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Avatar universal

Linkage between AFib/PVC's and vagus nerve/indigestion?

I am interested in hearing about similar experiences and remedies, am piecing this together.  I am a 58 yr old male, 6'6", BMI of around 25, avid exerciser my whole life, have rarely felt better.
About two years ago I started experiencing gas after everything I eat.  No acid reflux or heartburn, just some gas.  Didn't think anything of it
Six weeks ago, after a large meal late in the evening and a few glasses of wine, I woke up with AFib that lasted for three days.  (a similar event occurred six months ago but only lasted a few hours.) Saw my GP, prescribed Metoprolol until I could see cardiologist, within two minutes of first tablet 50mg the AFib stopped.
Cardiologist did stress test (normal except one ventricular triplet over 11 minute test), Cardiac perfusion (heart function and blood flow is normal but TBD whether slight left ventricular hypertrophy, more tests), holter (awaiting results), echo (awaiting results).  The cause is not cardiac-related, not thyroid my blood chemistry is perfect, BP is good.
Meanwhile am on Metropolol 25mg twice daily.  At times I get a two second palpitation every time I swallow food or beverage except water.  Never get them any other time except maybe once or twice doing cardio, I think due to inhaling and stomach gas; always seems to be in concert with gas.  Working out hard with no other issues.  A large meal late in the evening can start to cause palpitations when I lay down to sleep (I now understand that is a definite no no, and how hard it can be to try to sleep on my left side.)
Other than that I feel fantastic.  But something in my body has changed that makes me sensitive to things that never caused any issues before.
I have been reading about:
- Effect of vagus nerve on cardiac rhythm
- Possible causes of aggravation of vagus nerve including upper GI gas and hiatal hernia (which is apparently very common)
- Anecdotal evidence that increasing stomach acidity (e.g. apple cider vinegar) removes indigestion and arrythmias stop)
- AFib positive correlation with height (and perhaps smaller rib cage?)
- Possibility that eating chocolate decreases AFib, recent study (http://heart.bmj.com/content/early/2017/05/01/heartjnl-2016-310357); does it improve digestion?
Interesting that today I have no palpitations when eating, I decided to cut out alcohol 100% for last four days.  Is having a beer affecting stomach acidity and contributing to the indigestion, affecting vagus nerve, causing palpitation?
I do not intend to take beta blockers or anything else forever, so am looking for a cause, and then a remedy.
3 Responses
1807132 tn?1318747197
I am not sure you would get any doctors to agree but I see a correlation between stomach issues and my palpitations/premature beats.  Not sure if they can trigger afib but maybe the premature beats are causing you to fall into afib.  One of the reasons I read for afib was uneven heart chamber sizes causing the heart to not beat evenly so it is good that you are getting your heart fully evaluated.  Well anyways, I personally experience more premature beats after a bout of reflux and get them more when I have gas so regardless if the doctors don't agree I see a stomach/digestion link.  I don't believe it is the only cause but try antacids when you ingest things that may cause gas or reflux and see if it helps.  Take care.
12492606 tn?1459877633
I wasn't aware that height has some correlation to AF.  The big factors are age, life habits and genetics.  Life style factors include smoking, over-training (endurance athletics), stress, sleep apnea, etc.  You may want to look at your exercise routine to see if you are over doing it.  Also check out AF forum blog as a number of athletes post there with their experience.  Since you are still paroxysmal, ablation has a higher rate of success when you catch it early instead of waiting for progression to a more persistent state of AF.  Best wishes to you in tackling this.
Avatar universal
More info on this, now that my Holter and Echo results are in.  They did not see afib, just 191 PAC's and some runs of PAT, longest 12 seconds, over the 48 hours  Symptoms are still the same.  Have been switched to Bisoprolol from Metoprolol.  So this seems less worrisome, though I'd still like to determine and remedy the cause, if I can.  Will start reading about PAC's on the forum.
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