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Suspect Vagal Atrial Fibrillation -- How to diagnose?
Hi folks,

I have had some strange symptoms for many years.  In short, whenever my stomach is upset (which happens often because of GERD) I am unable to fall asleep.  I start to drift off, then I suddenly wake up with my heart racing and feelings of panic.  When I sit up it goes away after a minute, but when I drift off again, it happens again.  The only way to fall asleep during these episodes is to remove the stomach irritation, sometimes by forcing my stomach to purge any remaining food.  Not very fun.

I am 25, thin, and generally fit.  I lead a low-stress lifestyle.  I hardly snore.  For a long time I thought the episodes were caused by acid backflowing into my esophagus, but I often don't wake up coughing.

A post on another forum gave me a new lead -- vagal atrial fibrillation.  This seems to match many of my symptoms.

I am curious if anyone else suffers from this and has similar experiences.  I would also like some advice on where to start to have this diagnosed.  Cardiologist visit? 24-hour holter?  Sleep study?  Thanks for any help!
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1182699 tn?1297578384
Interesting...I do have those same symptoms at night and have suspected either SVT or afib that can't be caught (it seems monitors scare those episodes away)...but what you've described are my exact symptoms some nights (I have even had my husband feel my pulse when it happens, he has no clue what to look for, but he does say it is irregular). I do have vagal irritation when I eat, GERD, Barrett's Esophagus, and a hiatal hernia. I'm going to look up vagal afib.
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1569985 tn?1328251082
I have had similar symtoms and have Afib, pac's as well as pvc's.  I have GERD also.  If I don't take my PPI drug -- Prevacid -- I will have irregular beats.  I also have obstructive sleep apnea, which is apparently a cause of 1/3 of the cases of Afib.  This sounds a lot like sleep apnea to me.  You might want to look into a sleep study.  If your apnea is properly treated, your symptoms may stop.  Good luck.
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1790285 tn?1379591951
hi everyone. I've managed to reduce my night time palpitations by lieing on my back when I sleep and not moving plus clear my mind of any stress. I used to get them nearly every night, with this method I've cut them right down and rarely get them at night now. I was diagnosed with SVT 11 years ago
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