Hello again. I wrote a few messages early this year with regards to
this subject but more information has come to light. Briefly my
history has been 8 years of paroxsmyl atrial arrythmias with a few
confirmed afib occurrences that needed meds to convert. Despite my
athletic/aerobic years this caught me off guard to say the least.
Being male, 37 and in otherwise perfect health (non-smoker/drinker etc.)
none of the cardiologists can explain this. A few symptoms made me search
for an alternative explanation other than the typical cardiac ones. Chest pains,
the feeling of fulness in the back of my throat and a feeling of
"a rising plume from the stomach", especially when I run made me think
of GERD. The other peculiar symptom is the correlation with swallowing.
Every time I swallow my heart beat pauses momentarily. This has been
documented on ECG many times. In fact, while wearing a holter monitor
the swallowing action precipitated a run of afib with heart rates
approaching 240 bpm,which lasted about 15 seconds. None of the cardiologists
has ever heard of this correlation before. In my case it is 100% reproducible and
not a coincidence. At my request I had a barium swallow which showed
significant esophagitis (to everyone's surprise). A gastroscopy confirmed this along with
the presence of significant bile in the stomach. I have been on
Prepusid and Pantoprazole several times and this has alleviated the
heart rhythm problem. It always seems to come back if I eat poorly
or assume my running routines. Yesterday I tried extra strength
Gaviscon for the first time (in the last month this has all returned
again). The symptoms were noticeably improved within a few hours,
including the heart beat. So what are my questions??
1. Have you come across any other cases where GERD has affected the
heart rhythm? Since I have embarked on this research I have been inundated
by responses from people with similar stories.
2. Can you postulate a theory as to why it happens? I firmly
believe the Vagus nerve is somehow being inappropriated stimulated (triggered by swallowing action)
due to the esophagitis. The vagal effect on the heart is to slow it
down, which is fine at night but not during a run or times of activity,
when I have most of my troubles (I have always slept like a baby).
3. What does the presence of bile in the stomach suggest about
this condition? Could this indicate poor gastric motility and
if so what else could be done about it?
4. I also have Gilbert's syndrome and a fatty liver. Could this
be a factor?
Thank you for you time.