it never happens.  My doctor has told me that it is due to stress but I don't feel overly stressed out.  After reading all your comments and others on the web I realize that I am not alone and that this is going to be a real problem for our generation going forward.  Does anyone know of any real solutions?  I've tried Zantac, Prilosec, Prevacid, etc. but they are all short trem solutions.  Any suggestions would be very helpful.
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I am 34 and have suffered from pac's and pvc's for several years now. After many trips to the er(thinking I was dying)and many trips to the doctor,I still can't seem to get the answers I need.Are they benign? Are they indicative of some underlying problem? Can I lead a normal physical life? Finally, these last 6 months I started noticing tightness in the top of my chest and choking sensation in my throat- many times these are followed by palpatations- is this acid reflux? Hiatil hernia? Any info. you have would be greatly appreciated   BILLY
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Yes, the tightness in the throat is caused by acid in the esophagus. I've had the same thing for the last few months which many doctors told me was due to "stress and anxiety". Of course, I didn't have any anxiety prior to being told, basically, that the doctors didn't know what I had and that I'd have to live with it. I began to suspect it was due to acid when I bent over, threw up, and felt better.
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I almost flipped when I saw this question.  I experience pain in my chest, burning, etc..  All of the classic symptoms.  Everytime I eat a large meal, I will get a rapid heartbeat; and or PVC's.  Last weekend, I felt ill after eating weird food at a New Year's party and threw up.  During the course of vomiting, my heart went into a irregular, extremely rapid heart rate and I had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital.  It took the ER 3 hours to regulate my heartbeat.  I kept telling the cardiologist about the episodes all tied into eating and that the vomiting triggered the problem, but noone seems to hear what I am saying.  My echo is normal as is my blood work.  The next weekend while eating breakfast, my heart went into a rapid, irregular rate again, even though it did calm on it's own eventually.  I am almost afraid to eat and feel normal when my stomach is empty.  I don't know why the doctor won't listen to this, has anyone else had this problem?  You can't post onthe forum as it is fool, but I felt I had to respond and say that there must be a coorelation between the two.  I am wondering if I have hiatal hernia.  I don't know, but you aren't crazy; I know that for a fact!
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YES...I can not believe I have found people with the same symptoms as me.  For years (I am 32) I have been telling my doctors that I have heart palpitations, these happen mostly after eating a large meal.  I thought it was maybe from a food allergy but the types of food I was eating wasn't really anthing that a person would be allergic to.  The worst is pizza, if I eat a lot of it I get palpitations, usually within 45-60 minutes after eating. I have had all the heart tests done and everything came out okay.  The doc said it was stress related.  Also, last year I was having dizzy spells and a tight feeling in the stomach area.  

I work for an orthopedic doc who said it sounds like something was pressing on my valgus nerve but since this was not his speciality I had to see a specialist.  It is very hard finding someone to believe this theory.   A lot of docs only want to stick to their speciality and don't like to think that say cardiac and gastro symptoms could be related.  When I would mention the palpitations, dizzy spells and tightness in the stomach area they said it had nothing to do with my gastro system.  Even though I had a past history of esophageal reflux.  

After reading all the posts with so many people who all have the same symptoms of palpitations and reflux it seems crazy that doctors would not take it more seriously.  Good luck to everyone

***@****
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I was so happy to hear that so many people have had pvc's related to reflux.  I am 37 and fairly healthy and had all the problems such tightness in the throat, palpitations, choking at night, coughing after meals, and a change in my voice. I am having a fundoplication next month and I am hoping to have good results.  I can't live on mashed potatoes forever!
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During the period when my own GERD was most severe, in January 1999, I too had heart palpitation and irregular heart beats. I thought of them sometimes as "attacks", since they seemed like what I imagined heart attacks might be like.

This fits my hypothesis that GERD is a symptom of chloride deficiency; for electrolyte imbalances of various kinds can directly effect the heart muscle. My hypothesis and experiences may be found at
http://members.bellatlantic.net/~rmcotton/gerdsalt.htm
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better check the FDA statement of Jan. 25th 2000, concerning propulsid.
Glad i found this forum as sounds like i have found common ground
with you all...many docs miss this....
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Add me to the list. Although I had WPW for which I had an ablation in 1997, I still continue to experience an increased incidence of arrythmias of all kinds - premature beats, shuddering feeling of the heart when my stomach acts up, as it has for the last three weeks.

It is amazing that in spite of so much evidence that there is a relation between the heart and these stomach problems no one in the medical research community is following it up.
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After reading what everyone wrote about pvc's and reflux, I think I now know why I get them too!!!!  Was recently diagnosed with acid reflux and take prevacid before bed to prevent it.  When I was diagonosed with acid reflux, I went to ENT complaining about a "lump" in my throat feeling, turned out to be reflux!!!!!  Now I have elevated liver enzymes and am wondering if there is a link between reflux and elevated liver enzymes (SGOT and Alkaline Phosphatase).  If anyone has heard of this please let me know!  Am awaiting return phone call from Dr. as I type this note.
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Wow!! I have been searching the internet looking for some answers.  I too have the pac's and PVC's when I eat.  I have had them for about 14 years now.  For the last 3-4 years when I eat. I was not getting them at breakfast.  But lunch and dinner.
I also get headaches, swollen joints, bloating when I eat.  I have done some elimination in some of the foods I used to eat namely sugars, processed and fast food.  The palpitations are basically gone.  I can even stuff myself on salad and it doesnt trigger an episode.  I thought it was the vagus nerve, but I am leaning toward insulin and or blood sugar levels as the triggers???  I dont know.  I am just so "darned" irritated with them I was willing to do anything.
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Count me as a member of this suffering group.  I've had these heart irregularities for decades (I'm 58).  Originally, they were associated with heavy meals, icy-cold drinks, and just bending forward (I'm not overweight).  More recently, they are associated with bloating -- a burp will often cancel the symptoms immediately.  And most recently, almost any apparent spasm of the esophagus or stomach will set them off, so that I now get them when I'm hungry, but not after I've eaten.  
I have finally gotten a responsive GP who really listens to my complaints and doesn't dismiss them as "just stress" (meaning: don't waste my time).  On a particularly bad day, he let me hang around in an examination room and take my own electrocardiogram when I thought one of these "flip-flops" was coming.  And we caught one!  Lo and behold it was a PVC as you all have mentioned.  So at least my symptoms were acknowledged.  He put me on Prilosec, which helped a lot for some months, but it has started up again.  I'm due for an endoscopy in a few months, but I doubt it will show anything.  I had a motility study done ten years ago which showed very poor motility of the lower esophagus -- I figure that might lead to some diffuse spasms that would affect the vagus nerve.  In any case, the doctor reassured me, as all my reading has done, that PVCs are harmless.  The problem is that they send a message to my brain that bypasses all those reasonable opinions, and says "Something's wrong! Heart is stopping! SOS! Emergency!"  So they create a state of, well, not exactly panic, but more "terminal" -- I call them dread-attacks.  Very debilitating, though completely out of proportion to the real severity of the incident.
When I look at all the messages on this board, and think how many more sufferers there must be, I'm appalled that this connection hasn't been better researched.  If I had the money, I'd endow an institute...  
best wishes to all.
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Hello ,

I am 38 years old and experience the same problems you all have
described. Had this condition for at least 10 years. Had all
the tests including 3 endoscopies, angiogram and all the cardiac
tests. I experience reflux and PVC's, when the reflux is not
acting up my skips are non-existent. I take a beta blocker and prevacid. Had similar experiences with the Doc's, they do not
believe the connection between the reflux and PVC's, however
we all know there is a cause and effect here.


***@****

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Since the message just above I've gotten some relief: doctor said "If you really want to stop those PVCs,a beta blocker will do it."  So he gave me 50mg atenolol; I started with 25 (being cautious and wary of side-effects) and there was immediate improvement.  It took a couple of weeks for a feeling of tiredness (most noticeable climbing San Francisco hills!) to wear off, but I feel almost normal now taking half the 25mg in the morning, half in the evening...  and PVCs are almost gone.
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I am 43 and was told I had acid reflux after having an upper GI.  My only symtom is burping--maybe 25 times a day.  I am now experiencing a pulse sensation in my throat immediately followed by what I discribe as a "hard heartbeat", then I am back to normal until the next one.  Generally I have 15 a day, they seem to come and go, but they are only present when I am burping on a particular day.  Is anyone else experiencing anything like this?
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You guys are a miricle to find. I to have this problem. All morning i can fill this and now i ate and it fills like a big bubble in my stomach. This sucks because i to have had heart things going on and i know it is not my nerves or stress. I can remember the many times i have gone to a function and this will happen on time i went to a football game was filling great. When i got a hotdog and guess what my heart started racing and didnt stop for 5 min. scared me . Ive had this problem for 20 years. But im woundering if my heart is getting tierd. Some times i get this and have alot of gass after. I got a scope have gerd and Barretts. But allso my doctor thinks not much of this he says maybe its esophogus spasms but i think you all have the right thing with the vagus nerve thing. I wish i could get this under controll because the older i get the more i get. Wish there was a doctor out there that new something about this right now i can fill one tring to trigger off its been all day. Well i hope you all well. My regular Dc said when i get these attacts to message one side of my neck and when my heart started racing one day i tried it it worked but make sure you just do one side. If anyon wants to talk about this you can email me at ***@****
I cant belive you all have this as i do i could go on and on about it but can someone find a cure or a way to ease this.
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Mary, Please read my comments under question "my ten year old son..." and question "extent of liver disease & possible transplant" They are toward the top and bottom of this page. 20 years is a long time to be suffering this way. Looking at your e-mail address, are you by any chance referring to Club 28 in Wakefield??? I live in Illinois but my father was originally from there and so couldn't help wondering...Best Regards - Karen
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After 30 years of experience with PVCs/PACs/atrial flutter and/or fibrillation, I can tell you there is ABSOLUTELY a mechanical aspect to all this. The GI system, after all, operates in very close proximity to the heart and some of its most sensitive peripheral elements, and it stands to reason that a wide variety of GI events could stimulate activity in the cardio area. I've been to several cardio specialists and they always tend to look at you skeptically when you make such observations--they'd rather discuss everything in terms of all sorts of complicated electrophysical explanations--but we know our own bodies, and after a while the cause-and-effect is crystal clear. I have learned to "manage" my irregular beats through a variety of physical procedures: These can be as straightforward as changing position (e.g. turning over in bed, from my back to my stomach) or as (relatively) complicated as using three fingers of my right hand, karate-style, to palpate the area around the solar plexus. If you "play" with this long enough and become sufficiently sensitive to your body in a bio-feedback sense, you will also learn that you can actually cause extra beats, almost at will, through such mechanisms as (typically) taking a deep breath and holding it at a certain point in the heartbeat cycle; bending over suddenly; or washing down a large mouthful of something with some liquid. I have also concluded that I tend to have PVCs after large meals simply because, well, it gets crowded in there, and the stomach is pressing up against, and irritating, the cardiac complex. Some of this also has to do with hemodynamics, of course, but don't ever let anyone tell you that these are two entirely independent systems; t'ain't so.
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After 30 years of experience with PVCs/PACs/atrial flutter and/or fibrillation, I can tell you there is ABSOLUTELY a mechanical aspect to all this. The GI system, after all, operates in very close proximity to the heart and some of its most sensitive peripheral elements, and it stands to reason that a wide variety of GI events could stimulate activity in the cardio area. I've been to several cardio specialists and they always tend to look at you skeptically when you make such observations--they'd rather discuss everything in terms of all sorts of complicated electrophysical explanations--but we know our own bodies, and after a while the cause-and-effect is crystal clear. I have learned to "manage" my irregular beats through a variety of physical procedures: These can be as straightforward as changing position (e.g. turning over in bed, from my back to my stomach) or as (relatively) complicated as using three fingers of my right hand, karate-style, to palpate the area around the solar plexus. If you "play" with this long enough and become sufficiently sensitive to your body in a bio-feedback sense, you will also learn that you can actually cause extra beats, almost at will, through such mechanisms as (typically) taking a deep breath and holding it at a certain point in the heartbeat cycle; bending over suddenly; or washing down a large mouthful of something with some liquid. I have also concluded that I tend to have PVCs after large meals simply because, well, it gets crowded in there, and the stomach is pressing up against, and irritating, the cardiac complex. Some of this also has to do with hemodynamics, of course, but don't ever let anyone tell you that these are two entirely independent systems; t'ain't so.
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I started coughing 3 weeks ago due to a little conjestion.  Now when i cough my throat closes so I can't breath for a few seconds.  My doctor said yesterday that my throat looks fine and I have no conjestion.  Today I still have the cough and throat constriction.  It's beginning to feel like I have something stuck in my throat.  I have no other symtoms (symptoms) other than the feeling that I need to clear my throat.  So I cough, then wait a few seconds until I can inhale.  Any ideas?
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I started coughing 3 weeks ago due to a little conjestion.  Now when i cough my throat closes so I can't breath for a few seconds.  My doctor said yesterday that my throat looks fine and I have no conjestion.  Today I still have the cough and throat constriction.  It's beginning to feel like I have something stuck in my throat.  I have no other symtoms (symptoms) other than the feeling that I need to clear my throat.  So I cough, then wait a few seconds until I can inhale.  Any ideas?
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Oh yes!  There are certainly enough of us experiencing heart abnormalities along with reflux that the doctors should be listening to us.

Actually my first gastroenterologist knew the connection between the acid and vegas nerve irritation.  It IS in the medical literature.

It is dismaying that our specialists do not always appear to keep up with the current findings and rely too much on pills and old ideas.
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THIS IS AMAZING I JUST CAME ACROSS THIS SITE AND I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME SYMPTOMS. ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO I DEVELOPED WHAT I THOUGHT WAS CHRONIC CONGESTION. IT WAS SO BAD THAT I LOST MY VOICE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME FROM CLEARING MY THROAT SO OFTEN. I DIDN'T HAVE INSURANCE THEN SO I JUST LIVED ON COLD MEDICATIONS. AFTER A YEAR OF THIS I SAW A THROAT SPECIALIST WHO LOOKED IN MY THROAT WITH A CAMERA, FOUND NOTHING WRONG AND  SENT ME FOR A STOMACH XRAY. THE XRAY SHOWED A HIATAL HERNIA AND ACID REFLUX DISEASE. I STARTED TAKING RANITIDINE AND SOON HAD MY VOICE BACK. I HAVE ALSO SUFFERED FROM SKIPPED HEART BEATS AND HEART FLUTTERS. THESE USUALLY OCCUR AT NIGHT WHEN I'M  IN BED. I'VE NEVER CONNECTED THESE TO ACID REFLUX BEFORE.
UNFORTUNATELY MY CONDITION HAS  BECOME WORSE AND I AM OFTEN AWAKEN AT NIGHT WITH ACID IN MY THROAT. THE STRANGE THING IS THAT I'VE DEVELOPED THIS BURNING PAIN IN MY UPPER RIGHT ARM  
AND IT IS ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY SEVERE HEARTBURN AND EASED WHEN
I TAKE RANITIDINE. THE DOCTORS LOOK AT ME LIKE I'M CRAZY WHEN I
INSIST THAT THIS PAIN IS CONNECTED. THE PAIN IS FRIGHTENING BUT I'VE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT WAS CONNECTED TO THE HEARTBURN. IT HELPS TO KNOW THAT I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE.
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