AFib (AF), Diagnosis, GERD, Heart Diseases, Heart Health

The Connection Between GERD and Atrial Fibrillation

Connection Between GERD and Atrial Fibrillation

Many factors can cause constriction in the chest. If heartburn is to blame, then the slight discomfort may not induce serious damage. A simple antacid can provide relief. But, if atrial fibrillation is causing the tightness, then that burning sensation in the chest may need medical attention.

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a typical gastrointestinal disorder. And AFib (atrial fibrillation) is a frequent arrhythmia. Both health complications are a common occurrence.

Recent reports show that they too share predisposing factors. That means there is a link between them.

If you want to know more about the connection between acid reflux and heart palpitations, this guide can help. Here is what research has to say about GERD and AFib. Including whether one can contribute to the other.

GERD and AFib – How Are They Connected?

GERD is a digestive illness with a 20% prevalence rate. The number of people affected in the U.S. is constantly increasing. It is now the most frequent chronic disease. The disease occurs when acid stomach fluids, food, and juices are clogged from the stomach. They go into the esophagus, triggering severe discomfort.

You can recognize GERD by heartburn (burning sensation in the chest).

Other symptoms include:

  • trouble swallowing;
  • liquid or food regurgitation;
  • lump-like sensation in the throat.

Patients affected with nighttime acid reflux have trouble sleeping. They may also develop a chronic cough, worsening asthma, or laryngitis.

Doctors advise that those affected seek medical care the moment the pain in the chest appears. Particularly when people have shortness of breath, arm and jaw pain.

AFib is one of the most commonly recorded cardiac arrhythmias. It affects over 2.2 million Americans. Research shows that there is a growing number of older patients affected by atrial fibrillation. Indicating that there could be a possible link between AFib and age.

The condition causes symptoms like shortness of breath, thumping in the chest, irregular and quick heartbeat. As well as fatigue, confusion, weakness, and dizziness.

Those living with the condition must contact a specialist. Especially if their heart rhythm doesn’t return to normal after a couple of minutes. Or it gets progressively worse. A simple way how to track your heart rhythm changes and stay in touch with your doctor from anywhere at any time is with personal ECG devices and connected apps. They allow you quickly monitor your heart health on your own, detect any abnormalities and share this information with doctor to receive recommendations.

Link Between GERD and AFib

Researchers are still evaluating the link between GERD and AFib. The latest findings say that many factors other than age could take part in the development of AFib. Such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, local inflammation, obesity, latent hypertension, and sleep apnea.

GERD and AFib share countless risk factors. Including lifestyle-related illnesses, like chronic inflammation. Other than their natural connection, therapeutic intervention can influence both of these diseases.

One systematic review focused on evaluating the prevalence of AFib in GERD patients.

Based on the reports, AFib prevalence ranged from 0.62% to 14% in individuals with GERD. As opposed to those without gastrointestinal disorders.

These findings state that individuals struggling with severe GERD had higher rates of AFib. Drug-induced and non-pharmaceutical AFib treatments can make a patient prone to GERD. Countless drugs for heart rate control and stroke prevention in AFib patients worsen GERD.

Can One Contribute to the Other?

Plenty of evidence also suggests that GERD heart palpitations induce the onset and continuation of AFib. When a person feels as if their heart is beating too quickly or pumping harder than usual, GERD may have something to do with the tightness in the chest.

But, this isn’t the exact same thing as having heart palpitations. Certain GERD symptoms, such as having the air trapped in the esophagus, could result in palpitations. The mechanical compression and autonomic nerve influence can affect the initiation of AFib. The growth of local inflammation from the proximity of the lower esophagus and left atrium can have the same effect.

Observational data state that not GERD symptoms in general. But oesophagitis endoscopic evidence is the one that’s linked with the increased risk of AFib. This might trigger and maintain arrhythmias. Meanwhile, AFib also develops GERD by inflammatory and mechanical actions.

Based on 2015 reports, the presence of AFib seems to boost the incidence of GERD.

Experts estimate that AFib may be a risk factor for GERD heart palpitations.

But, more research on acid reflux and heart palpitations is necessary. Further evaluation can help experts establish a better connection between these conditions.

Will Suppressing GERD Also Suppress AFib?

GERD and AFib are complex health conditions. They can vary from person to person. Experts used specific approaches for assessing the impact of GERD in AFib. Including the later effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

PPI therapy is the most prescribed option for treating acid-related and heartburn disorders.

AFib treatment with PPIs in individuals with severe reflux symptoms proved to be effective in decreasing AFib events. But because of the limited results experts suggest further research.

More large-scale findings are necessary to see how PPIs would affect patients. Particularly those with reflux symptoms and potential arrhythmia. If the treatment is effective, then doctors can drop the medications once the symptoms have subsided.

Final Thoughts

The mechanisms, maintenance, and underlying triggers of GERD and AFib can be a problem to deal with. An irregular heart rate can make the heart flutter. It can cause pressure, palpitations, and discomfort. While stomach acid has a profound impact on heartburn. Causing a debilitating burning sensation in the middle of the chest.

Recent studies state that both of these conditions may have a strong connection.

They share similar risk factors, with GERD potentially playing a key role in determining the risk of developing AFib.

Now that you are familiar with the connection, you can take better care of your current health condition.

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