Avatar universal

Palpitations and bloating

I've compiled a fairly exhaustive list of my symptoms and related information (sorry it's long!):

General symptoms:
- acid reflux (fairly mild)
- bloating
- occasional "skipped beat" - Premature Ventricular Complexes?
- elevated heart rate which seems directly related to stomach/abdominal bloating
- heart races when I stand up sometimes, particularly after sleeping
- night sweats sometimes, particularly when other symptoms are exacerbated
- tender/swollen around diaphraghm and bottom-right of rib cage, especially so when bloating & palpitations are present
- reduced exercise tolerance

Symptoms When bloated / after over-eating:
- acid reflux
- more frequent "skipped beats"
- a lot of heart rate variation, sometimes tachycardic
- short of breath
- anxiety
- feeling of uncomfortable, invasive bloating or pressure around diaphragm
- feeling of high blood pressure
- feel a bit lightheaded sometimes
- discomfort & worsened symptoms when lying down, especially palpitations & anxiety
- sleeplessness

Things that cause and/or exacerbate symptoms:
- over-eating
- eating onions or raw garlic
- sleep deprivation
- exercise seems to irritate something around the diaphragm

- had increase in symptoms (and some additional ones) on starting dextroamphetamine for ADHD in mid '09. No longer on this medication.
- got ecg & echo, they said heart looked fine.

- symptoms increase as bloatedness increases, decrease as bloatedness subsides
- significant relief from burping
- discomfort & anxiety seem directly related to abdominal bloatedness
- bending over causes additional discomfort / pressure around stomach

I've been getting worsened symptoms over the last few days, and I'll be going to the doc tomorrow to hopefully schedule some tests. My thoughts for possible causes:

- severe hiatal hernia?
- irritated vagus nerve?
- some form of abdominal cancer?
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Forgot to say - I'm 26 y.o. male, and these symptoms started ~3 years ago or so. Initially they were sporadic and rare, and fairly mild, but they are becoming more frequent and severe recently.
Avatar universal
I would ask for an holter monitor (an ekg for 1 or 2 days that you take home) to see if it can pick up any correlation between your heart symptoms and your other symptoms.  PVC's (premature ventricular contractions) are usually normal as long as they aren't more than 15% of your heartbeats.
Avatar universal
Your symptoms are almost exactly like mine. I've had them or years and years, and they wax and wane depending on what I do (bending, twisting, sitting at desk, eating or reaching upwards with both arms and more)
I've got a hiatus hernia, and chronic stomach / upper abdomen discomfort and what feels like muscle spasms which drive me nuts and go on for hours especially when I'm in bed. I take atenalol for SVT's, and valium which seems to calm my stomach problems down a bit. Also get 'puffy' and short of breath. For the last couple of years I have started to get fairly sudden attacks of the 'shakes' accompanied by flushes and shivers and have to urinate every 10 minutes or so during the night especially. These attacks have been waking me up. I have a B/P monitor and during those attacks my blood pressure soars to around 200/120. I've been to the ER with them, and also with my SVT's which had to be reverted chemically once. I've seen heart specialists, cardiologists, neurologist, gastroligist, pschycologist and more GPs than I can count and have had more tests than you can shake a stick at and all are negative.. (can't spell either) and they all say - don't know why - we will never find out why - take the medication - take Zantac for my GERD, take more of everything when you feel bad. Try to relax and wait till it settles down. What I will tell you is that after 3 years if it was cancer you would know before now, so leave that out. Its always worse during times of prolonged stress.
PLEASE drop me a note and let me know how you get on. Maybe I can get some answers too. Try not to worry - I've lasted 66 years and still goin'! good luck
Avatar universal

I have this problem did all the test it boils down to are eating there are things that are body does not digest fast enough or simply at all eat small portions and dont eat late stay away from fast foods and sodas with caffeine also diet sodas for the artificial sweetners create gas you heart racing after you eat is gas build up walk it off and dont  I repeat  dont over eat
Avatar universal

how long have you been dealing with this problem and when do you find yourslef not dealing with this after a meal what types of food do you eat and how much
Avatar universal
Thanks everyone for your perspectives. Kev, that's very interesting that you have similar symptoms and have a hiatus hernia. Do you know if it's a particularly "severe" one?

I now suspect that some of my symptoms (particularly the night sweats, and possibly elevated heart rate) may be related to hypoglycemia. I seem to get these symptoms most when I'm sleep deprived and when my eating patterns are abnormal. I guess this might be due to pre-diabetes, or maybe just neglecting to eat enough that day.

Anyhow Kev, your recent shakes/flushes/urination might indicate a separate condition. Definitely get them checked out. Also have a read of these links:


Avatar universal
Hi- it's nice to know somebody reads our comments. Firstly I can't really pin down what causes these 'night turns' but i'm more likely to get them when I'm under prolonged stress, and when I can't go to sleep even when i'm really tired. That happens mostly because of what i eat and the worse things seem to be those which have been produced using chemical sprays and growth enhancers like green leafy veg, cauliflower and especially potatoes, which they spray with defoliant to kill the green tops of for easier harvesting (in Australia anyway). A potato farmer told me this. I now eat mainly organic potatoes and carrots. Meat is another thing - especially beef and chicken because they are both 'fattened up' on high protein growth 'manufactured feed'. I  know this because i have a friend who sells stockfeeds. Chinese takeaway with MSG is almost guaranteed to bring a turn on. Avoid it like the plague.
I've been to the ER with these episodes Rick, and also wondered about diabetes and sugar but they did blood tests each time (during the episodes) and they were OK. I'm lucky that I have good health insurance and go to an excellent private ER in a modern hospital with good doctors (miracles do happen) and full facilities 24 hours.
Also my hiatus hernia is a 'medium sliding' one which means that sometimes part of the stomach it pokes up through the gap in the diaphram into the chest cavity and sometimes doesn't. Definately eating small meals more often is better than full size ones, and don't wait till you're really hungry before you eat. Just a couple of crackers or something when you feel peckish is best. Anyway, I'm convinced that all these problems are caused by some problem with the central nervous system which controls everything in us. Doctors agree - they just can't give me any answers other than take medication and do the best I can. Just accept it and live with it. Easy for them to say, but they just don't know.
best wishes to you all. Kev
Avatar universal
I have a long history of palpitations (usually short and months apart) Recently, they have been way worse. When one episode lasted 20 minutes with chest pain and shortness of breath, I went to ER. Did all tests know to man (no heart problem). Took home a Holter monitor (had another 19 minute episode while wearing it). Apparently the Holter revealed that my episode was reallly 3 episodes (one after the other).   This could be serious. Now I have an appointment with an electrocardiologist. I'm thinking that major digestive problems and stomach bloating may have been a factor. Also, Claritin D and caffeine, are suspect.
Avatar universal
Has anyone checked out Dysautonomia? Also Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia? I have finally been diagnosed after over 13 years of crazy synmptoms and I have the same one  most of you have. I found it myself and when I brought it to my cardiologist's attention he reviewed my year old 30 day holter monitor results again and sent me to an electrocardiologist for a confirmation. He changed my BP meds and it did help a lot. There are much more things to say, but just wanted to inform the group of another pending diagnosis. Good luck Donna
Avatar universal

I have had the exact same symptoms. I have been dealing with them for the last 3 years....spent numerous dollars on test just to tell me how healthy I am. Did you ever get to the bottom of this problem or have found ways to minimize the symptoms?
Avatar universal
I know this is a very old thread, so I apologize -

Rick, did you ever find anything else about this?  I'm starting year 3 of having almost identical symptoms to what you've mentioned.  

I've done just about every GI test you can think of, been evaluated by cardiologists and have tried just about all of the stomach medications my GI doc thinks could possibly help but no luck so far.
Brandon, look into Pheochromocytoma, POTS and MCAS.
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