Ectopics....The Stomach and The Vagus Nerve

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Hi there

Alot of people on here are asking the question if whether Ectopic Heartbeats can be brought on by Stomach issues like gas, acid and a full stomach. My doctor went into great detail to tell me of the link. There is a nerve called the 'Vagus Nerve' that runs from the stomach to the heart to the brain. One of the jobs of this nerve is to work the 'Sinoatrial node' (The hearts natural pacemaker), to charge the heart, thus giving the heart a contraction (heartbeat). When this nerve becomes stimulated it can intterupt the 'Sinoatrial node' thus giving your heart irregular electrical impulses to the heart. The question is.. Does eating too much for some people, stimulate the Vagus Nerve? Whenever I get my Ectopics they are always worse after a big meal, or when I have gas and acid. I also get a slight contraction in my stomach when I get the beats. I find taking Gaviscon reduces my ectopics and sometimes will kills them dead.

Lets hope someone get to the bottom of this as its ruining my life!! :cry:

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I have been started on Omeprazole/losec and at first they did help to calm the ectopic heart beats. Then they started to come back so i did a lot of research on the subject and spoke to a lot of people with similar symptoms and i commenced a low fat diet. This did help enormously, although very difficult to shop for. I do still get them but not as bad and i am now waiting for a barium meal to see if i have hiatus hernia/reflux or an ulcer.


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  • Posted

    I have had relatively mild ectopic beats for years. I later had atrial fibrillation

    after having my aortic valve replaced. A cardioversion four months later put me back in sinus rhythm but I still had ectopic beats. Like you I have had digestive problems for many yers.

    Fifteen months after my cardioversion I went for a colonoscopy. During it my BP dropped to 40/27 and my heart rate to 30bpm. This had been caused by the probe stimulating my vagus nerve during the procedure. I soon found that I was back in AF. I was put back on warfarin and had to wait about four months for another successful cardioversion.

    Speaking to the cardiologist last week after an ECG to confirm that I was still in sinus rhythm he told me that cardioversion also stimulates the vagus nerve to get the heart back into sinus rhythm.  

    If you Google ‘Vagus nerve and ectopic beats’ there are many discussions on the connection between the digestive system and ectopic beats.

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  • Posted

     I'm having this exact problem right now for my first time. I've had heart skips before but not as bad as it is now it's been all day. First it was every five minutes than three minutes than two minutes now everyone. Went to the doctors they said my EKG was fine and that these are benign. But goodness gracious are these things very Scary

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  • Posted

    I have palpitations. I also have a hiatus hernia and acid reflux with IBS.

    I think there's a connection. Because I can get bumps straight after eating. Although I do get them at other times too.

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  • Posted

    Your doctor is at least helpful. There are so many people suffering from these extra or missed ectopic beats includng me!! Can't they give something to tone down the vagal nerve. Its ruining my life when I have them all day long. It seems Propranolol and Atenolol don't do much to help if anything. Apparently its possible that Flecainide help or Amiodarone which are a totally different class of drug. Not beta blockers.

    Has anyone found this to be so?

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  • Posted

    So apparently it's more of a neurological defect per se...  

    i have SVT ... and got it fixed by an ablation.  But the other problem is I'm a very neurotic person in how I react to things. 

    So in events of nerves - Mr. Vagus is triggered... but to some if functions normal.. to others to the point of passing out.

    its perfect sense ... like getting nervous about a test (vagus) - all those symptoms (shakes, sweat, upset stomach, neck pain...)

    If ectopic was 24/7 then that would be a clear defect.

    but if it's situational then its cognitively triggered... and perhaps time to see a CBT

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