Heart Disease Expert Forum
PVCs and silent acid reflux or GERD
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

PVCs and silent acid reflux or GERD

Hello everyone,  As you have read in previous posts, I suffer pvcs everyday...some days worse than others but, I have them every day.  Does anyone out there have pvcs and suffer from acid reflux as well? Do you have a lot of "acidic" feelings in your chest, or gas or discomfort or a bitter taste in your mouth?   do you take an antacid such as diovol or zantac to helpl relieve this and then find your pvcs gone?  is there any relation between pvcs especially after meals and acid reflux?  Suggestions and information most welcome!!!  Thanks, M.
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
Dear M-chi,

Sorry to hear about your PVCs. Eating and digesting a large meal can result in a transient increase in sympathetic tone, which can increase the heart rate. This increase in sympathetic tone can precipitate PVCs. Also, if one has GERD the sympathetic response generated from the discomfort of GERD may also predispose one to PVCs. Anything that increases sympathetic tone may increase the incidence of PVCs, even though the precipitant may not be directly related to the PVCs themselves. Hope this helps.


Thanks for your question,


CCF-MD-KE
23 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
It's pretty well established that for PACs and probably PVCs, the general state of the nervous system surrounding the heart plays a major role in allowing premature beats to occur.  The mechanism is much like a transistor, where the aberrant foci are creating ion pulses which, when they reach the pacemaker circuitry, yield a preamture beat...the ease with which these pulses travel can be dictated by the state of your nervous system.  GERD would be expected to agitate that same nervous system, and therefore, indirectly lead to more premature beats.  

This is of course partially theoretical and partially based on fact.  Drugs like tambocor are known to reduce that nervous system activity and do, in fact, result in a lessened amount of premature beats.  Interestingly, most EPs will not admit there is a connection, while most everyone knows there is.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
have u got the results of the last holter?  drop me an email.  let me know about when the trip is coming up and how ur doing. take care.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
If you look at a Grays Anatomy book you'll notice your esophagus, heart and diaphragm seem to come to a point of intersection in your chest. This may explain some relation of PVC's to GERD and even posture and position. Like many of us, I can get instantaneous PVC's if I lie on my left side. The cardiologist say's its just because I notice them more at rest. That is nonsense. I had a holter monitor hooked up and I felt every PVC that was recorded, whether standing up or lying down. Considering how little doctors know about this terrible condition, they sure have a lot of opinions on what doesn't cause it. Perhaps if they did more studies and listened to us they would get a breakthrough. I like this site, but you have to admit the doctors give the same response over and over again to the PVC questions. They may as well automate the response. I would like to ask them if any studies and research are being proposed, but the question bin is apparently always full.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn

>How right you are.....!<
-
Bey -  *Ianna*
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
GPW... re: PVCs while laying on L side... this is a very common complaint of those w/MVP... have you ever been dx w/this? ... if not, have you ever been checked for Mitral Valve Prolapse?
JES/apparently born w/MVP and now have mild reguritation, however, don't necessarily notice PVCs more while sleeping on L side... I have 'em most all the time :)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have had all the tests done and there is no evidence of MVP. No clicking sound or presence on the echo. What is bizarre to me and others is the flare up nature of this condition. Last year I went 6 months with nothing, then bam ! I got them for the whole month of December. I woke up one morning late Dec. and they disappeared again until this monday and they are constant! It's almost like its another autoimmune disease. It has the same patterns. I am not under stress nor have I changed my eating habits, drinking habits (don't drink), or level of exercise. I would be more than happy to enter a study where they would do all the bloodwork and echo's etc. and compare during a flareup and in remission. I don't see these studies forthcoming. My cardiologist told me that the majority of people with bad PVC's have had heart attacks with subsequent damage. I don't see that on this or any PVC site. Everyone seems to have healthy hearts and lifestyles. My life goes into a tailspin everytime this happens, with depression and hopelessness. I am sure you know about the dark cloud that engulfs you when you have symptoms. Nobody can explain it to a healthy person. I read a post from a woman who cried and was jealous of people who did not have this condition. When I jog by my local pub and see fat people smoking and drinking to there hearts content ( no pun intended), I tend to agree with her. Life is not always fair.
I have various other health problems like bad knees and a bad ankle. Lots of daily pain. I never complain about it, because it pales in comparison to this Chinese water torture they call PVC's.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I typically post at afibbers.org and have learned much from that site.  I am new here, and in reading your posts, thought I would throw in my 2 cents.  I originally was diagnosed with atrial flutter, had 2 ablations, and then had AF, and now supposedly have both. Prior to AF, however, I had GERD.  For years I took Tums to relieve my indigestion, then went to a gastroenterologist, and he put me on Prevacid.  Shortly, thereafter, started having flutter.  To summarize my thinking on this, I believe I was overloading with calcium bicarbonate (Tums) which threw off my electrolyte levels, with too much calcium, which excites the heart.  Not only this, I wasn't digesting my proteins properly, because of not enough acid, therefore was not getting the proper nutrients.  Prevacid inhibits stomach acid, as well, which basically has the same effects as Tums.  Yes, my GERD was much better, but the AF was a result.  Not good.  This is what I am doing now, and am amazed.  I am basically eating protein, ex. organic steak, fish, chicken, etc. and salads and steamed veggies, for late breakfast and early dinner, with no snacks after 6pm.  I eat no bread, cereals, rice, anything with sugar, dairy, except small amts. of cheese.  On the 2nd day of beginning the regimen, I noticed no PACs and have had none after dinner in over a week, since starting this.  I did have an apple at 9pm one night, and awoke in AF, so I attributed that to a late night carb. that rose my heart rate. So I save the apple snack for earlier in the day.  My indigestion is completely gone, as well, but I do take enzymes before each meal, but was doing that before I started this change in diet.  I am not the only one this is working for.  I believe we have all come to rely too heavily on carbs, and could be part of our problems.  Check out afibbers.org and do as much research as you can.  I would also recommend reading this article.  
www.dfhi.com/interviews/rosedale.html

Hopes this helps.

Richard G.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have the same type of symtoms (symptoms) as you do. I was put on beta-blockers for 10 years and the PVC'S didn't go away at first but after about 4 months they seemed to stop. They came back again several months later but the DR. kept me on the meds. Years later I started to look up in the med-library at the hosp, where I work, about beta-blockers and weened myself of the beta-blocker. I went to another cardiologist and I was told that I should stop drinking diet soda and caffine. I have never had high blood presure and I dont smoke,I drink very little alcohol and Im not real over weight. I followed the advice of the DR. and had EKG'S and ECO-CARDIAGRAMS and no problems were found, So I was told that the PVC'S would go away after following the advice of the DR. Well here Iam 5 years later and they come on for several weeks and then leave just as fast as the came for months. I don't understand this and I don't think Doctors do either. So I live with it,hate it but what do we do?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
If we go from virtually no PVC's for months and then wake up one morning and have them regularly for weeks, surely there is something that has changed that they can detect.The next time I see my cardiologist I'm going to ask him about studies that are current or proposed and volunteer myself. There are far too many people suffering from this ! Maybe we should organize and write letters to cardiologists across the country. It might not do anything , but I'll feel a lot better that I tried. This "live with it" attitude cardiologists have is unacceptable. I bet you if they all had this condition it would be licked by now.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have isolated PVCs that I'm told are non-repeating.  Does anyone know if this is the same thing that they have.  If I drink too much coffee, I notice the PVCs but otherwise I don't always even know they are there, except when taking my blood pressure and seeing my heart beat skip.  Am I supposed to feel something when a PVC happens?

Cheers,

Atheobody
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
In my experience (16 years), your description of problematic pvcs are right on the money. I appreciate your analogy of the Chinese water torture.  Although, they do not appear lifethreatening, most certainly they are lifeSTYLEthreatening.  The ones I find most difficult tolerating are the hard, even painful variety.  The occasion skip here and there is not nearly as alarming.  Hopefully, you will find a measure of comfort knowing there are many of us "out here" suffering the same thing, yet we continue to march on.  Take care, God Bless, and peace to you.  Obi.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've read this forum for the past six months looking for support of my PVCs.  Nine months ago I suddenly started having PVCs, out of the blue.  My life has been changed (for the worse) so much since the PVCs started.  Now, however, things are looking up.  I feel there is a tie between GI issues and PVCs.  Heres the story:  I am 40 yo male, only heath issue was ulcers several years ago.  One night I started getting a strong flutter in my chest, went to the ER.  I was told I was having PVCs, I was given the name of a cardio. and sent home.  After Stress Echo, Holter, Event montior and blood tests I was told all was fine and the PVCs would not impact my health.  However they were impacting my QUALITY of life.  So I searched for research and visited Cardios, Electophysiologist, and GI doctors at two Univ Med Ctrs.  My last GI doc, a professor, said there could be a tie between the nerves of the GI tract and the heart, he prescibed Aciphex 20 MG (like Prevacid and Prilosec but without side effects).  I'm on week four and my PVCs are 1 or 2 a day (mostly in the AM) down from 400 a day. (another note:  a cardio gave me prevacid last summer, did not help the PVCs, there may be something else Aciphex is doing that helps with PVCs.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've read most of the postings on this site for quite a while. It seems everyone has something they did to get better. I've heard about vitamins,herbs,  beta blockers, anti-anxiety, anti-depressants, anti-acids, pepto bismol, tons of water, on and on and on.... The truth is we all get better with time anyways. And then it comes back. It is very difficult to assess any treatment without a study. I wish you all the best and hope it works for you. Let us know if they are resolved permanently or they come back again. I hate to be pessimistic, but I have been disappointed so many times when I thought I had them licked too. I take a barrage of vitamins and had them the whole month of December. One day I added Selenium to my vitamin cocktail and they disappeared overnight for three months. They are back again, even though I continue to take the same vitamins, water, valerian, hawthorn, fish oil, etc. It seems when you have a flareup you blame anything and everything (yeah it was that chocolate muffin I had two days ago). When you are in remission, you can do just about anything without getting them.
Good luck and let us know your progress.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I agree with yours comments.  I've read about many individual treatments that may of solved the PVCs, but this is not the way to solve the issue.  There needs to be a structured approach to determining treatment.  By that I mean control of sample sizes, baseline testing, long term evaluation and most importantly the change of one, and only one variable at a time.  This can only be done in a controlled medical environment.  What I still don't understand is why there is not this type of research underway.  No one seems to want to take the ball.  One cardio MD once told me that since PVCs do not impact life expectancy it is not something that the research community wants to tackle.  My response to this is 'Viagra'.  Impotency doesn't impact life expectancy but there was lots of research and drugs created to solve the problem.  As I read the msg boards, I can hear the pain and suffering many people experience, the depression and overall reduction in the quality of life.  Who do we go to ?  who should take on this research ?  I have yet to determine this.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
The issue is money, sbchad. Money drives the pharmaceutical and medical world. I know this because I know people high up in the pharmaceutical field. Viagara, Accutane for acne, Propecia for hair.... all make billions of dollars for them. I suggest we all write a letter in our own words and mail it to as many cardiologists as possible. I have taken the stance that I won't take no for an answer anymore. I am going to get every test known to man until they're so sick of me they'll have to do something. This is a terrible affliction. I look like the picture of health from the outside but some days I feel like I should apply for long term disability because I just can't bear it anymore. I know one thing for certain, if the cardiologists continue the way they are going now, there will be no new treatments forthcoming.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I agree with you 100% on your comments. The PVC's are like torture. I see these same big fat, smoking and eating machines with seemingly "healthy" hearts and the people who try to take care of their bodies are the ones getting the illness. Also, you are totally right on when you say that the answers given by the doctors on this site are all the same. The answers are very brief and in my opinion off the mark in alot of cases. I get more use out of the question instead of the answer.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
-
I think it may be helpful to look up these sites:
http://www.mitralvalveprolapse.com/index.htm
http://www.mvprolapse.com/what.htm
-
>MVP(it says)affects about 15 to 25 percent of the population. Forty percent of these people have dysautonomia(MVP Syndrome or imbalance of the autonomic nervous system). Seventy percent of patients have depression. Only two percent of MVP patients have actual structual problems. 98 percent of people with this syndrome have nothing wrong with their heart.<
-
>At least 40 to 60 percent of MVP patients suffer from panic attacks. MVP patients often have low energy levels. FORTY TO FIFTY PERCENT OF ECHOCARDIOGRAMS DO NOT DETECT MVP. Thus 'MVP' is a clinical diagnosis.<
-
>When this system is out of balance it can cause a myriad of symptoms.<
-
Don't know... maybe it helps...   Bey - stay well - *Ianna*
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the suggestion. I have looked at that possibility many times. None of my tests show even the slightest possibility of MVP. These sites seem to lump just about every affliction known to man in an MVP diagnosis. I am also very concerned about these sites because they are all selling a book. My family doctor and cardiologist agree with my scepticism. The only precursor I have is that my body is long and lean 6'5" 225 lbs.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Folks,

Its been a while since I have been on this board because, luckily for me, I have almost forgotten about my PVCs!

Do I still have them? Sure, now and then, but to me they are now no more of an issue than if I get the hiccups - much less so actually.

In my case, there were a few things that helped me and put my mind at ease:

1. First, I was initially under tremendous stess, which brought on at least some the PVCs and even some short runs of SVT or possibly some VT. One thing led to another - they were able to induce VT and found a slight abnormality which may or may not have been capable of producing some of my problems - and now I am the proud owner of a Medtronics Defibrillator.

So how is this good? I go for check-ups every few months (actually now I only go every 6 months). They download the whole thing and I can see how many PVCS I had, I could chart them if I have nothing better to worry about. No matter what I was FEELING (and I used to write down the exact date and time if I thought I had an episode) the cardiologist was never concerned. So after a while, I stopped being concerned. Funny, once I stopped being as concerned (and see #2) I started having fewer of these stupid things.

2. Secondly -and this is related to the results of #1- I was diagnosed with panic disorder - severe! I guess if you were in the World Trade Center on 9/11 it will do that to you, but this feeling stayed with me. It was only after extensive psych sessions (where I learned how to meditate) and zoloft (an SSRI) that I was able to put myself back on balance.

I'm beginning to wonder how close the relationship is between PVCs and other relatively benign conditions and panic disorder.

Bottom line, I read the discomfort some of you are going through (oh god been there) and I wonder how much of this can be treated similarly (ok, I dont suggest you go and get a defibrillator, but take it from me - thats one surefire way to know if you were really having a life threatening arrythmia - and in my case, what I thought I was feeling and what the device recorded were two different things).

But the meditation - and perhaps even and SSRI if you are panic stricken - might be worth asking your doctor about. Boy, did it ever help me!

Good luck.


Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, this board has been so helpful to me in overcoming my fear of these PVC's that I get.  gpw- what you said is so true, when I'm in a time that I'm not having them, I can have chocolate all the time, every day even, and nothing happens, and times like now, when I'm having them again, it seems like I blame everything because I'm looking for some culprit.  But you're right, nothing seems to help.  I don't smoke, don't drink, don't do any caffeine, and here they are again.  I really thought they were gone, because mine were obviously connected to menopause.  I'm only 43, but when I was going through that, they got really bad, and then when it was over, the palpitations diminished greatly, and this was at the same exact time.  I was getting them every few beats, and that went down to maybe a couple a day, and some days, none at all.  The thing that really kills me is that in this last year or so, when I haven't been bad at all with them, I've been enjoying my family so much.  We have been to Disneyland, and I've gone on all the rides with my kids, and just been active in general with them, taking them up to the snow, etc.  Now, here I am again, staying in bed or laying around because I know that activity increases them with me.  I just hate this!  I've been to the cardiologist, but haven't gotten the official report from the holter moniter yet, but last time I was having PVC's and PAC's, and one bout of atrial fib (short) that was caught on a moniter.  Now, these feel pretty much the same as the PVC's, the thing that worries me is that I feel pretty much fine when I'm at rest, but I tend to get them pretty strong as my heart rate increases during exercise, or when my heart is stimulated in some way, like a hot shower.  Do these kind signal a more serious problem do you think?  The nurse called today and said that I'm having some PVC's and PAC's on there, but nothing life threatening.  She said the times that I marked in the diary that I had some, the moniter showed nothing, which I don't get at all, cause I felt them!  I purposely took a walk in which I got them, and wrote it down.  Today I took a hike with the family, and got them, but just kind of walked through it, but tonight, I got a little more nervous, as I walked around the hills behind our house, I got a few as my heart rate increased, so I sat down, and then they resolve quickly.  I think I might try vitamins, but who knows.  I do know that I want to try to stay off any medication unless these are dangerous because my cardiologist in Texas who was very good said that all the medication currently out there for this has the potential to make the problem worse, so if you can live with it, it's better to try without medication.  Thank you for any advice!!  Val
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Val,  I know from having this nonsense for a couple of years that it is not going to kill you. I believe the majority of anxiety we have from this is not knowing what causes it. I have run it through my head a million times what changed in my life or habits to potentially cause this. That will drive you nuts.
Doctors tell you to stay off alcohol, caffeine, decongestants...etc. These will make any condition worse. They certainly are not the root cause. Nor is stress the cause, although it will make it worse. For decades doctors have been telling us that ulcers were caused by stress ! They know that not to be true now. It is almost like we are paying our dues in life for whatever reason. When I first saw my cardiologist it was like being in a twilight zone episode. " You will likely have these on and off for the rest of your life. The treatment is worse than the condition, and anti -arryhthmetics have a huge risk of killing you."  You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I try to get through them by living day by day, and visioning the light at the end of the tunnel when I will be without them for a couple of hours, days or even months. This is what keeps me sane. We can only hope they will find new drugs or ablation techniques to help us.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, and thanks for the response!  Do you have them every day?  Lately that's been what's happening with me, I didn't have any, or one or two here and there, and now it's very consistent, every day I have them, especially when I'm being active in any way.  Not just exercise, but just when I'm doing busy work, like making lunches for the kids, or walking around the house.  This worries me that it's more dangerous.  I can definitely get rid of them by laying down, especially on my left side.  So, I just think that's weird, cause if they are being caused by hormones, why would they be better the way I'm laying down?  And, of course, the reason I mention hormones is because of the connection I made between them and my menopause problems.  Who knows like you said.  It's true, I could have chocolate and decongestants all I want when I'm going through a time that I'm not having them at all, but I haven't had any of that since these started.  I can't seem to do anything that helps this time.  When do they consider an abalation?  Do you have to have a certain amount, or is it more where they are coming from?  My holter moniter didn't show very many, but it did show some PVC's and PAC's, but of course, my symptoms have worsened since I wore the holter.  It's really frustrating how these things are also hard to catch.  I was sitting in the cardiologists office, and he sat there and checked my heart, and I didn't have one.  It's like they hide from EKG's and doctors.  Well, thanks again for the advice!  Val
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, Nocturnal PVC's AND GERD was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank