Avatar universal

Ectopic Beats Linked to Digestive / Indigestion Issues?

Hi everyone, I am a 29 year old male from the UK, currently taking 1.25mg of Bisoprolol daily for ectopic heart beats which have been going on for around 2 years now, give or take.

I have been racking my brains trying to come up with an explanation and to find a pattern or trigger for the ectopic beats, and I am getting these skipped beats, missed beats and extra beats several times per minute every single day, with some days being worse than others.

I have had ECG's, blood tests and an Ultrasound scan of my heart which have ruled out anything sinister which could be causing the issues, but I have recently stumbled across a possible trigger when it comes to food.

The ectopics seem to start getting worse towards the afternoon - especially after eating food (I haven't yet been able to pinpoint a certain food as the culprit) and occasionally I have noticed that they can be partially calmed with the use of 2x Rennies (chewable heartburn / indigestion tablets). These seem to provide me with a small amount of relief for a short time.

Unusually, I notice that when I drink alcohol the ectopic beats actually reduce in frequency, however this is short lived as they do come back (usually worse) as the alcohol leaves my system the next morning / day.

I am wondering if anyone else has had similar issues with digestive links, or whether anyone has any clue as to whether the ectopics could be linked to a digestive issue. Any help would be great!
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Vagus nerve, hiatus hernia, digestive issues, they are all 100% the culprit for my pvcs.  I have a 15% burden for 5 months now. Had all kind of tests yet my cardiologist isnt still sure they are not from oxygen problems although no test revealed it so far. She still is in doubt because i have so many. Every time i bring up my digestive issues she seems to dismiss it, but i am pretty sure it all comes from there. What i wanted to add as well is the the anxiety thing is something i slowly do not really believe in anymore. Sure it does not help, and if you have a few hundred a day.. or just a few days pvcs and then not for weeks.. then maybe just maybe it is anxiety stress related. If you have them every single day.. high burden, for months and more.. no way this is anxiety..of course you will get anxiety from it...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I’ve had Afib after bloating for several years and am still looking for the answer, seeing a gastroenterologist at the moment. Have had an ablation and gone through many meds. Still searching. Hope someone has the answers.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Long answer, but an accurate answer and from someone who suffered from these for YEARS! PVC's or "ectopic beats" can be caused by many things. First of all, realize that **everyone** gets them daily, but many people cannot feel them. Other people are sensitized and feel them. If a person has any kind of anxiety or high stress going on there are likely to get ectopic heartbeats. Often, going to a cardiologist and having all the tests, including wearing a Holter Monitor for a few days" and having them tell you your heart is totally healthy helps calm them down. One thing has been proven over years of study: caffeine and alcohol can definitely cause them or make them worse. ER rooms often see people on the day after a holiday who are having PVC's or other types of ectopic heartbeats because the people drank a lot of alcohol the night before. Eating heavy meals can also trigger them. It puts pressure on the vague nerve which runs close to the stomach and controls many bodily functions, including heat rates and rhythm.

I had them from about age 18-24, but I also had an anxiety disorder. Once I got counseling and learned how to prevent panic or anxiety attacks and how to NOT focus on body symptoms (which only makes them worse). Once I gained control (using meditation, no alcohol, no cigarettes or caffeine also) over my emotions they calmed down, and in the 40 years since I have had them only occasionally, and they never last long. I am not one to take pills if I can avoid it, since it only masks the symptoms, so I refused a beta blocker one doctor offered me because he did not know how to suggest counseling to me!! You'll find many doctors do that versus telling you to get help for the underlying cause if it is anxiety. Sometimes you have to just wait for them to quit and go about your day/night. Other times you can do things that will calm down your mind-body and also your "irritable heart."

Pregnant women often get them because of the extra weight/pressure that their stomach/abdomen is putting on the vagus nerve (Google the vagus nerve to see how powerful it is!). Intense lack of exercise or over-exercise can also cause them in some people. Some people get hundreds or even thousands of them daily! And they have perfectly normal hearts.

Everyone is different, but the things I named above are the common things (also some medications like cold OTC pills that have decongestants in them), but stress, anxiety, diet, caffeine, nicotine, high alcohol consumption, and being very sedentary are probably the most common causes. If a person's electrolytes are out of balance or they are low of high in magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc. that can also cause them.

The bottom line is that especially with people under the age of 50 or so, who are in otherwise "good health" PVCs, PABs (premature atrial beats that happen in the top chambers of the heart), and other ectopics heartbeats will find if they see a doctor and have the proper testing that what they have is benign, and does not mean they have a "bad heart" or dangerous symptoms. Ideally, get them checked out to be sure all is OK as far as your blood work and your heart. Once that is all declared to be "normal" you need to decide if you can ignore them and allow them to pass (which they always do), or to deal with the emotional or other cause that is causing them. There is no shortage of therapists and other mental health workers who can help people gain control of their anxieties, phobias, and high-stress levels. So in the end it is the individual's decision on what to do or not do. Having suffered for so long from them myself, plus anxiety, I can tell you it is a huge relief to be in control over my anxiety and the symptoms (including PVCs), I suffered with for so long and not allow them to control me! Good luck. :)

Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Disease Community

Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1707018272
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506080564
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.