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Author Topic: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?  (Read 207 times)

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Offline patmob

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Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« on: August 29, 2014, 06:20:27 AM »
Does anyone else get an increased heart rate after they eat certain sorts of foods?

In the past couple of years, it seems like my body has changed the way it metabolizes certain things - processed food' fatty food and high glycemic carbs just kill me.  After dinner they send my heart rate way up where it stays for hours and sets off my anxiety.

I've been able to manage it by doing my best to avoid those foods, but last night I had a couple of grilled chicken thighs with BBQ sauce, grilled eggplant, grilled beats, a grilled roll and 2 glasses of wine.  After dinner I was real tired and went to bed then my heart rate took off which then fed my anxiety and the spiral began  Had to take a muscle relaxer to get to sleep.

I've had numerous heart tests - EKGs, stress tests, nuclear stress test with echo, etc., and everything is OK.  My doc has no worries about my heart (I do but that's my anxiety lol).

I have gastritis - can certain foods bother the gastritis and set off your heart rate?  Anyone else have this happen?

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Offline brittanyborg

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 06:30:55 AM »
Very weird that you just posted this because I was just thinking about the exact same thing but I didn't know if there was any true scientific connection. What you said sounds very logical though and makes a lot of sense to me. I have generally been eating quite healthy lately in combination with taking my medication and I was doing pretty good. Last night I was pretty hungry and there wasn't much to choose from in the fridge (my heart rate was already quite elevated but I was having a particularly anxious day), anyway I made the horrible horrible decision of eating not only McDonald's but also Pizza (which are two foods I haven't consumed in a long time). Afterwards I tried to fall asleep and just felt incredibly sick. I actually woke up at 4:30AM sweating with my heart throbbing faster than it's ever been, I spiralled into a full blown panic attack.

I can't say for sure what caused it but your post has me thinking a lot about the direct correlation between anxiety and what you eat and fuel your body with. I think I experienced what you have described.
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Offline fishmanpa

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 08:23:54 AM »
In general, our heart rate increases after we eat. It's common physiology as our bodies are in digestion mode. Will certain foods increase it more than others? Again, it's common physiology. A larger meal of any sort, spicy foods etc, cause our bodies to react differently. With anxiety and the subsequent stomach and bowel issues that ensue with many sufferers, it makes sense that certain foods will trigger one's ibs or gastritis and yes, as we grow older we can develop an intolerance for certain foods. My wife drank milk her entire life and recently developed an intolerance for it. Most certainly, it's not a symptom of heart issues.

Positive thoughts
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Offline patmob

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 08:55:42 AM »
Thank you both for the replies.  Funny thing for me is that it's not tied to the amount of food I eat but rather it's specifically tied to the type but for me the type seems to be ever increasing which means my dietary selections - while getting healthier - are getting smaller.

Thinking maybe I should contact my GI doc to see what's up.
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Offline vardnas

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 01:30:23 PM »
patmob, if I may ...

I remember noticing this, too, way back when, especially when I would lay down and try to go to sleep after a relatively large or rich meal. I'd also notice that my heart rate would drop significantly if I could manage to make myself burp, or work out a lingering air pocket. Anyway, point being, I began to notice a corollary between the two and (naturally) looked it up online and read that it has something to do with an irritated vagus nerve. Still, knowing all this, I went to the ER once for it, where I was given a GI cocktail and diagnosed with GERD.

What I'm saying is, this is no big deal. It happens, and it probably happens all the time, it's just that you're noticing it much more easily now. I'd recommend that you NOT go to your GI doctor for this. All they're going to do is shrug, scoff at the vagus nerve connection idea, and probably tell you to take some antacid. Why? Because what you're describing doesn't signify that anything is "wrong," this is simply unpleasant, and you make it worse by getting freaked out, or by trying to limit the foods you eat to only the ones that won't make your heart rate speed up. Well, soon you might not be able to eat anything—then what do you do?

I hope this doesn't come off as harsh, because I don't mean for it to be, but the key to getting past this is, when you notice it happening, ACCEPT the fact that it's happening, and try with all your might NOT to assign some sort of catastrophic meaning to it. Sure, certain foods might cause a rise in heart rate, but so what? It doesn't mean one single thing from a clinical standpoint.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 02:58:19 PM »
Vardnas - your post was in no way harsh so no worries!!!

My concern is that it doesn't happen "all the time" but rather it's triggered by specific foods - which seem to grow more numerous as time goes on.  Also, I don't have any GI issues.  No gas, no bloating, no indigestion - just a very rapid heart and hard beat 1-2 hours after eating.

It certainly could be the vagus nerve but as this is a relatively recent change - which is quite disruptive - it seems to make sense to me to get checked out.
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Offline ncmommyof2

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2014, 11:46:34 AM »
I was so happy to stumble on this post. It was exactly what I was searching for. I made the mistake of buying the new Samsung Galaxy phone with the heart rate monitor. Now, I'm constantly checking my pulse. My hubby made pancakes and fried potatos for breakfast. After cleaning up the dishes, I sat down and played a game on my phone. Then, I checked my pulse. It was 101. Kept checking, at least 20 more times, and it ranged from 90 to 118. Now, I've noticed before that my heart rate tends to increase after eating certain meals, but I've never actually taken my pulse after eating. It has me freaked out....alot!! It seems that when I get a really full or bloated feeling in my stomach, my heart rate shoots up. It usually takes several hours -- I'm assuming until the food is digested -- before the HR comes down some. Hope it makes  you feel a little better knowing you're not alone and it happens to others.
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Offline famv5

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2014, 12:30:01 PM »
Patmob, I think it's completely normal that your heart rate increases after eating.  I have heard that before because I have noticed the same thing.  Your body is going through the digestion process which makes the heart rate increase.

One other thing I wanted to say is that you mentioned having wine, too.  That will send my heart rate up almost instantly when I drink it.  This wasn't always the case for me, though.  I used to have a glass of wine in the evenings to help me relax or calm me if I felt anxious.  Now, for some reason, it has the opposite effect.  Wine or any alcoholic drinks.  My heart rate will go up and stay up for 2-3 hours after drinking it.   So, I avoid it or drink only on occasion.

Just something to mention. :)
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Offline patmob

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2014, 12:50:20 PM »
famv5 - thanks!  I've noticed the alcohol connection as well so I've cut down how much i drink - 2 glasses of red wine seems to be my limit.

I did make an appointment with my GI guy (late October).  If he says "no problems" then that will be that (I'm usually - usually - pretty good about accepting doc determinations).

My main concern is less heart related (although I am a heart worrier) than it is wondering how/why my body is now "rejecting" certain foods which used to be no problem.  Primary doc said "Its probably because your stomach is working harder after you eat." but when I said "Maybe but my heart rate only increases when i eat certain things" he said "Oh.  Then I don't know."  which is fine because he's a GREAT doc and not everyone can know everything.  Its the change which is my concern.

Anyway, maybe this is all just the same hypochondriac logic I try and talk other people out of - can't tell - lol
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Offline ncmommyof2

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2014, 04:50:54 PM »
PatMob-- Just a thought, but do you think the change isn't really a change at all, but perhaps you're just now noticing it? I've wondered the same thing -- I used to eat anything when I was younger and never noticed this connection before. It wasn't until a few months ago I really started noticing it, but then a few months ago was when my anxiety was at a peak. Maybe you're just hyper aware now and you weren't before. Plus, with all the talk about processed foods and stuff like that, I know I'm more aware of how my body reacts after eating.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Heart Rate Stomach Connection?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2014, 05:48:31 PM »
ncmommy - no, its actually a change.  Too much of a cardiophobe to not have noticed before lol 

There has been a definite change.
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