Weird Heartbeat followup....Reflux...????

andrelaplume2January 14, 2009

Ok, I thought Id post again as my symptoms are becoming more defined. Maybe someone out there is more or less having the exact same issue or been thru this. If you recall my saga you might as well skip this paragraph! As previously posted I am a 40+ male, 5Â-9", 190 lbs (gained 15 Â 20 pounds over the last decade) and fairly inactive (well I started exercising a week ago). I never had any reflux symptoms. I do have bad allergies/drip/nasal etc and am on meds and allergy shots. In Oct, after dinner a few nights in a row, while sitting I thought I could feel my heart beating. It turned to what I thought was an irregular beat. I freaked out (which likely made things worse) and went to my internal med doc. She sent me for blood work and an eco and had me wear a holter monitor for a day. Everything came back normal. The holter showed a few irregular beats, ironically not when I thought I felt them! She said to calm down, loose some weight and exercise. I actually felt better as the good news about the heart came in. She said I could take pepsid for 2 weeks and that I perhaps had reflux which messed something up inside of me and the pepsid might help it heal. She did not think it was the heart. FYI: I have never had any pain, burning or burping but she said I could have had reflux without knowing it. Also, my allergies had been very bad (drip/cough etc) and this could have inflamed something. I also remembered that back in August I DID have a bout where I actually had trouble swallowing. At the time my drip was horrible. It was at that time my allergist bumped me up to shots ever two weeks instead of monthly and a few other things. That helped. The swallowing incident only lasted a few days and I did not give it any thought thereafter

Well the pepsid helped a bit, I think, but did not eliminate the problem. The problem now seemed less and less an irregular heart beat / palpitations and more a quivering or spasm feeling that would occur anywhere from in the back of my throat down into my belly. On rare occasion IÂd swear the heart was beating irregularly but mostly just this quivering inside me after eatingÂ.or sometimes when IÂd lay down for bed. I returned to my doc after the holidays. She noted I actually had gained a few pounds, again the holidays. She said to try prescription prilosec once a day and I would likely see an improvement in 2 weeksÂit should eliminate stomach acid and let whatever might be inflamed in there heal. Prilosec was stonger than the pepsid. Also, again, loose some weight and exercise. If it is helped after 2 weeks, take it the rest of the month and then ween off it and see how it goes. If it gets no better sheÂll send me to a gastro for testing. 9 times out of 10 prilosec is the answer she said.

So I started the prilosec, once a day at lunch. I think it was working to some degree, I think my symptoms were not as intense. I even remember ONE night where I felt nothing at allÂnot even a momentary twitch! But, 2 / 3 days in I caught my kidÂs head cold and was sniffy, flemmy and coughing for days. I still have a little Âcold residue in me but am better. Over that week or so any ground I gained in the first 2/3 days was lost. The quivering was back after dinner and at bed time! Could it be the prilosec was helping but the flem and coughing further adjatating something during that time, again offsetting my gains? Irritating what?

Finally, I have been eating less and walking a treadmill after dinner for the last 4/5 days, even while I had the cold. Well last night we all went to the local buffet. I tried to eat less but ate more than I should have I guess. I hit the bathroom then the treadmill when I got home. When I sat down I noticed the quiveringÂ.not horribly so but annoyingly so. I went to bed around 12:30 am and was still doing it. Around 1am I decided to take a seocnd prilosec. (I took the first before dinner around 4:30pm instead of at lunchtime). Well, with in one minute my symptoms stopped! I could not believe it! So, it was either all in my head (placebo effect-doubt this), the glass of water I took with the pill helped (???) or the prilosec worked some kind of miracle that fast. WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK? I really do not want to take 2 pills again within a 24 hour period; I wonÂt make the over-eating mistake again.

If you think it was the prilosec then: 1) What exactly does the drug do and how does it work? 2) If it is stomach acid, why is my body producing so much OR is it that something is inflamed and the acid irritates it? 3) If the acid is needed for digestion, doesnÂt the prilosec hurt digestion? 4) The scary question, what could be inflamed and what can be done about it?

I figure, with my cold almost gone, I should try the priloec another week or so and see how things go. My gut tells me I will end up at the gastro and to be honest my mind then starts to wander thinking about cancer and testing and stuff.

Opinions, ideas etc etc.

Thanks for your patience. The frustrating thing is I FEEL fine otherwise. I have an appetite. The minimal exercise might even be making me feel more peppy. But, what is that damn quivering feelingÂ

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do a google search for EOSINOPHIC ESOPHAGITIS

The research in this field is somewhat new and some doctors are just not up on it yet. However, your history of allergies made me think that it might be an explanation for you.

I quit taking my reflux meds back in October (I cut back gradually) and started taking some OTC Benedryl twice a day. My "acid reflux" problems were reduced about 95%.

I'm not saying that you should do the same, but with your allegies, it might be a contributing problem.

This is the first link where I read about it. I did further searches and found more that were helpful.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 12:37PM
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will take a look...did you get that quivering feeling too?

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 1:30PM
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Everything you've described sounds familiar to me - except that along with the quivering and palpitations I also got/get an overwhelming sense of doom or dread (it can last for days). Like something really bad is just about to happen. It can really mess up my day.

Anyway, it is all related to acid reflux and how your esophagus feels. If you upset the lining of your esophagus it can swell or constrict or spasm and contort which will seem like a violent heart beat since the esophagus is magnifying your regular heart beat or throbbing on its own and making it seem like your heart is freaking out. To me, once you have a damaged esophagus you will be dealing with this for years and years - it doesn't go away, you get better at managing it and understanding it but it is allways there.

My doctor explained it to me as - your stomach acid is really just a disinfectant bath for your food, it plays a minor role in digestion but mostly it is there to protect the rest of your body from anything dangerous you might eat. Over time our stomach lining (where the acid producing cells are) gets messed up and produces acid in the wrong amounts, the wrong intensity or the wrong times - or all of the above. In my case she believes the messed up stomach lining was because of Heliobacter pylori bacterial infection. This is a common bacteria that comes from our drinking water and takes about 30-40 years to take over your stomach. It has been linked to stomach ulcers. I don't have any ulcers but I did have H. pylori coating my stomach walls. A simple two week regime of antibiotics will clear it up, but you will have to treat it again in another 30-40 years.

You do need to be endoscoped. They need to evaluate the linings of your esophagus and stomach to see if there is any damage. More than likely you do not have ulcers or cancers but if you go without treatment, over time they could appear.

All the acid reflux drugs either reduce the amount of stomach acid or shut it off completely. This doesn't affect your digestion (except for some vitamins absorbed through the stomach wall) but it does have an affect on your general health. People that take acid suppressors over a long period of time do run the risk of suffering from bad respiratory infections. When you breath bad stuff in (cold germs, dust, pollution, viruses, etc.) even though it comes in through your mouth or nose it usually ends up in your stomach first - it slides down your throat in your saliva. In your stomach it is supposed to be taken care of by the acid, if you reduce the amount of acid you weaken the system to handle it, which makes it easier for you to have bad respiratory illnesses. So, reducing the amount of stomach acid is not a good long term plan - but some people do need to, their reflux problems are that bad. Yours does not seem that bad to me.

I have suffered with acid reflux for over 20 years. I have taken all the different pills available. Everything works great but none of it is a cure for the problem. This is just something I will have to deal with forever. I prefer to sip apple cider vinegar for my problem, it works as well as any of the pills, in some cases faster. But it is not for everyone so you will have to figure out what works best for you.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 2:02PM
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Thanks--I think.

What exactly happens when they scope you?

Could that extra prilosec have shut down the quivering that fast or was it the water I washed it down with?

FYI- I never had these symtpoms in my life until October.

That quivering is downright annoying. It depresses me to think it will never go away.

Again....about the scope long does it tale, what do they do etc...I think I am afraid of being knocked out more than them sticking a tube down my throat.

..whats that apple cider do again...does it work immediately...stop the quivering....

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 3:14PM
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I think I already told you what I thought on the last thread... but regarding this particular incident... I think it was probably the fact that you got upright that helped your symptoms 'right away' and not any medicine.

When I had gerd, I swore that bananas would cure it... because I would get up in the middle of the night, eat a banana and then like magic, it would go away. It wasn't until we were out of bananas that I realized it wasn't the banana actually helping.. it was me getting out of bed and standing upright instead of being in a laying position. If you ever had a kid with reflux, you know how it works. Upright, no crying... laying down, they have a fit. Sounds like this could be happening with you.

Cider Vinegar may help nuetralize your stomach acid. I drank pickle juice when I felt my Gerd coming on and stoped it dead in it's track. Now, other people's acid balance may be different and it may not help, or even hurt you, but it's probably worth a try. To this day, I still keep pickle juice in my fridge, just in case... It helped that much.

And, again, I think I mentioned this in your other post. Allergies and Gerd can be very closely related. Concentrate on controlling your allergies and it could help your Gerd symptoms dramatically.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Yes....even tried the pickle juice but was not sure how much to drink. I am not so sure getting upright did the trick. Prior to bed I was downstairs in a recliner...with the quivering. I got up to go upstairs, ie was upright, but when I laid down it was still quivering. An hour later I jumped out of bed, took the pill and jumped back in....took less than 60 seconds. Stopped...Who Knows....

What specifically is causing the quivering whne it starts...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 4:08PM
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I don't know about you, but a recliner or sitting down wouldn't really help me.. I had to be standing (and maybe even walking) for my symptoms to really lessen. Does reclining help you? I would try sitting up in bed and it did nothing.

Now, say at 8:00 (after you ate at 6) you may have to remain upright for quite a while, while in the middle of the night, say at 4:00 (quite a bit after eating) you may only have to rise for the length it takes you to get to the the bathroom and get a drink for your symptoms to go away. I don't know why; just sometimes the time for the symptoms took longer to go away than other times.

If you ever had a baby with reflux, you'll notice the same thing. Position, time of day or night, and eating habits contribute immensely to symptoms or lack thereof.

For me, the severity and length of time it took to get rid of it, were dependant on many things. Stress or lack of sleep were a big one.

Foods... Cut out all soda during the day (it wasn't the caffeine for me, but the carbonation), eat small meals, don't skip meals, stay away from heavy fried foods especially at night, don't eat after dinner or know what you can eat after dinner, be very cautious of pretzels or heavy dry starch foods especially at night.

I have really low blood pressure so I can drink a lot of pickle juice with no ill effect... I certainly don't want to create an added problem for you downing tons of the pickle juice. I don't know what a healthy dose would be for you. Try googling it or cider vinegar... If you can't handle drinking the juice, I'd try eating a couple pickles and then just downing a little extra juice. I just sip a little like wine.

I'm a lot better now. I only notice it acting up very rarely and I can usually track it to either drinking soda, eating pretzels at night time, or going through a real stressful time.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:55PM
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...still I find it odd that this just started happening after 40 years.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 8:32AM
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Mine just came form nowhere too. Well, I just had a baby and I think lack of sleep along with some weight gain contributed to it. But I had never had any symptoms before.

Don't most ailments come from nowhere anyway? You're middle age, many things will start coming form nowhere! Plus, aren't your allergies worse than usual?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 9:10AM
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My problem appeared out of nowhere 4 days before my 40th birthday. It was so bad I rushed myself to the hospital (while on the cell phone with 911) convinced I had been poisoned and would soon die. The tingling, odd sensations, pounding heartbeat and overall sense of dread pretty much brought on a panic attack. The hospital found nothing wrong and didn't diagnose anything. A nurse believed I was in trouble and at the very end of my stay gave me some sort of upset stomach medicine like milk of magnesia - even though nothing in my symptoms said "stomach problem". It kinda worked so I did my own research on stomach problems, then the tv started showing ads for Zantac and I found a new doctor and everything fell into place.

If you have damage to your esophagus - sores or ulcers you will not be able to tolerate strong acid drinking like apple cider vinegar or pickle juice. It will be very painful. I slurp a capful of vinegar off and on throughout the day and always before I lay down to sleep. Other people drink much more. It is very harsh and hard to swallow and in the beginning you will think you've just poisoned yourself. It is hard medicine but very cheap to buy and the most affective treatment for GERD for me. It doesn't work for everyone.

For me, the position of my neck seems to affect my chest quivering. If I bend my neck forward, where my chin is close to my chest it will upset my esophagus and I will have problems (either immediately or days later). I have to sleep with my shoulders raised up on a thin pillow so that my neck does not bend while I sleep. My biggest problem is rolling over in my sleep and sleeping on my stomach (face down). This will push the top of my stomach up through my diaphragm and cause all sorts of pain and discomfort - quivering for days, general unease, touchy and nervous all the time. When your stomach pokes up through your diaphragm it is called a Hiatal Hernia. Mine doesn't do it often and it always slides back down into the correct position so my doctor called it a sliding hiatal hernia (they don't do surgery to repair them).

When mine gets bad I find that walking around is the best treatment - the dog gets plenty of midnight walks around the block when things get bad.

With my GERD problems, taking the pills calmed things down and after a month or so I was back to normal with the occassional problem. I understood what caused my issues and tried to keep them under control. I cannot eat a large meal after 4 oclock in the evening. I eat my largest meal at lunch time. I can eat anything I want at breakfast unless I know I rolled over in my sleep and upset my esophagus, then I will eat a small boring breakfast without anything strong or sweet tasting. I snack all day. When my GERD is acting up I cannot eat anything extra sweet or flavorful - one jelly bean will cause a weeks worth of problems. I also have to avoid citrus fruits when things are bad. It is a big problem when you're sharing space with people that don't have this problem - people that want to eat pizza as an evening meal, people that enjoy going out late in the evening and eating large amounts of spicy food. You just can't. Your chest will teach you the hard way. After a couple of rounds of painful episodes you'll change your habits.

I did not enjoy the endoscopy. But they knock you out completely. There was not any pain or discomfort afterwards. I had it done over 10 years ago and I'm sure they are better at it nowadays. It was nice to see the video of my esophagus and stomach and have everything explained to me. It is the only way to see what's going on. I have since moved to a new state/new city and I have since also had a colonoscopy which went much smoother. If I ever need another endoscopy I will make sure I do it at the same clinic that performed the colonoscopy, they were very good at it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 10:18AM
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thanks fo rall the info...compared to some, I am not that bad off...unless it gets worse.

FYI: so far I have no trouble eating or drinking anything....though I never tried cider or viniger etc...just some pickle juice....did not help.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 1:43PM
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I have had the quivering, and I think its either alot of gas bubbles going through a narrow turn in your intestines, or its something like a small muscle twitch. I had it for years. I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome around the same time. Our intestines are muscles and can have twitches like any other muscle. I take sublingual B12 when I get alot of twitches, and it helps.
I only seemed to have the quivering on the left side of me.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 7:36PM
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does yours vary from being in your throat to down near your tummy?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 12:57PM
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Mine are usually pretty much in the same place. Mine were mostly near my intestines on the left side. Would you call them a buzzing feeling?
I would love for you to take B12 sublingual tabs and see if that sensation eases up.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Well, been on prilosec for about 6 weeks. I actually had a week of vertually no symptoms but, right when I thought I was getting better...they sort of returned. I am not getting the quivering stuff as bad but now I burp or feel like I need to force myself to burp to relieve some somthing. So I guess I need to go off to the gastro.....not keeping me up at night so much though nor as intense...not sure where this burping came from though. I have been walking the treadmill and lost at least 5 pounds.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 9:48AM
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