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Why does my heart rate go up after eating?
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Why does my heart rate go up after eating?

Hi, it's Joni from the lupus forum again.  I have a question I hope some of you experts can help me with.  As I said in a few posts a couple of weeks ago, I was in the hospital because my lupus caused me to have vasculitis around my heart and caused my heart rate to rise to 150-170's if I even walked across the room.  I have been on steroids, Imuran (an immunosuppressant for lupus), digoxin, metoprolol, celebrex, nexium and the list goes on.  My heart rate has gotten better and I have even been able to lower my beta blocker and prednisone a bit.  My question is why would my pulse increase right after a meal.  I can be sitting at the table and it raises immediately to 110ish just after I finish eating.  I do remember it doing this a few times after I had a couple of cookies last year before the vasculitis but does anybody know why this happens?  It's not from caffiene and I didn't have any sugar tonight.  Should I call my Cardio and ask or just mention it at the next appt.?  I don't want to seem like a drama queen everytime some little thing happens but this is very uncomfortable and makes me a little nervous.
Thanks for your input.
Joni
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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86819_tn?1378951092
Hi.  This isn't really the expert forum although you may run into smart people. Its better to consult a doctor, especially with an issue that is fairly complex.  Don't worry about what anybody thinks, and dont worry about being a drama queen --- medicine has plenty of drama already and some people's issues can easily dwarf yours. Nervousness and discomfort are sometimes working in your favor in this regard.

regards,
bromley



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471161_tn?1317194550
Thanks Bromley, I was just kidding around about it being the "expert forum" because there are two people on here that just took great care of me and my questions the last time I visited.  I will mention it to my Cardio when I go back on March 5th. but in the meantime I was wondering if anyone else had this happen and what they knew about it.
Have a great evening and thanks for your response.
Joni
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267401_tn?1251856096
You didn't mention what your resting HR is, but in general you should always expect a rise in heart rate after eating - it's your vagus nerve responding to there being food in your stomach and initiating all the complex actions that need to take place in your digestion system when food enters.  Your body has lots of things to do when you eat - it has to move the old stuff down the pipes further (meaning muscle contractions), acids to digest the food need to be made, the gallbladder needs to pump those acids into your stomach, your esophagus has to move the food into your stomach in the first place...lots of things going on in there, and they need to get the energy to do all that from somewhere.  So the vagus nerve tells the power plant to up it's output a bit so that all those processes can take place.

Because I've been wearing an event monitor for almost a month, I've come to know what to expect my heart rate to be when I'm doing just about everything, and for me, if my resting HR is 55-65, if I eat a meal and then go back and sit or lie down, my resting HR will usually be 65-75 (or up to 78-79)bpm.  Doing some quick math that's roughly a 20% increase in heart rate over an empty stomach at rest.  

Hope that helps.

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770426_tn?1235065089
I'm not an expert and I was diagnosed with something completely different than you were (afib). However, I do know that many times my heart will race (120 - 150) just as I start or finish a meal. It can be something as simple as a yogurt or a full meal. Doesn't matter. My heart will race for 30 - 60 minutes and then it might settle down or it might end up in afib. I always wondered about this too and I never know when it will hit but it is usually at dinner time. My EP has mentioned something about the vagus nerve like Wisconsin2007 did. All I know is that it's frustrating and can really ruin a good meal. Oh, and my resting rate is in the 40s so a rate this high makes me feel all cranked up and very uncomfortable. I can completely identify with you Joni and maybe someone will post something else that will shed some more light on this.
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187666_tn?1331176945
Good Morning Joni - Wisconsin took the words right out of my mouth. Food and liquid run right down the esophagus which lies next to the vagus nerve. In a sensitive person (awww) it can trigger an increase in heart rate. Also, eating diverts blood flow to the stomach which can change things for awhile.

My personal experience is eating too quickly may trigger a brief burst of tachy. But if I eat higher sodium foods, my heart rate will rise to 125 or so about an hour after eating and hang there for a couple of hours. Very annoying.
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770426_tn?1235065089
Yes, salty foods do it to me too. Salted nuts are a sure fire way to crank up the afib so I won't touch them now. It is so nice to find people with the same experiences! My husband, though extremely understanding, doesn't really get it so I don't talk about it much. The difference is that my tachy mostly resolves with afib.
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Avatar_m_tn
oh thank you !! I was wondering why my heart rate went up after eating ...and why I would feel sluggish and a little tired (and I am definitely not out of shape). It generally happens to me if I go too long between eating and perhaps if I eat too fast :) I think you're fine! Stop worrying!
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4355920_tn?1353300707
Hey guys same thing is hppning with me now days.. My heart beat goes up when i start or finish my meal. And after 30 mins approx it goes normal.. But during this time i cant lay down on bed or sit anywhere becoz it feels so uncomfortable and my heart start playing drum oa chest.. So i just keep walking in garden unless it goes normal.. Any buddy notice burping and gas problem with this problem?.. I always keep burping and it makes me comfortable in making heart beat down. I cant even eat my fav foods now days em having vry lite food so feeling little bit less increase in heart beat :( i will suggest you guys never go direct to the bed after taking meal.. Take a lovly walk around:) eat food atleast 1 hr before going to bed. And make yoga part of ur life
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Avatar_f_tn
hi i  had the samething i ate some fish after i ate my heart beat rise up i took a walk outside n it went back to normal
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