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Afib brought on by diarrhea

I have experienced afib three times, all three times it followed fatty meals, stomach spasms, pain then diarrhea. First time had like dry heaves, second and third time just nausea. First time sept 2011, second may 2014 and third July 2015. I do experience heart palpitations infrequently but those started with peri menopause and pretty much stopped when on hormone therapy. I'm off hormones now for over 5 years and they really haven't bothered me much. Now I'm experiencing lots of what I think are pvc's. Of course they never occur while at the dr nor in the er when experiencing afib. The first episode dr told me he thought I irritated vagus nerve with diarrhea and dry heaves. When I asked dr the second time..in a different city and different dr, he told me my potassium and magnesium low probably due to diarrhea. Third time dr just said I should take medication or get ablation. I self-convert each time after being on cardizem drip. Now in last month I am experiencing lots of pvc's, sometimes 4 a minute. They can get worse when I eat or when hungry, doesn't seem to matter. I have always felt that my afib had something to do with gastric situation but dr keeps telling me no. I take no medication of any type, blood pressure normally 100/60, normal glucose, thyroid appears normal, cholesterol just over 200, and maybe 10 pounds overweight (5'7" , 148#). Don't eat processed or fast food, don't do caffeine except one piece of dark chocolate every day, don't do soda, drink mainly water, don't do alcohol (wine gives me hot flashes still). I'm at a loss what to do now. Dr wants to do 48 monitor, after I demanded monitor, when he gets back in town. I want 2 week or longer monitor because I can go days without anything happening. I just am trying to figure out what to do next..change cardiologist, consult with gastroenterologist? I feel like they just want to give you a pill without finding out what's actually happening. Any ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm 63 yr old female with no history of medical problems, never broke anything, no surgeries nor any kids.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Stress OR Gastric related for me. Have had paroxysmal afib for 31 years now.  1-2 x a year.   I have had all
heart tests.   My heart is fine and I was only 35 when I got my first episode.   My point is, its usually postural and it usually happens in the middle of the night.   I wake up in afib by turning over in bed.  So frightening to wake up like that. Or, it has started if I leaned over, or sit in too soft of a chair or sofa.   So I think stomach contents or gas some times escape from a weakened lower esophageal sphincter depending on posture and comes up against the vagus nerve, irritates it and sets it off.  The episodes had always resolved themselves before with Inderal but once a few years back it didn’t stop on its own so I was cardioconverted after 3 weeks in afib.  At that time I insisted on pill in the pocket approach from my cardiologist.  No more cardioversions! Although I didn’t know a thing- I was “out”.  It was fine.  She finally gave me flecainide prn as I had been asking her for years.  I take up to 300 mg Flecainide and up to 60 mg Inderal titrated up to those amounts until conversion- which usually takes place in 2-3 hours.  Works for me for going on 3 years now.
Avatar universal
Also dehydration with diarrhea can bring it on. Usually you know something’s coming on because there is an increase in palpitations or runs of crazy beats preceding it.   For that reason whenever I have an episode I ALWAYS drink a container of Pedialyte especially if I’ve had diarrhea from my IBS.   And drink lots of water if something I ate didn’t agree with me.  And take Mylanta or PB.  
1 Comments
But in the end it’s an electrical problem and the Flecainide along with some Inderal fixes it.  
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