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Reflux and HCM

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Lisa Salberg Find out more about Lisa Salberg
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  • julie
    replied
    This is really interesting. I have only been taking beta blockers since October when I was diagnosed with AHCM. The diagnosis has made me much more sensitive to anything going on around the heart - only symptom I ever had (or thought I had) was the occasional beat flutter lasting about 2 seconds about once every couple of weeks. Since I have been on the BB's, I have a burning sensation in the chest approx 1 hour after eating - I have assumed this to be heartburn. The amazing thing to me is that I can now burp, I have never been able to do this before. I am firmly of the opinion that these things are related. My bout of palpitations which caused the diagnosis were caused I believe by me exercising immediately after a meal. I think they were also caused by an excessive consumption of nuts. Two weeks before the palps started I commenced a new regime of nut eating - god knows why. I think they helped trigger the extra heart beats. Since taking the BB's, I seem to have regular chest pain - a strange sort of muscular ache which is relieved when I take anti acid tablets. My sleeping has also been affected - I used to sleep the moment my head hits the pillow. It's more difficult to get off to sleep these days.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laoshur
    replied
    I did not post on this topic before because I was in transit between US and China. But, this discussion has certainly been interesting to me. I was diagnosed after an upper GI x-ray series with GERD as well as a hiatal hernia this past summer. It was done to try to eliminate digestive problems as the source of the pain under my breast. The diagnosis added another pill to the many, but did nothing to help the pain. So my GP and gasterenterologist both think the pain is HCM. As a far as I am concerned, don't know, don't really care, would just like to get rid of the pain!

    I do suspect that the GERD predates my beta blockers, however, as I used to have fairly severe reflux, but had learned to ignore it and the problem seemed less for the past several years. However, I learned that some people report less pain after the problem worsens due to scarring of the esophagus with time.
    Rhoda

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  • Ronnie
    replied
    Lisa

    You started another "hot topic". Very Interesting! I was dx w/HCM, about 16 years ago & started on Beta Blockers. About 12-13 years ago I was dx with GERD & started taking meds. My symptoms of both gradually increased & worsened over the years. I do have endoscopy done about every 3 years to check my esophogus. Many times I thought I was having GERD episodes, when in fact it was my HCM. At any rate, a few months after my Myectomy, when my Toprol was cut back from 400mg/day to 200mg/day, my GERD seems much improved! Actually I was just thinking about this the other day.
    I'm in favor of feeling less symptomatic, regarding any of my "little problems"

    Leave a comment:


  • Burton Borrok
    replied
    Hi Pam,
    I have something for you to try, but it will take some work and self training. I hope it can be made to help you. I have seen it work, and work well, in others.

    First, think of the greatest relaxing thing you can think of – be it laying on a beach with the waves gently breaking as they kiss the shore, - or getting a worm oil rubdown by a great looking guy with marvelous hands, - or being gently carried into harbor on a warm fall day, with just enough breeze to generate a tinkling at the cutwater and carrying with it the smell of autumn leaves being burnt and the far off barking of a dog, and all the trees on the shore a blaze of reds and browns and yellows and greens. Think about it, and find the thing that reaches you personally. It will be yours alone, and no one need ever know, so leave your inhibitions behind.

    OK, once you have that – let’s call it your secrete place – you next have to train your fight/flight response to a fright, so that you immediately flee to your secrete place. Of course in a true emergency you have to take care of the situation before you make your getaway, but then almost all the frights you are reacting to are more tempest in a teapot then anything else.

    With some practice you will be able to avert most unwanted bodily reactions to the initial fright. In time you will even find yourself plopping down on the couch for a few minutes rest and going to your secrete place – and it actually will make you feel better then you would imagine. There truly is such a thing as mind over matter, and you can make it work for you with just a little practice. Hope it helps my friend.
    Burt

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  • Boz
    replied
    AD-

    First: HCM patients suffering with AFib are presumably not suffering from idiopathic (spontaneous - for unknown reason) atrial fibrilation. That is to say that their diagnosed disease is most likely also the cause of their irregular heart beat.

    Vagal AFib is assumed to be one explanation for idopathic AFib so much of what is written about it may not be relevant to us. But remember it is a theory not yet embraced by the medical community and a lot of real research is needed.

    The web site I found this info on is often refered to by other AFib discussion groups.

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  • Ad
    replied
    Boz,

    Where did you found that information? Seems relevant (for me) as some foods (dairy products e.g.) nearly always induce Afib with me - with or without GERD responses.

    Question could be: does HCM make us more vulnerable for vagal induced A-fib? If there is a correlation, would dieting, Nexium etc. lower the incidence of A-fib and thus dependency on beta blockers, blood thinners etc.

    Ad

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  • Pam Alexson
    replied
    Yes , this is a subject I wish I could diregard but unfortunately it has been quite troublesome to me of late. I did think that the correlation between how I was not feeling too well cardiac wise was perhaps playing a role in this new problem. Diverticulitis emerged last fall as I was beginning to resume some very troubling HCM symptoms. What I have noted is the overwhelming provacation of stress and how it seems to get the whole thing going in the wrong direction. One piece of disturbing news or fright as with a sudden adrenaline rush sends my whole GI system into one big spasm. Now the doctor telling me to get rid of my stress does nothing. She obviously does not truly know me or she is thinking of the old me who faced everything with an iron clad forcefield. I noticed over the recent year that I have this startle reflex that goes on prematurely , like a flight or fright response. I know my sympathetic nervous system is somehow on heightened alert for some reason and I can not seem to get it in check. I am calm , not freightened of anything and yet it happens . It seems as much as I try to counteract it , my body is highly reactive to stimulation of any kind.

    I know this all sounds kind of weird but , by sharing it maybe one of you knows what I am saying. This startle thing is not like me at all, it is like an infant in their early reflex days, when they throw up their arms.


    Oh well now you all know I am certifyable !!
    Thanks for reading about my goofy system.

    Pam

    Leave a comment:


  • Reenie
    replied
    Boz, the method you mention has worked for me on many occasions, but I don't have HCM. It's called Val Salva I think. Ask your doctor before trying this, though.

    Reenie

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  • mtlieb
    replied
    Originally posted by Boz
    Now before Burt steps in here with a funny story about the “Lost Vagus Nerve” let me finish...
    Boz... you know our friend Burton all too well.

    Okay Burt, here's your chance, buddy... step in here and give it your best!

    Jim

    Leave a comment:


  • Boz
    replied
    This is very interesting.

    I have always had symptoms of GERD. In my tracking down information about atrial fibrillation I found a web site with information discussing Vagally Mediated AFib and for a while suspected that this explained everything. Vagal AFib is not at present formally recognized in the medical community, but clearly plenty of patients find a connection.

    - Now before Burt steps in here with a funny story about the “Lost Vagus Nerve” let me finish -

    The Vagus Nerve, apparently the longest nerve in the body, runs from the brain to the stomach and on its way to the stomach is involved with controlling heart rate. When this nerve is over stimulated it has been shown to cause atrial fibrillation. When people speak of “triggers” such as alcohol, chocolate, extremely cold liquids as starting an AFib episode, it is thought that perhaps the vagus nerve has become over stimulated.

    An EMT told me, while in the back of his ambulance 10 years ago, to try to strain as though on the toilet with a case of constipation. This “vagal maneuver” has been known to stop an AFib episode. It did not in that case, but was successful in scattered episodes that followed.

    I started wondering about the connection between heart problems and any digestive tract problems when I started seeing chatter here about diverticulitis. I never chimed in on that topic, but was actually hospitalized with a severe bout probably 15 years ago.

    I think it makes a certain amount of sense that the systems are all tied together somehow.

    Leave a comment:


  • Burton Borrok
    replied
    Jim,
    You take Prevacid long enough and you will turn into an old man.

    Cynthia,
    I do not have the same problem although I am on 100 mg of Atenolol. In fact, I’m often near the other end of the spectrum. My wife is with you though. She is taking Metamucil daily and often has to also resort to dried fruit and/or prunes. Then, if all else fails, she turns to prune juice – which always seems to get the ball rolling - more sooner then later.
    Sometimes I wish we could combine our differences and come out even in the end.

    Sorry about the pun – I just couldn’t pass it up.
    Burt

    Leave a comment:


  • cynthiaG
    replied
    I get heartburn at times...started about 2 months ago...but mine is due to a hiatal hernia caused from constipation...thank goodness for the advice of one of the school nurses I work with. She said to take Metamucil with an ingredient called "psyllium" for the constipation (doc says most likely from the verapamil)....something is finally helping me!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • mtlieb
    replied
    Well...

    Now you've all got me wondering if i might have some reflux issues myself. After my last visit with my PCP, the nurse came back into the exam room with a handful of Prevacid samples and said that the doctor gives them to many of his cardiac patients. I've not taken any to date as i've never thought i had a problem in this area and i'm somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to pills. If i don't absolutely need it, i don't take it. But now i'm looking at this box of free samples and wondering if i should go ahead and try it.

    Are there any negative effects to taking Prevacid if it is not needed?

    Thanks,

    Jim

    Leave a comment:


  • Ad
    replied
    Interesting topic! Include me in the list of GERD reflux candidates please? Could do a commercial for Nexium as well. Seems HCM can also contribute to reflux - at least the beta blockers about cured my recurring headaches. Still wondering if i want them back or not

    Leave a comment:


  • Burton Borrok
    replied
    Well, I’ve only had a minor problem with this, and so have taken a different approach.

    On a few occasions (I would say rarely, but it’s a bit more common then that) I will get some acid back up to the back of my mouth – ugh. When that happens I usually take something sweet to get rid of the taste. Believe it or not, I have also found that eating something (a small snack) will also help.

    I also found that bending over is a sort of trigger – anything involving the squeezing of my stomach (I picture myself as a tube of toothpaste.) Anyhow, I’ve taken care of this problem by only having shoes where I do not have to tie any laces.

    I take so much medicine now, I am extremely careful about taking anything else that would add to the mix. Consequently, I am willing to experience some occasional discomfort to avoid screwing up the current mix of medications. For example, I take a full aspirin a day medicinally, and the doctor advised against anything else, with the exception of acetaminophen (Tylenol). I have some on hand at home, but I can’t remember the last time I took any. (I now have a pain patch, so I don’t think it would do any good anymore in any case.)

    I do on occasion have large meals (I live in the Las Vegas vicinity where ‘all you can eat’ buffets abound) but I stop before I reach the trigger point for an HCM reaction. (This has become a fine art with me) and stopping when I do has also limited the GURD reaction.

    I hope this means something to somebody.
    Burt

    Leave a comment:

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