Can GERD trigger heart palpitations?

can gerd cause heart palpitations

If you’ve ever felt the burning of acid reflux or the chest pain of heartburn, you know how uncomfortable they can be. Some people with GERD also experience heart palpitations, which are feelings of a fast or irregular heartbeat. Understand whether GERD can cause heart palpitations and what you can do to feel better.

Understanding GERD and Heart Palpitations

The lower esophageal sphincter is a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus. GERD happens when it softens or gets weak in a strange way, letting stomach acid flow back up into the esophagus. This can make the stomach sore, which can cause heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.

Heart palpitations, on the other hand, are feelings of your heart beating quickly, fluttering, or pounding. While heart palpitations are often related to heart issues, they can also occur due to non-cardiac factors, including digestive issues like GERD.

Can GERD cause heart palpitations?

Yes, acid reflux, also known as GERD, can make your heart beat faster or make you feel fluttery. There is a nerve in the esophagus that can get hurt when stomach acid spills back up into it. This nerve helps control many body functions, including heart rate. When GERD irritates this nerve, it can send signals to the heart that change its rate or rhythm, causing palpitations.

GERD can also lead to stress and discomfort, which can add to palpitations. Stress and anxiety can increase adrenaline levels, affecting heart rate. It’s worth noting that not everyone with GERD will have heart palpitations. The frequency and intensity of palpitations can differ from person to person.

Other Causes of Heart Palpitations Aside From Acid Reflux

Other things can also cause heart palpitations besides GERD. These include:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Caffeine and other stimulants
  • Not drinking enough water (dehydration)
  • Some medications
  • Changes in hormones
  • Underlying heart issues

If you often have heart palpitations, it’s important to see a doctor to make sure no serious health problems are causing them.

How to Stop GERD Palpitations

If you’ve noticed a link between your GERD and heart palpitations, there are steps you can take to ease or stop GERD palpitations:

Manage your GERD

  • Avoid foods that trigger your symptoms, like spicy or acidic foods.
  • If you’re overweight, losing weight can help reduce pressure on your stomach.
  • Don’t lie down right after eating, as this can lead to reflux.
  • You might want to try over-the-counter or prescription drugs to lower your stomach acid or make digestion better.

Manage stress

  • Regular exercise can help reduce stress.
  • Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
  • Get enough sleep and make time for activities you enjoy.

Make lifestyle changes

  • Quit smoking and cut back on alcohol, as they can make GERD worse.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes that squeeze your stomach.
  • To stop heartburn at night, raise the head of your bed.

Seek medical help

  • If lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments don’t help, see a gastroenterologist or your doctor.
  • If your GERD is serious or doesn’t go away, you may need more advanced treatments like prescription drugs or surgery.

Heartburn Causes Heart Palpitations: Emergency Cases

Even though GERD can cause heart palpitations, it’s important to see a doctor if you have:

  • Palpitations that won’t go away or get worse
    When you have palpitations along with chest pain, shortness of breath, or feeling dizzy
    A fast or irregular heartbeat that lasts more than a few minutes

These signs could mean you have a more serious issue that needs medical attention.

Understand the Connection of GERD and Heart Palpitations

GERD can cause heart palpitations in some individuals, although the exact mechanism is not fully understood. Knowing how GERD and heartbeat are related can help you deal with these symptoms better. If you have palpitations because of GERD, you should see a doctor right away so they can properly diagnose and treat you. By making lifestyle changes and following your healthcare provider’s recommendations, you can reduce GERD symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

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