Heart Disease Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

PVCs and silent acid reflux or GERD

Hello everyone,  As you have read in previous posts, I suffer pvcs everyday...some days worse than others but, I have them every day.  Does anyone out there have pvcs and suffer from acid reflux as well? Do you have a lot of "acidic" feelings in your chest, or gas or discomfort or a bitter taste in your mouth?   do you take an antacid such as diovol or zantac to helpl relieve this and then find your pvcs gone?  is there any relation between pvcs especially after meals and acid reflux?  Suggestions and information most welcome!!!  Thanks, M.
24 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear M-chi,

Sorry to hear about your PVCs. Eating and digesting a large meal can result in a transient increase in sympathetic tone, which can increase the heart rate. This increase in sympathetic tone can precipitate PVCs. Also, if one has GERD the sympathetic response generated from the discomfort of GERD may also predispose one to PVCs. Anything that increases sympathetic tone may increase the incidence of PVCs, even though the precipitant may not be directly related to the PVCs themselves. Hope this helps.

Thanks for your question,

Avatar universal
It's pretty well established that for PACs and probably PVCs, the general state of the nervous system surrounding the heart plays a major role in allowing premature beats to occur.  The mechanism is much like a transistor, where the aberrant foci are creating ion pulses which, when they reach the pacemaker circuitry, yield a preamture beat...the ease with which these pulses travel can be dictated by the state of your nervous system.  GERD would be expected to agitate that same nervous system, and therefore, indirectly lead to more premature beats.  

This is of course partially theoretical and partially based on fact.  Drugs like tambocor are known to reduce that nervous system activity and do, in fact, result in a lessened amount of premature beats.  Interestingly, most EPs will not admit there is a connection, while most everyone knows there is.
Avatar universal
have u got the results of the last holter?  drop me an email.  let me know about when the trip is coming up and how ur doing. take care.
Avatar universal
If you look at a Grays Anatomy book you'll notice your esophagus, heart and diaphragm seem to come to a point of intersection in your chest. This may explain some relation of PVC's to GERD and even posture and position. Like many of us, I can get instantaneous PVC's if I lie on my left side. The cardiologist say's its just because I notice them more at rest. That is nonsense. I had a holter monitor hooked up and I felt every PVC that was recorded, whether standing up or lying down. Considering how little doctors know about this terrible condition, they sure have a lot of opinions on what doesn't cause it. Perhaps if they did more studies and listened to us they would get a breakthrough. I like this site, but you have to admit the doctors give the same response over and over again to the PVC questions. They may as well automate the response. I would like to ask them if any studies and research are being proposed, but the question bin is apparently always full.
Avatar universal

>How right you are.....!<
Bey -  *Ianna*
Avatar universal
GPW... re: PVCs while laying on L side... this is a very common complaint of those w/MVP... have you ever been dx w/this? ... if not, have you ever been checked for Mitral Valve Prolapse?
JES/apparently born w/MVP and now have mild reguritation, however, don't necessarily notice PVCs more while sleeping on L side... I have 'em most all the time :)
Avatar universal
I have had all the tests done and there is no evidence of MVP. No clicking sound or presence on the echo. What is bizarre to me and others is the flare up nature of this condition. Last year I went 6 months with nothing, then bam ! I got them for the whole month of December. I woke up one morning late Dec. and they disappeared again until this monday and they are constant! It's almost like its another autoimmune disease. It has the same patterns. I am not under stress nor have I changed my eating habits, drinking habits (don't drink), or level of exercise. I would be more than happy to enter a study where they would do all the bloodwork and echo's etc. and compare during a flareup and in remission. I don't see these studies forthcoming. My cardiologist told me that the majority of people with bad PVC's have had heart attacks with subsequent damage. I don't see that on this or any PVC site. Everyone seems to have healthy hearts and lifestyles. My life goes into a tailspin everytime this happens, with depression and hopelessness. I am sure you know about the dark cloud that engulfs you when you have symptoms. Nobody can explain it to a healthy person. I read a post from a woman who cried and was jealous of people who did not have this condition. When I jog by my local pub and see fat people smoking and drinking to there hearts content ( no pun intended), I tend to agree with her. Life is not always fair.
I have various other health problems like bad knees and a bad ankle. Lots of daily pain. I never complain about it, because it pales in comparison to this Chinese water torture they call PVC's.
Avatar universal
I typically post at afibbers.org and have learned much from that site.  I am new here, and in reading your posts, thought I would throw in my 2 cents.  I originally was diagnosed with atrial flutter, had 2 ablations, and then had AF, and now supposedly have both. Prior to AF, however, I had GERD.  For years I took Tums to relieve my indigestion, then went to a gastroenterologist, and he put me on Prevacid.  Shortly, thereafter, started having flutter.  To summarize my thinking on this, I believe I was overloading with calcium bicarbonate (Tums) which threw off my electrolyte levels, with too much calcium, which excites the heart.  Not only this, I wasn't digesting my proteins properly, because of not enough acid, therefore was not getting the proper nutrients.  Prevacid inhibits stomach acid, as well, which basically has the same effects as Tums.  Yes, my GERD was much better, but the AF was a result.  Not good.  This is what I am doing now, and am amazed.  I am basically eating protein, ex. organic steak, fish, chicken, etc. and salads and steamed veggies, for late breakfast and early dinner, with no snacks after 6pm.  I eat no bread, cereals, rice, anything with sugar, dairy, except small amts. of cheese.  On the 2nd day of beginning the regimen, I noticed no PACs and have had none after dinner in over a week, since starting this.  I did have an apple at 9pm one night, and awoke in AF, so I attributed that to a late night carb. that rose my heart rate. So I save the apple snack for earlier in the day.  My indigestion is completely gone, as well, but I do take enzymes before each meal, but was doing that before I started this change in diet.  I am not the only one this is working for.  I believe we have all come to rely too heavily on carbs, and could be part of our problems.  Check out afibbers.org and do as much research as you can.  I would also recommend reading this article.  

Hopes this helps.

Richard G.
Avatar universal
I have the same type of symtoms as you do. I was put on beta-blockers for 10 years and the PVC'S didn't go away at first but after about 4 months they seemed to stop. They came back again several months later but the DR. kept me on the meds. Years later I started to look up in the med-library at the hosp, where I work, about beta-blockers and weened myself of the beta-blocker. I went to another cardiologist and I was told that I should stop drinking diet soda and caffine. I have never had high blood presure and I dont smoke,I drink very little alcohol and Im not real over weight. I followed the advice of the DR. and had EKG'S and ECO-CARDIAGRAMS and no problems were found, So I was told that the PVC'S would go away after following the advice of the DR. Well here Iam 5 years later and they come on for several weeks and then leave just as fast as the came for months. I don't understand this and I don't think Doctors do either. So I live with it,hate it but what do we do?
Avatar universal
If we go from virtually no PVC's for months and then wake up one morning and have them regularly for weeks, surely there is something that has changed that they can detect.The next time I see my cardiologist I'm going to ask him about studies that are current or proposed and volunteer myself. There are far too many people suffering from this ! Maybe we should organize and write letters to cardiologists across the country. It might not do anything , but I'll feel a lot better that I tried. This "live with it" attitude cardiologists have is unacceptable. I bet you if they all had this condition it would be licked by now.
Avatar universal
I have isolated PVCs that I'm told are non-repeating.  Does anyone know if this is the same thing that they have.  If I drink too much coffee, I notice the PVCs but otherwise I don't always even know they are there, except when taking my blood pressure and seeing my heart beat skip.  Am I supposed to feel something when a PVC happens?


Avatar universal
In my experience (16 years), your description of problematic pvcs are right on the money. I appreciate your analogy of the Chinese water torture.  Although, they do not appear lifethreatening, most certainly they are lifeSTYLEthreatening.  The ones I find most difficult tolerating are the hard, even painful variety.  The occasion skip here and there is not nearly as alarming.  Hopefully, you will find a measure of comfort knowing there are many of us "out here" suffering the same thing, yet we continue to march on.  Take care, God Bless, and peace to you.  Obi.
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.