A cardiologist says that PVCs or heart palpitations after eating are not caused by the food or the physical act of eating.

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“Blood flow is shunted to the intestine after eating, so we can digest our food,” says cardiologist Dr. Pam Marcovitz, MD, medical director of the Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center, at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

“More blood also flows to the digestive organs. This is usually not a cause of palpitations or PVCs after eating.”

So why do some people experience PVCs after eating?

They should make a documentation of this when it occurs: time of day, who was present with them during the meal, the planned activity after the meal, and any other stressors that were present while eating or shortly after.

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PVCs can be brought on by anxiety and stress.

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  • Do they usually occur after a meal with people you were arguing with?
  • Do they usually occur after the last bite, and within how many minutes?
  • Do they usually occur when the after-meal planned activity is something stressful, like going over your bills?

Eating, in and of itself, and food, do not cause premature ventricular contractions, says Dr. Marcovitz. The rhythm control center of the heart is not tied to the digestive system.

What Another Cardiologist Says

Chester M. Hedgepeth, III, MD, PhD, Executive Chief of Cardiology at Care New England, says that certain foods can cause palpitations, and that there are six reasons you may feel what seems like PVCs during and soon after eating.