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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes persistent bloating and rapid heart beat after eating spicy food?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 6941 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 6 Jun 2016 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: Hi for the past six months I've been having a lot of issues it all started out with eating a spicy fried meal one night and I got bloated and sick and full. I went home and my heart started beating very fast and hard.. We'll apparently I developed tachycardia for whatever reason no one knows. After that I start experiencing problems with anxiety and panic attacks. After about two months I started experiencing more and more problems with my stomach feeling very full after my meals, feeling sick, gassy, pains, which leads to more anxiety! I've also been experiencing full body muscle twitching for the whole six months.. The twitching first started off in my stomach muscles.. I went to a gastro doctor and got diagnosed with small hiatal hernia, gastritis, acid reflux! I'm currently on medicine to control my anxiety and on protonix for my stomach and on a beta blocker for my tachycardia. I still have symptoms of a lot of gas at times.. What could be wrong with me?? Could this be from a irritated vagus nerve?? What kind of doctor should I see because no one knows what to do with me??
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 44 minutes later
Brief Answer:
My answe as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

I carefully passed through your question and would explain that your symptoms are not related to any vagal irritation. You should know that the vagal nerve stimulation causes a decrease in the heart rate and not an increase (like tachycardia).

Have you measured your blood pressure during these episodes? A low blood pressure after each meal could be related to post-prandial hypotension, which is often associated to reflectory tachycardia ( a normal reaction of the heart to low blood pressure).

I would recommend you to measure blood pressure before and after each meal, to exclude this possibility. A Head Up Tilt test would be necessary for the diagnosis of this disorder, which is also triggered by hiatal hernia.

I agree with your doctor choices for the therapy you are taking.

I would also recommend some tips which can help avoid these episodes:

- eat small meals more frequently during the day. This will avoid the overdistension of your stomach.
- avoid hypercaloric foods, which are rich in sugar like sweats. This can lead to an overload of sugar in your blood thus stimulating parasympathetic nervous system.

Besides, you should also consider anxiety as a possible cause of your symptoms. I recommend consulting with a specialist of this field to help you manage better your anxiety.

You should discuss with your attending physician on the above options.

Hope to have been helpful!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 13 hours later
Thank you so much! That was really helpful . I will be going for a followup today with my Cardiologist and i will discuss the issues. Also, ive never had a problem with anxiety before until all the sudden with all these symtoms. My tachycardia is all the time rather then just in episodes. (When not on medication) even if my heart is normally under 100 it still feels like my heart is pounding out of my chest. It gets better with rest and worse upon standing or activity. I also noticed that if i havent eaten anything for the day my symtoms are alot better. When i eat it increases my heart rate dramatically with the intense pounding sensation. Without medicine after eating upon standing my heart rate has went up to 126 or higher. Im not functional without the heart meds. Also, with my heart issues along with my other symtoms like muscle twiching of the body and stomach, anxiety, stomach/digestion problems, dizzness upon standing(if moving too quickly) also causes the heart pounding sensation. Im also going to a nero doctor for hand cramps and tingleing in hands when they also fall asleep on me at night. They suspect carpal tunnel. But do you think its possible i could have some sort of nervous system problem with my cluster of symtoms???? This really is affecting my daily life.
Thank you for the last answer as i will bring it up to my doctor.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
My answer as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

Thank you for the additional information!

The fact that your symptoms worsen during standing up is a strong argument in favor of orthostatic intolerance (including orthostatic hypotension and postural tachycardia).

I would strongly recommend you performing Head Up Tilt test to rule in/out this possibility.

The other tips, that I advised you before would also be really helpful.

Regarding your muscle twitching all over the body and your hand numbness during sleep, I would recommend performing a nerve conduction study coupled with electromyography. This electrical study examines the integrity of your nerves and excludes possible nerve damage or compression.

Anxiety could play a strong role in all your symptomatology, but before coming into this conclusion other possible pathological causes should be excluded first (performing the above mentioned tests).

Hope to have been helpful!

You can ask me directly at any time at the link below, if you have any other uncertainties:

http://doctor.healthcaremagic.com/Funnel?page=askDoctorDirectly&docId=69765

Best wishes,

Dr. Iliri
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ilir Sharka 8 hours later
Thank you for that imformation i am taking all of your advice into concideration. I had a followup with my Cardiologist today and i told her about the post prandial hypertension and she said she didnt really know much about that. But i will be monitoring my blood pressure before and after my meals to see if that could be a possibilty. As far as the POTS and similar conditions like orthostatic intolerance she does know about she said that we could do a tilt table test but she seems that she is more concerned about my BMI and my weight. She said if i do a tilt table test that it would not come back very accurate becuase of my BMI. She seems to think me being underweight has a part to do with it. Even though i explained to her that i was at my normal weight whenever i developed the tachycardia problems. I am normally a very thin and small girl. My normal weight is about 95 pounds. Ive been like this my whole life. The past 6 months ive been so sick dealing with all my tachycardia and my gastro issues that i have lost 8 pounds. My current BMI is at 14. Therefore she seems to be more concerned about getting my weight back to normal at least and hydrateing with electrolytes. I have been drinking nothing but water the past two years almost becuase i had gotton alot of kidney stones that i had to have surgrey for. So i figured water was a good thing to flush out all the bad stuff. Well my doctor seems really concerned with my weight and better hydration to replenish everything i havent been getting from drinking nothing but water. I honestly see where shes coming from but i dont understand how that could cause me to have tachycardia. If you have any last advise on all of this please let me know! I wouldgreatly appreciate it!
Just so you know i have always ate very healthy and good. I always ate like a horse. Ive never had any eating disorders or anything ive always just been natrually thin and ive always just had trouble gaining weight. Alot of doctors ask me this question so just throwing that out there! Lol :) but i would love your opinion or advice on everything i explained. Thank you so much! You have been great help!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
My answer as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello again!

First I would like to explain that I talked about post prandial hypotension (low blood pressure) not hypertension.

Second: your BMI is very concerning. You are really underweight. I agree with your doctor that this could lead to aggravation of your symptoms.

You should know that the fat tissue, present in our body, especially in women has a very important role. It is the place where certain hormones (cortisol, other adrenal gland hormones, sex hormones) are produced.

In underweight persons, where the fat tissues is really diminished, deficiency of these hormones may be present, causing adrenal gland dysfunction and problems with fertility.

Adrenal gland hormones regulate our body responses to different external stimuli, including anxiety, fear but also some physiological functions like sleep, blood pressure, hunger, heart rhythm, etc..

I would strongly recommend you to consult with a dietitian who may help you gain some pounds and regulate your BMI. I am sure that this will help relieve your cardiac symptoms too.

I understand that you were at a normal weight when all this began, but drinking only water and loosing weight is not the best thing to do. It makes your body suffer from vitamine, protein, lipid and electrolyte deficiencies. Food is an important input for a normal body function.

If a dietitian can not help you, I would recommend consulting with a psychiatrist. Some antidepressants have shown to be really helpful in gaining weight and also minimizing anxiety.

Hope you will find this answer helpful!

Greetings!

Dr. Iliri


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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