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Avatar universal

link between pvc's and hiatal hernia?

i am a 39yo white male,hx of ibs,hiatal hernia,and just recently(in the past year primary htn)started with bp 180/120 last year lowered with nitro at work was in for cardiac cath that afternoon.results 0 luminosities.started on 50mg lopressor bid, now up to 250mg daily.3 mo after cath. ultrasound done,good heart function,mild thickening of ventricular wall,otherwise normal.was told over time the wall should thin out d/t effect of lopressor in relaxing heart muscle.have noticed bp is normalizing well,but continue to have pvc's,more frequent after meals.i was on nexium at one time stopped taking d/t cost.was not having any s/s of reflux,no problems with ibs or pvc's.now ive tried protonix,up to 300mg zantac,and rx strength prilosec,either no relief or alot of gi side effects.what else can i do,looking at seeing gi specialist for abd ultrasound to check status of herniation.are there any studies being done about possible correlation between pvc's and hiatal hernia
19 Responses
Avatar universal
I am not aware of any studies, but my PVC's are related to something going on in my stomach. I only have PVC's after I eat. It feals as if an air bubble pushes against my heart and causes it to skip a beat. If I can belch a few times, I get over it. My doc thoerizes that I have acid reflux and that somehow stimulates my vagal nerve when the acid splashes. Sorry for being gross, but that is what the doc says.
739242 tn?1234221427
Who is your doctor? I would love to talk to them. Where is this doctor based? I believe my own PVCs are caused by my hiatal hernia and GERD, which, sadly, were caused by 15 years of bulimia. Oh, the curse of being an American female. God. If I'd known then what I was setting myself up for. Gah. Oh well. Moving on. The PVCs came very suddenly two weeks ago, and I've had at least 2000 a day, every day, since. It is terrifying, but at least I don't get dizzy with them now. I just try to ignore them. But I notice a real relationship between eating - and what I eat - and how bad they get. Yesterday I ate no dinner, just to see what happened, and I had ZERO PVCs all night. First good night of sleep I've had in a long time. I need to find a Dr. who believe there is a link. My cardiologist shrugged when I told him. I've also noticed that on days when I run vigorously for an hour or more, I have far fewer PVCs than on days when I do no exercise or exercise moderately. But if I focus and listen to my own body - our bodies do, in fact, KNOW what is causing this, even if the conscious mind does not - I KNOW that if I have the hernia fixed, the PVCs will go away. The stomach is pressing the heart, and the heart is shrugging it off with an extra beat, like, "get off me!" I'm going to schedule a hernia fix op, and will let you all know the results. THERE IS LINK BETWEEN GERD AND PVCs! Oh, I also noticed that most people on this board are very articulate, which leads me to wonder if there is a higher occurrence of PVCs among gifted people? There are studies showing that most people have PVCs now and then and don't feel them. Gifted people feel more in a lot of areas - makes me wonder. I also wonder, too, if there is a link to core strength - abdominal wall strength - and PVCs. I am overweight, and carry most of it in the middle. I've dropped six pounds since being diagnosed with these things, and find they've gotten less intense, though not less frequent.
Avatar universal
My doctor is in Florida and knew the link between Gerd, acid reflux, and PVC's before I brought it up.
739242 tn?1234221427
Wow. I live in New Mexico. I guess that explains it, eh?

I need to find a good doctor somewhere else. Happy to travel for quality health care.

I was told by the secretaries that my cardiologist was great here because he likes to stroll around the lobby playing his guitar.

God help me.
363281 tn?1518219421
Oh  my gosh, that is no way to pick a cardiologist, because he walks around playing a guitar, mercy.

Well, I must be very gifted because I noticed every little "blip" and they drive me crazy. I know darn good and well that mine are DEFINITELY related to my hiatal hernia and tummy problems. You see, after I eat or drink lots of water, they act up; they will especially act up if I slouch in a chair or lie down, ugh, I hate them so.

I wish more docs would recognize this, maybe they will in the future and if all us keep telling them our symptoms and what they are associated with.
177337 tn?1310063499
Mine are related to stomach and hormone issues too.  I have reflux  (mild) but I take protonix.  I was thinking that maybe that drug was causing some problems.  Mine have been acting up more and more over the last few months.  I HATE the way the skips feel after I drink a big glass of water.  The probem for me is, I get bad ones if I'm hungry and my stomach is empty or if I'm full.  No win situation.  Yesterday I ate a bowl of cereal that decided I needed a massage to help take my mind off them.  I went over to her house, and layed down on my stomach and when she moved from my legs up to my back the pvc's started.  The more she pushed down on my back the more pvcs.  My stomach was full.  As soon as I turned over, they stopped.  I notice most of my skips in my upper stomach too.  
739242 tn?1234221427
I'm tellin' ya, I am seriously tempted to go back to med school - at 40! - to specialize in this thing, because I don't think enough is being done about it.
564698 tn?1245990290
You should know that most PVC's are harmless, I've had them for 32 years now. (I'm a 50 year old white male). I have had 5 near fatal heart attacks since July 2nd last year, I was in the cardiologist's office due to increasing frequency of chest pain. He did a routine EKG and came rushing into the room and told me that if I did not agree to be hospitalized that day, I would not survive the day. Obviously, I agreed and was admitted for an acute M.I., I underwent a procedure and a stent was placed into my left anterior descending artery. After the procedure, I was told that I needed a second surgery due to an arrythmia problem that I have, (actually, on my discharge summary from the army in 1976, I was told about this but the doctor said "don't worry, it won't bother you for another 30 years - that's the V.A. for you). Anyhow, on my 50th birthday, I found myself on the operating table once again (I've had 17 major surgeries, mostly gastrectomies and abdominal surgeries, was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia in 1992 after 66% of my stomach had been removed due to perforated ulcers) and an ICD was placed into my upper left chest. I lost my job in October due to having missed too many days from work (15 total days in the hospital due to heart condition) and my insurance went with it. I ran out of medication and suffered a major heart attack on November 17th. I was rushed into the cardiac cath lab and 3 more stents were placed in various arteries. I was released on the 19th and, while crossing an intersection to get to a local store was struck by an automobile. My left leg was damaged, but I was so pissed at the though of having to go back into the hospital that I told the driver to "leave me alone" and limped away. On December 18th, I suffered another major heart attack and my defibrillator shocked my heart back to beating correctly. I was released on the 22nd and suffered another major heart attack on the 31st of December. In all 3 of these instances, PVC's were noted on the moniter that I was placed on while in the ICU. Since I have a hiatal hernia which puts more pressure into my thoracic cavity, I cannot help but believe that there is a connection. When I do eat ( I have a great deal of diffuculty remembering to eat, the nerves to my stomach were severed in one of the gastrectomies in 1986) I fall asleep after about 1/2 hour. My right leg was shattered when I was pushed out of a 3rd story barracks window at Ft. Knox in 1976. my left wrist was shoved into my arm and was so badly broken that the doctor was going to amputate my left hand, but I refused to sign the consent form (even in the military, they cannot order you to loose a limb) and is now fused so that it does not move. The right femur had a stainless steel rod and two woodscrews placed in it, but something went wrong and the lower shaft rotated so that the screws wound up sticking into my muscle. Talk about pain! I have not had a pain free day/night since I was pushed out the window.
I have been diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (ischemic, secondary in nature, along with the arrithymia disorder and severe congestive heart failure - my LVf is at 15%) Sometimes I wonder why I'm still here. All the E.R. doctors as well as my cardiologists tell me that I'm a walking medical wonder. I don't think so, I think I was put here to simply suffer.
739242 tn?1234221427
So, hernia/PVC people, listen to this. I have gotten my terrible PVCs under control in the past two weeks by doing the following (and by under control I mean I get maybe 1 an hour instead of 3 a minute as before):

I quit caffeine; I started running 60 minutes a day; I stopped eating big meals and now eat six small ones, no bigger than my hand; I dropped six pounds (and have 40 more to go); I sit up straight; I sit less and stand more; I am taking an herbal heart supplement with magnesium and calcium in it, three times a day; I began yoga, three times a week; I eat very little FAT now, other than nuts and olive oil.

I know this is not the way everyone wants to live, but one the days that I do all these things, I feel amazing and the palpitations are few and far between. The ones I do have now are very mild, and don't make me dizzy. I think treating the hernia is the key, in my case, and the best treatment for now is to drop BELLY FAT. Extra fat in the belly and chest will kill you, one way or another.
741453 tn?1232814557
Hi, I am new member and have been reading all the postings.  I do believe there is a connection between Hernias and PVC's and SVT's.  I had both onset at nearly the same time.  I have had PVC's mildly my whole life, but developed SVT's about the same time as hernia.
It's hard to believe that there would be no connection.
Just wanted to add to the "Stats".
Avatar universal
Thank you for posting your symptoms. I too suffer from a hiatal hernia and pvc's/pac's.  It is so frustrating that so few doctors recognize the connection between stomach issues and their relation to irregular heartbeats.

After reading what you all have to say, I am thoroughly convinced that the hiatal hernia is aggrevating the vagal nerve.  The way I have described it to my husband is that the sensation feels similar to an involuntary muscle twitch like the kind you can get in your eye lid or for that matter anywhere else in your body...including an extra contraction in the heart muscle that causes the premature heartbeat!  

It seems to reason that if the top of the stomach (in the case of the hiatal hernia) is pushing up through the diaphragm, the pressure of this action can stimulate the largest nerve in the body the vagus nerve, that controls the all the stuff the body does to keep us alive without thinking about it like our heartbeat, breathing, digestion and so on.  This is a little far a field, but I own two dogs, I can scratch a certain spot on my dogs neck and his hind leg starts a thumpin.  The nervous system in dogs as well as humans has interconnections and relationships to parts of the body we would never expect.  Perhaps this is why acu-puncture works well for many people.  

Lastly, I do recognize a connection between what I eat and the number and frequency of irregular beats.  There is also a connection between stress levels and irregular beats.  I have best controlled these by exercise, staying a healthy weight and trying to eat foods that do not aggrevate the GI tract.  Tonight, I had an especially bad attack that I can contribute to my poor food choices for the day and a little added stress load.

I am 55 and in overall great shape, however with age the hernia and consequently the irregular beats have gotten worse.  Living with PVC'S and PAC's is exasperating, joy sucking and scary as hell.  I have been to the emergency room only to be told I have a very healthy heart and why was I admitted to the hospital?

There are enough of us around who suffer from this debilitating symptom (disease) that you would think a drug company would have come up with something to treat it.  In the meanwhile, it helps to know there are those of us who recognize the hiatal/pvc connection.  Thanks guys for being there for me.  My attack has stopped so I will now get some sleep.

May God Bless you all,
Avatar universal
This is definitely caused (at least in my case) from the vagal nerve.  I suffered with the same arrhythmia problem for years, just after eating during digestion or consuming alcoholic beverages, and all of the doctors I spoke with never even mentioned the vagal nerve as being causative for the skipped beats or PVC's.  There seems to be VERY little research in this area---and diagnosis or knowledge  connecting the two also seems to be very rare.

So, I took matters into my own hands after doing MUCH research through forums such as this one.  Although I don't suffer from GERD or any other type of digestive disorders or acid reflux, I decided to try an acid reducing over the counter medication.  THIS WAS THE MAGIC BULLET!  75mg of Ranitidine (Zantac)----one first thing in the morning and one before dinner at night, and the arrhythmias WENT AWAY COMPLETELY.

Your results may vary, so please don't take this as medical advice--I just wanted to let you and the group know (and the MD's and cardiologists if they are reading this)  that there is a definite connection between digestive tract acid, vagal nerve stimulation (or destimulation) and heart arrhythmias.  

Good luck, and if you decide to try this and it works, God Bless.
Hey, thanks for the info. I know This was years ago but do you remember how long it took for it to work? I hope your still using this site lol
1293355 tn?1272490851
Hi! I too suffer from a hiatal hernia and PVC's and I am sure there is a connection and I agree from everything that has been said here.  There should be research done and a solution found.  It's unnerving when you feel bad and your doctor think that you're fine and that tends to happen a lot when you have this condition.  I hope that a university lab or a company sees this posts and do something.  
Get better soon!
Avatar universal
There seem to be a lot of us who don't just THINK there is a connection between PVCs and hiatal hernia, we KNOW there is. When I'm having a bout I can gently massage the hernia area and feel the extra beats emanating from that location.
Avatar universal
I have been having the same issue going on a couple of weeks now myself.  I just had a full cardio workout 2 months ago.  I went to the E.R. and they told me the hard pulse is my Barretts.  I go to the Gastro and he tells me he think its cardio. I go to the cardio and he tells me its Gastro.  I work out about 40 to 45 mins a day walking. Ive limited my calories and I still get them. I keep getting bounced back and forth from Dr. to Dr.  My Gastro Dr. told me Friday to "just take a Xanax".  Are you kidding me???? I take the Xanax and I STILL get them so OBVIOUSLY its not that!  Im so frustrated I want to cry.  I have an extremely large hiatal hernia and the Gastro still doesnt believe its his problem.  Ugh...
Avatar universal
an x-ray shoiwed a 'gigantic' hiatal hernia in 1986. The doc insisted on imediate operation.  I got opinions from five docs.. They were divided. But one said, don't do it you'll never be the same again. My mothter had an emergencyop for the same thing at 86. I didn't  i get the operation. For years i had symptoms whihc no doc could diagnose - anxiety, dizziness, nausea (never acid), palps, pvc's.altho' one said I was burned out with stress. In my 2010 I got a stent in right artery 95% block. a stress test four months ago showed 'top contiton'. But this I think the interventionist  cardio measn only that  the stent is behaving itslef. I still have the old symtpms I thought for 30 years were fromstress UNTIL I FOUND THIS FORUM THIS MORNING. My first thought is to get a chiropractor or jump off the steps with two pints of water inside. I'm 82. Just lugged 130lbs of garden refuse 40 yards. No symtoms. But at breakfast chest(diaphram) discomfort, nausea, bit breathless, fatigue etc. Which way now please? Can anyone identify?
5625839 tn?1371173912
I tend to get PVC's on days that I am extremely bloated. And yes I have a Hiatal Hernia, which I am having surgery on the 25th to fix. Stay away from Omeprazole, tends to really flare them up. Since long term use of it depletes your bodies ability to absorb magnesium (Wiki). And there are studies that from the FDA that indicate Omeprazole may cause heart attacks or strokes (google it)... I'll keep the heartburn thanks!
Did you have the surgery and do you still get pvcs
Did you ever get a response?
Avatar universal
I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one who is absolutely convinced that my hiatal hernia and irregular heartbeat are connected.  I was diagnosed thru an endoscopy with the hernia about 8 years ago, because I was having difficulty swallowing some foods and felt a fullness in my throat.  My doc put me on Nexium and that greatly relieved my symptoms.  But...about 2 years after that, this crazy irregular heartbeat started.  At first, it was only occasionally and usually after I ate or drank, but over the past few years it has gotten so much worse and has truly begun to compromise my lifestyle.  Sometimes if I bend over to pick something up, they will kick in or sometimes I just wake up with them in the morning and they last all day!!  I love to take long, vigorous walks, but when these palpitations kick in (which seem to be almost everyday now), I'm scared to walk at more than a snails pace for fear that I'm going to stoke out!!  When they're really bad, I can barely climb a flight of steps without having such a shortness of breath that I think I'm going to pass out!!  The first gastro doc I went to laughed at me when I told him that I thought there was a connection.  So, off I went to the cardiologist, who put me thru a battery of tests only to come back and tell me that my heart is completely healthy.  Then I found a new gastro doc who was at least willing to listen to my  theory and increased my dosage of Nexium.   Well...guess what??  The palpations are worse than ever.  I've just come from the cardiologist AGAIN and have had Echo cardiogram, stress test and am sitting here wearing a halter monitor for the next 48 hrs.  He has prescribed a heart med that is suppose to even out the arythmia,  but I'm not encouraged that it's going to work.  The cardiologist also (hesitantly) agreed that it could be the hernia bumping up against my heart or vagas nerve, but still wants to try me on this heart med.  I asked him why he would put me on medication if my heart is healthy and the hernia is probably what's causing the problem and he seemed to get annoyed that I was questioning his methods.   Drs. really don't like the fact that their patients have the ability to do research on the internet and log onto blogs like this.  Anyway, he said that we should know within a week if this medication is going to work.  If it doesn't, he's going to send me on to what he referred to as his "electrician."  Im so frustrated right now..I could scream!!  I am so positive that this process is going to continue on for months only to find out that I (we) was right all along. I will keep you posted.  PS...I am a 60 year old, healthy and fit female.
Avatar universal
Hi Terri.  You are not alone.  I am a WM/ 42YO non-smoker.  The only issue I have is I am overweight, have high cholesterol (238), and an elevated liver enzyme (fatty liver from high cholesterol).  One day in October, I was helping my daughter warm up for her soccer game.  I was running and kicking the ball and what not.  When she took the field, I went to sit down on the bench to watch her game.  I started to feel flush and my heart rate would not slow down.  I have a fitness watch I use to track the quality of sleep and it also is a heart rate monitor.  My heart rate was 120bpm sitting down resting and would not slow down.  I also could feel my heart beating (palpitations) I did not have any chest pains but I freaked out thinking I was having a heart attack.  My wife drove me to the ER close to where we were and they did a battery of tests.  All came back normal.  The ER doc said I could just be dehydrated since I just came off of a 15 hour flight the day before.  So, I hydrated and didn’t think anything of it.  2nd Occurrence:  It was about a week later.  I ate a whole bag of popcorn at my computer desk.  All of a sudden, I felt my heart rate take off.  I looked at my watch and it was at 125bpm and I started feeling flush again.  I freaked and rushed my family to the ER with me.  Guess what?  All the tests came back normal.  The ER doc said I should check with a cardiologist.  I got a referral and met with a cardiologist.  He was an older doctor, perhaps in his 60s to early 70s.  I scheduled me for an echocardiogram and away I went.  The ECG came back normal.  The only thing worth noting was a slight regurgitation of my heart’s tricuspid valve, which is normal for someone in his early 40s.  No blockage or build up, no arrhythmia.  I have a healthy heart.  The cardiologist had nothing for me.  I was shocked.  No further recommendations or nothing.  You cannot tell me that my racing heart and palpitations are normal.  I push him on it and he then recommended wearing a holter monitor for 3 weeks.  Every time I had a palpitation, I hit the button and tell them what I was doing.  After 3 weeks, I was told that my monitoring was normal and I had occasional PVCs.  The day before I received my holter monitor, my family and I went to see a symphony.  Before the show, we ate at a Mexican restaurant and I went crazy with the chips and salsa.  I was full when we left and headed to the symphony.  Sitting in my seat listening to the orchestra play, my heart rate shot up and I started to sweat profusely when the temperature in the building was cool.  I was freaking out again.  I figured I was going to stroke before intermission.  I made it to intermission and EMS was called.  They hooked me up and gave me aspirin and nitroglycerin.  What a head rush!  I got to the ER and guess what?  Symptoms went away and all the tests were normal.  The ER doctor said if I was really having a heart attack, there would be no doubt.  While I was talking to him I felt a palpitation and he noticed it on the monitor.  He said it was a PVC or extra heart beat and he said they happen and they are not life threatening.  Fast forward 2 weeks and I am on a road trip with my family and after 15 hours driving… (yes I know… no need to lecture) we stopped and ate dinner.  At this time, I have stopped drinking coffee, eating pork and beef and all fried foods.  I only ate chicken, fish and salad.  We drove from Dallas, TX to a little town somewhere in Illinois.  We ate dinner and retired to a hotel behind the place we ate.  I took a hot shower and guess what?  Yup… heartrate took off like a rocket and started feeling flush.  Guess where we went?  Straight to the only hospital in town.  I was hooked up again and all of the tests came back negative.  The charge nurse looked like she was 18 and the ER doc looked like he was in his 80s.  He told me that all of my test are negative and he asked me what I wanted him to do.  What I wanted him to do?  Damn, at least tell me something.  So he told me to go back to Texas and see my cardiologist.  I guess the lowest scoring doctor in medical school still gets to be a doctor.  So back to the hotel I went.  On to Ohio we went the next day.  We got to Ohio to visit family and I was still internet researching my symptoms.  Sometimes I would eat and suddenly lose my appetite, or sometimes become nauseated.  My diet was strict and I was losing weight.  I was scared to do any kind of exercising.  On the trip back, we stopped at my grandmother’s house in Kentucky for the night.  I happened to work on her broken clothes dryer and found another symptom.  As I was squatted down working on her dryer, I stood up and got really dizzy.  Just to make sure it wasn’t a one-time thing, I squatted down and stood back again and go soooo dizzy I thought I was going to pass out.  I sat down for a while and feared going to the ER again.  At this point I figured I was going to die at some point and when an autopsy was done the result of my death would be unconfirmed.  I fell asleep and got up the next morning and went back to Texas.  I watched my diet and only took luke warm showers.  I was doing more and more research online.  I searched my symptoms and got aggravated.  I didn’t know if I had cancer or multiple sclerosis or some other issue.  So far, here is a list of the symptoms I was having.  Some together, some time to time.  Heart palpitations, nausea, loss of appetite, brain fog, hot sweats, slight pain around my right side (liver area), postural hypertension, fast heart rate at rest, and fluctuating high/normal blood pressure.  My blood sugar was normal and my blood oxygen level was normal.  
I did some research and found out that gall bladder issues can cause a lot of these symptoms.  So I had an ultrasound done on my liver/gallbladder and then a HIDA scan.  All came back normal.  Over time, I went from 260lbs to 238lbs.  Almost all of my symptoms went away.  I only consume coffee once or twice a week and it is usually decaf.  I don’t drink and still stay away from pork and beef.  I only eat salad, fish and chicken.  No friend foods and no starches like potatoes.  The only symptoms I have now is the occasional postural hypertension, but not too bad and not all the time and chest pain that is dull, almost burning that alternates from side to side from the front of my chest.  I notice I get this if I am hunched over the key board, or if I get stressed or sometimes after a long day at work.  I just take a couple advil PM, drink some sleeptime tea and fall asleep.  I wake up the next day and start my day all over again.

After doing  research again, I came upon this website and I am thinking I may have a hiatal hernia.  It all makes sense.  All of my symptoms are related to the vagus nerve  and I can see now how a hiatal hernia can affect this nerve.  I will talk to my doctor when I return from overseas and get him to refer me for a barium xray.  The thing I find with most doctors, is that they only seem to know what they learned in med school or what they have learned from other patients.  I have never came across any doctor that has the desire to look things up online and find out what other patients are experiencing.  I guess this separates the good from the bad.  I would like to hear if any of you had any of the symptoms I have had.  I will not stop until I find out what is causing my dull burning chest pain that likes to move around my chest.    
Did you ever find out if you have a hiatal Hernia? I hope you're feeling better since your last post.
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