Dear Peter, thank you for your question. Interestingly, there have been several recent questions to the heart forum on the same topic you ask about so I suggest that you read those questions and responses for more information. No specific research has been done on the relationship of acid reflux to atrial arrhythmias to my knowledge. I even did a computerized search of the medical literature back to 1965 and I could find no references on this subject. However, there may be a pathophysiologic relationship between the two conditions relating to the activity of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve innervates both the heart and the digestive tract so an overactive vagus nerve could conceivably precipitate both reflux and atrial arrhythmias. Until effective reflux medications became available, treatment for severe gastroesophageal relfux was ligation of the vagus nerve and resection of the portion of the stomach that produces the most acid. Such treatment would be too drastic for your problem. Non-pharmacologic measures to treat reflux consist of avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine, elevating the head of the bed 4-6 inches, and avoiding food for 3 hrs. before sleep. Stress certainly can exacerbate reflux so stress management may also help. Finally, there are powerful medictions to drastically reduce gastric acid secretions (prilosec and prevacid) that may also help. I think that better treatment of your reflux should control your atrial arrhythmias.
I hope you find this information useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only. Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions.