Have you noticed that when your GERD acts up, your heart also goes into pounding mode?
Or do you worry that something is actually wrong with your heart?
First off, what you need to do is document when you begin noticing that your heart is pounding away.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the feeling of skipped or extra beats, but rather, a steady pulse – but a pounding or rapid one, in the absence of physical exertion.
When this happens, does it occur before or during a symptom that you know is GERD related, such as a burning sensation in your upper abdomen, burping up bitter-tasting fluid or a flare-up of coughing combined with a hoarse voice (silent reflux)?
See if there’s a pattern, and, also record any anxiety that you may be feeling at that time.
GERD and the Pounding Heart
“A common cause of heart pounding, or palpitations, due to GERD is anxiety,” begins Dr. Edward Brettholz, MD, with Concorde Gastroenterology, who is board certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology and is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine.
“Patients with GERD can have significant chest pain or other worrisome symptoms,” continues Dr. Brettholz.
“This can cause panic attacks and anxiety which often is associated with rapid heart rates or a pounding heart sensation.
“In addition, caffeine and nicotine can cause both an increase in reflux symptoms as well as heart pounding.
“Therefore, GERD and heart pounding can be associated through side effects occurring simultaneously.”
See if you begin noticing that your documentation reveals that the heart pounding is really due to anxiety and worrisome intrusive thoughts, rather than something that seemingly springs out of thin air.
Acid reflux does not, in and of itself, or directly, cause a racing, thumping or pounding pulse. But anxiety can sure do a number on the heart rate.
Dr. Brettholz lectures extensively and is involved in cutting edge research trials. He has a special interest and expertise in liver diseases, GERD, inflammatory bowel disease and hemorrhoid treatment.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.