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heart flutter while bending

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  • heart flutter while bending

    Hi everyone,

    Can anyone tell me why when I bend I get a flutter in my heart, or my heart starts pounding and I can feel it in my neck. I have a feeling it could be related to GERD or Hiatus Hernia, I also have a nutcracker esophagus.

    I read another article once where this happened to someone else and their doctor told them it was because when they bend their Hiatus Hernia puts pressure on their heart which causes this.

    Does this happen to anyone else and if so what does your doctor say about this.


  • #2
    I too used to feel skipped beats when my GI system was irritated and I bent over. Sometimes it would happen when bending over; basically whenever there was pressure exerted on the abdominal area. It wouldn't always happen when bending over but most of the skipped beats seem to occur when abdominal pressure was present.

    Also felt skipped beats, palpitations, heavy/hard beats after eating. The skipping was more frequent the heavier the meal.

    I think it is due to physical pressure around the heart combined with acid reflux.


    • #3
      In a sliding hiatal hernia, the stomach sometimes becomes trapped above the diaphragm through the esophageal hiatus, bending over would exacerbate that. Not only can it put pressure on the heart causing fluttering , but it can also cause upper abdominal pain and chest pain.

      Concerning GERD itself, The vagus nerve regulates swallowing and heart rythm as well as transmits sensory information regarding the esophagus to the brain. It is beleived that Inflammation of vagal fibers from acid may alter the neural tone that controls heart rythm.


      • #4
        Hi Shelley,

        I was told by my doctor, who sits on two medical boards here in town, and my Gastrointerologist that esophageal spasms are most likely the culprit for those fluttering feelings I got throughout my battle with GERD. In fact, just as I was about to have my first endoscopic procedure I had a one of these flutters go off while they had a pulse rate monitor on me. Even though it felt exactly like my heart , they showed me how my heartbeat actually remained steady. It did speed up a bit due to the anxiety of the moment, but it wasn't something as serious as heart arrhythmia or palpatations.

        To have the type and severity of flutters I experienced in the actual heart muscle would indicate a very bad heart problem....even life threatening, as they explained.

        I swore it was my heart. But, alas, it was just that old bugger GERD. Glad he's gone, and one of the things I don't miss for sure are those chest flutters.


        • #5
          Thanks for your response GW.

          Reading what everyone else has to say certainly has reduced my anxiety since finding this site. I believe that it is people like yourself and others who have help me enormously to deal with GERD and wih the anxiety that goes along with it.

          I thank you all.



          • #6
            You're quite welcome Shelley.

            This GERD stuff really can go beyond the mere mechanics of what causes it to put us through hellish days and nights as is. For me, after five years of suffering with it, it had me jumpin 'n thinkin I was dying of something way more horrible. Every little ache and pain just "had to be something else" trying to kill me. It can be a real mind twister. However, this should never preclude one going to get things thoroughly checked out, to be on the safe side.

            Take care.



            • #7
              to gw

              Hi, I'm very confused now by your post. You can feel your pulse and feel it skip that is a palpitation not a spasm, so I'm sure that I have actual palps not spasms but you said your doctor said that these can be life threatening and indicate a heart problem. All of us who suffer from palps have been told on numerous occasions that they are basically harmless even when we have all cardio work done. So I am confused that your doctor tells you how dangerous they are.


              • #8
                Re: to gw

                [i]Originally posted by NIKL1042 [/i]
                [B] All of us who suffer from palps have been told on numerous occasions that they are basically harmless even when we have all cardio work done. So I am confused that your doctor tells you how dangerous they are. [/B]
                Hi Nikl,

                Basically speaking as well, heart palps that are serious are the ones that are accompanied with dizziness, fainting and/or shortness of breath. Chest "flutters" are different than these perceived "serious" palpatations. Now, grant it, when I was suffering from panic attacks for a time any spasms or so-called flutter would make me feel sick to my stomach and even feel faint. However, I learned to listen to my body to tell the difference and to sort "talk myself down" from panic attacks after I started my med regimen and counselling.

                For more info on Palps here's a page that may clear up things that I may've thrown a monkey-wrench into. Take care.



                • #9
                  A palp is a palp

                  According to cardiologists palpatations occur in millions of people without any serious disease . Palps can be caused by something as simple as stimulants like caffeine, decongestants, chocolate.,as well as gerd, and hiatal hernia.

                  Concerning gerd and hernia, after all, the stomach is right below the heart, separated by the diaphram- in people with hernias ,part of the stomach can actually rub against the heart. , the esophagus is right beside the heart,

                  Palps can also be caused by more serious things such as abnormal thyroid function, and structural heart disease , If these things are ruled out then nothing at all to worry about.

                  Panic and fear can cause skipped heartbeats as well---- due to an increase of stress hormone- namely adrenalin.


                  • #10
                    opps better clarify

                    Meant to say stomach can rub up against nerves surrounding the heart


                    • #11
                      GW re: flutters

                      Hi GW
                      Like NIKL1042 I became very confused and worried by your post, I get the feeling of skipped heartbeats that feel like futters, if they go on for more than a few seconds they make me panic and then my heart starts racing, but I dont feel faint. It can happen when Im just sitting watching televishion, relaxing or if Im rushing about or startled for any reason, If I feel my pulse I can actully feel the irregular beat. I have been to my Gp and also seen a cardiologist Ive had severl ECGs and worn a 24 hour monitor but both my GP and cardiologist assures me it is nothing to worry about.
                      After reading your post I went into panic mode and had to see my GP for reassurence, she told me some people feel palps as a thumping, skipping or fluttering feeling and as long as you have had your heart checked out and the tests are normal it is nothing to worry about.


                      • #12
                        When a person experiences any kind of sensation is their chest (or anywhere else for that matter) that they cannot easily identify it would always be best to error on the side of caution and visit their doctor.

                        I would be very interested in hearing from more people that have experienced this sensation in their chest.

                        I personally have experienced a sensation in the chest area: See story at [url][/url]

                        In my case the sensation totally stopped when I started taking Prilosec 20 mg a day.

                        About four years ago gathered a small group of about 20 people that were complaining of a fluttering or heart skip sensation in their chest. I personally talked to a leading heart specialist and a leading electro physiologist in Texas that were interested in the phenomena to the point that they were willing to conduct research in that area.

                        Several theories as to why this was occurring in some people were proposed by both doctors.

                        We agreed that each person would have a general work up, wear a 24 hr Holtor monitor, stress test and an Echocardiogram.

                        The only problem was funding.. The test group was scattered all across the US and travel and lodging proved to be too expensive for most.

                        The other problem was reproducing the sensation at the time of testing. In my case I found that overeating would bring in the symptom. Indecently I also discovered that my mother has the same sensation related to gas in the esophagus or maybe just below the Lower Esophageal Sphincter?

                        Shelly of interest to you: we did find another person that had the flutter sensation when they would bend over and another person that could reproduce the symptom when they would swallow, another when they would lay on their left side.

                        I also have a friend that has the sensation and actually was hooked up to a heart monitor when it occurred. He swore that his heart was skipping and he could feel it skipping when he took his pulse with his finger... However the doctor assured him that the heart was beating just fine and showed him the recorded results to prove it. Keep in mind that was in his case. I suspect that in our test group we actually had some people with Gerd that were experiencing heart palpitations while others may have been experiencing esophageal spasms or some other form of a spasm?

                        I would like to keep this thread free of debates over sensation definitions. In this situation each person is going to call it something else.. It is like taking your car to the mechanic and trying to describe the noise it is making. You can tell the mechanic it is a clank, bang or clunk and it is really meaningless to him because each person would describe the same noise differently. The mechanic has to get into the car and hear the noise for himself. (And everyone knows that the car will never make the noise when the mechanic is driving it)
                        If you would like to have a long running debate, please do so via e-mail. (E-mail addresses can be obtained through the webmaster if each party agrees to have their e-mail released)

                        I am going to see if I can still make contact with some of the members of the original group.

                        I would also like to start collecting e-mail address of new members with this sensation that would like to be part of the list.

                        Please do not post your e-mail address here. Send an e-mail to [email][/email] and include a description of your situation.

                        Please do post your story here and any theories you may have regarding what seems to cause the sensation in your particular case.


                        • #13
                          Very good idea (and edit) Hawk. And you make excellent points, as always, concerning the different ways we and science looks at the human condition.

                          Once again, I appreciate this forum very much in that it showed me the correct path to healing. Without it, I'm sure I would've done something regretful had I followed 'some' of the medical counsel I was getting. The symptoms, pain, suffering was at the point of what I could bear. I truly believe stumbling across this place was Providential for me.

                          Thank you sir.



                          • #14
                            I'd have to say good edit as well. I've experienced these sensations in my chest regularly as well, haven't had them for 8 months or so. When i asked a researcher at the local hospital, after having heart tests,-- the explanation i was given at that time was that they are finding that Inflammation of nerve fibers from acid alters the heart rythm.

                            It's all very subjective though, I also beleive hiatal hernias play a role-- as it is not normal for part of the stomach to be up in the chest. How does the heart and the nerves surrounding it react to this?

                            Although i don't have these chest sensations, i do have constant pounding and a palpitation feeling in my stomach up very high between my ribs,for the last 5 months or so, that intensifies with excertion and wakes me up almost every night.

                            When examined at the hospital ---and after listening to my stomach with a stethascope, , the doctor noticed this right off and said you have blood flow in your stomach, a few people have this, but told me he didn't know how to explain it to me in English ( he was French and could speak only a few words of english)

                            Of anyone has experienced this, or knows what he was talking about, please let me know..


                            • #15
                              I get it with a feeling under my left rib cage, I call it a stun, but it is actually a delayed heart beat, and I've had palps as well. both have been seen on a monitor. When I get them bad it is usually when my stomach is bad, as well I can sometimes make then come when I stretch my left arm in different ways. Bob and all his troubles