D’s story of living with the Roemheld’s syndrome (Heart palpitations caused by stomach issues)

Thank you so much for bringing awareness to the stomach heart connection and validating what many sufferers of gastrocardiac syndrome know.

I was diagnosed with paroxysmal atrial tachycardia ten years ago. During my episodes of arrhythmia, I burp and soon learned that if I burped enough the arrhythmia would stop; however there have been times when my vagus nerve was so stimulated I couldn’t expel enough gas to stop the arrhythmia, even with simethicone. These attacks can last 8-10 hours.

During episodes my heart rate is irregular and forceful and if severe enough, my jaw aches. I’ve fainted twice flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me and interestingly the arrhythmia stopped as soon as I hit the ground. Luckily I haven’t had a severe injury, but it has left me a bit anxious about having another fainting spell.

My cardiologist posits that arrhythmia causes the gas/bloating rather than gas/bloating causing the arrhythmia. I contend that if gas is merely a by-product of arrhythmia rather than the cause, then burping shouldn’t stop A-fib or PVC’s. Burping would merely expel the gas that’s created and the arrhythmia would continue.

I was prescribed Metroprolol but it did not work for me. I’ve had a cardiac angiogram with excellent results. This is not a heart issue.

Its unfortunate that Dr. Roemheld was not able to further his research on Roemheld Syndrome.

I hope you can bring enough awareness to this debilitating condition so we can lead normal lives once again.

I am otherwise healthy and in normal weight range. As Dr. Roemheld came upon this condition while researching caloric intake I’ve decided it’s best to be on the thin side of BMI. I am following all the do’s and dont’s related to GERD and am currently taking a PPI for 6 weeks to see if I can gain more control over this.

Wish me luck:)

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21 Comments

  1. Linda 8th September 2018 at 9:52 am - Reply

    I’m finding this to be true as well. I say, “a burp is stuck.”

    • Estelle Dushey 7th June 2021 at 5:03 am - Reply

      I was diagnosed as having PVCs after suffering from irregular skipped heart beats and was put on metoprolol. I felt that it was helping for a while. Now 2 yrs later this issue came back when I have gas pockets in my chest either after eating or when my stomach is empty. I try gasx sometimes burping helps but it comes right back. It’s very uncomfortable. I am happy that I found this site, i see it’s a condition. I should tell my doctor this connection before I am go ahead with more testing this week.

  2. HILDA BICKHAM 16th February 2020 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Currently dealing with the exact same situation will absolutely no resolve to the madness. I have lost weight due to my fear of eating as it appears to happen either during eating or shortly there after. I as well was placed on Metoprolol Succ ER. Even on this medication I experience the heart symptoms of either tachycardia or PVCS or PACS. My cardiologist is suggesting ablation. If the underlying root cause is not corrected then I’m not confident the ablation will resolve my health issue.

    • Prince 19th September 2020 at 2:19 pm - Reply

      I had same symptoms
      I am like urge to burp
      And palpitation increases after eating food
      And I continuously burp after food
      Please is there any solution of it
      It horrified me

      • Debra Ladd 13th August 2021 at 10:11 pm - Reply

        Hi,
        I am the person in this story (D’s story living with Roemheld’s syndrome) which was a self diagnosis that was incorrect. I was however diagnosed with PSVT during a visit to ER with erratic heart rhythms, which I do not believe is correct either as I have been symptom free for three years and feel compelled to help people struggling with unexplained arrhythmia.
        As my arrhythmia episodes were increasing in frequency and severity over an eight year period, including two fainting spells, I was desperate and frightened. I came upon an article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “GERD linked to cardiac arrhythmia” As I did not have classic GERD or acid reflux symptoms, it went undiagnosed for the entire 8 year period. I approached my GP with the article and was prescribed a proton pump inhibitor for three months. Within two days my arrhythmia stopped completely! I continued on the PPI medication for three months and switched to daily over the counter acid reducer thereafter.
        I have been symptom free for three years. I met with my cardiologist and told him my story. He was intrigued. It’s hard to imagine how acid reflux or an irritated vagus nerve could cause my heart to stop, start, pound, cause jaw pain, dizziness and disrupt blood supply enough to faint, but it did.
        I have read countless stories of people drinking a full can of soda or beer to belch and calm their arrhythmia. The need to burp during my arrhythmia episodes was my cue to a connection between my stomach and my arrhythmia.
        I am eternally grateful to the researchers who published the article and have thought many times about sharing my story to help others who suffer with what was becoming a debilitating condition for me. Keep your stomach acid in check and your heart will be on beat.
        Debra

        • Brian Bel 10th September 2021 at 12:06 am - Reply

          Hello Debra,

          Great information. I seem to be having the same issues. If you don’t mind me asking…What acid reducer did you take and what acid reducer are currently taking?

          Thank you

  3. Grant Boardman 5th March 2020 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I’ve had similar problems for the last four years, but have never fainted thankfully. The chest pain and palpitations have really lowered my quality of life. I’ve had two sets of cardiologists run stress and bubble tests, the only thing they come back with besides sinus tachycardia is the fact that I have a PFO, which they say doesn’t cause chest pain, palpitations, or any other problems. No pulmonary problems have been found either. I had an endoscopy recently during which they found I have a hiatal hernia and esophagitis. I want my life back and I assume if I can fix my gastric problems everything will resolve.

  4. Prince 19th September 2020 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    I had same symptoms
    I am like urge to burp
    And palpitation increases after eating food
    And I continuously burp after food
    Please is there any solution of it
    It horrified me

  5. paul 8th December 2020 at 4:58 am - Reply

    I am so glad you put this on this website. I have gone round the bend recently having these serious palpitations/irregular heartbeats that come and go. I noticed, just like you, that if I burped, and at times bought up some liquid, not acid, not bile maybe water brash, my very disturbing irregular heart beat immediately disappeared. Numerous times, but the trick is getting out the burp, Simethicone, I discovered by accident, can help. I started my own research when doctors simply looked at me as if I originate from an alien planet of serious deluded human like creatures when talking to them about palpitations and burping up gas and liquid to cure them.. I am so happy and grateful I discovered Dr Sanjay’s website, youtube, and consultation service. I am shocked that my GP’s over many years have failed to identify this issue. I was depending on GP’s, not just in the UK but also Singapore, to give me answers and solutions to the palpitations and gut problems being seemingly connected. Not likely. I had an experience years ago with a GP treating me with serious gastric problems for years with very little success. The problem went on and on almost without respite. This is severe pain almost pancreatic like in description. Eventually I was put on omeprazole which helped but not entirely. It happened I got a sore throat for which the doc gave me amoxicillin which helped but not entirely. So he added flagyl for the throat problem , so now I’m on amoxicillin, Flagyll and omeprazole at the same time. I was on this for 2 weeks and noticed at the start of the second week all of my years long gut issues disappeared completely. I remember telling the doctor about this almost miraculous improvement. He went ballistic in his office shouting at me and saying you have had these very serious stomach issues for years and now you tell me they all disappeared within the space of a week because I gave you antibiotics. Well yes! This guy just wouldn’t believe me. I left the practice immediately and went to a lady doctor that listened to me and asked me if I would take another couple of weeks of the same drugs to see if the stomach problems returned or not. I took them and I was cured after over 15 years of agony. The lady doctor admittedly couldn’t explain the recovery, but she listened to me regardless of the medical knowledge at that time. I got better without explanation. I knew though it was the combination of medicine. 6 years later I read a medical article in the Sunday Times about a miraculous triple therapy for the treatment of stomach ulcers, which I had been diagnosed with since age 17 even had scar tissue with other ulcers. At times at such a young age I despaired at the extreme pain and weight loss from being unable to eat. I couldn’t even swallow a spoonful of water at its worst. I say my claim to fame is that I discovered Helicobacter and its treatment triple therapy, but I also think the lady doctor had read something that stuck in her mind and popped up when I walked into her office. I’m glad I came to this website and ended up getting answers to my current problems of irregular gut and heart. Thank you.

    • Josip Papic 1st July 2021 at 5:38 am - Reply

      Your story is copy of my story. Your discovery is also copy of my discovery that Helicobacter Pylori (HP) is one of the main reason for heart papilation.
      All the food that enhance fabrication of HP increase burping and consequently heart arrhytmia.
      Like wine, alcohol, sulphates, flavor enhancers etc.
      The only problem is how to get rid off HP. Most of antibiotics does not help any more as they did before. Todays HPs are resistent on most traditional antibiotics. Finding solution to erase HP means also solution for arrhytmia. I 100% agree with this theory. Let’s all of us continue to try with eliminating HP and come back with report.

  6. John Collins 10th May 2021 at 10:20 am - Reply

    I think I maybe suffering from this, I am so thankful to find a site where other people are discussing this condition, I will read all the comments from everyone.
    Thank you.
    John Collins

  7. Lala Falafel 3rd June 2021 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I have had this for 3 years. For me it comes in flares getting worse for a period of time where I end up having severe anxiety and fear with eating resulting in rapid weight loss causing severe depression and deconditioning . I am currently in one of these phases. I did a food sensitivities test and have eliminated gluten and the other sensitivities that were rated as high as I am sure the belching is from an inflammatory process not GERD as PPI are always the recommendation but don’t do anything for the belching . I also was prescribed Metroprolol but am weaning off that because I have lightheaded ness and dizziness all the time. I am on a gentle diet to calm my digestive system while allowing the small intestine to heal while removing inflammatory foods. When I have heart palpitations I have long runs of Ventricular Bigeminy which feel like skips and can have 20 in a row if I ate something that causes me to have lots of trapped gas .. I also have short runs of SVT if I have to belch while exercising . I have also been told that this is a functional G.I. problem and that sometimes anti-depressants help with the innervation of the stomach and G.I. tract so I tried SSRIs and wanted to kill myself and now I am trying a fraction of a dose of Remeron I am taking 1.875 which increase my appetite a little bit and maybe calm down a little bit but after a lot of reading I really think that My gluten sensitivity is causing a lot more damage than just a mild sensitivity so I will keep monitoring my symptoms and trying to reduce the intestinal gas which is the culprit stimulating the vagus nerve and causing the palpitations.

  8. JULIA Kay GRAFF 13th June 2021 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I have been dealing with this forever and no doctor would believe they are connected; not my cardiologist, my internal medicine doctor, or my gastroenterologist. I have spent a fortune on doctors. I am scheduled for an MRI on Monday, prior to my third ablation!!!! Third ablation! I have been dealing with stomach pain, bloating, and belching that I decided to google that along with my diagnosed PVC’s, PAC’s and Tachycardia. And I found this site!!! I can’t tell you how wonderful this is. I am not going to have a shorter life span, I can go hiking again! I don’t need a third ablation! I am not resigned to a chair because I can’t breath!!! This is the greatest news ever!!!

  9. Cynthia Lundie 4th July 2021 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Hallelujah that I just found this site.
    Is this Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s site ?
    Let’s do some studies let’s do some trials and tests on curative measures rather than ablation!
    I’ve had PVCs and skipped heartbeats for about 15 years but just recently in the last few months it has turned into tachycardia spells always brought on by burping and completely relieved as soon as I throw myself onto the ground with my hands extend up above my head literally goes away in two seconds.
    I do medical research as a hobby since I was premed 40 years ago and there’s no way in my mind that this is not connected to a gut and Vegas nerve issue.
    Let’s all work together I would love if the people who are making comments here if we could all be in a zoom group together and work with each other on causative and curative methods
    (I’m talking about natural methods not medicines and ablation!)

  10. Cynthia Lundie 4th July 2021 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Hallelujah that I just found this site.
    Is this Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s site ?
    Let’s do some studies let’s do some trials and tests on curative measures rather than ablation!
    I’ve had PVCs and skipped heartbeats Brought on by gas and burping pressure in my upper got between my ribs, for about 15 years now. But just recently in the last few months it has turned into tachycardia spells always brought on by excessive gas and burping pressure. And completely relieved as soon as I throw myself onto the ground with my hands extend up above my head literally goes away in two seconds.
    I do medical research as a hobby since I was premed 40 years ago and there’s no way in my mind that this is not connected to a gut and Vagus nerve issue.
    Let’s all work together I would love if the people who are making comments here if we could all be in a zoom group together and work with each other on causative and curative methods
    (I’m talking about natural methods not medicines and ablation!)

    • Chris Marianecci 31st July 2021 at 11:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Cynthia I’m totally down to make a group chat or something I suffer from PAC episodes as of late and believe it is a stomach issue as 5 cardiologists tell me I’m fine. My email is marianecci37@gmail.com

  11. Jimmy 2nd August 2021 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Please add me to any group chats that may form to discuss this topic. I’ve been suffering from runs of pvcs, pacs, atrial runs, and recently periodic bouts of Atrial Flutters. These episodes have been occurring for years and have ruined my quality of life at 58. My cardiologists, yes plural, all have different opinions as to what’s happening. The latest diagnosis by my Electrophysiology Cardiologist is I suffer from proximal atrial flutters and is suggesting I have an immediate Ablation, which is pretty unnerving. Earlier last year, another cardiologist diagnosed I had proximal AFIB. So I’m not sure which is it Atrial Flutters or AFIB. My overall heart function exams show my heart is healthy with slight plaque buildup, with nothing more out of the ordinary. My stress cardio test never cause my heart to flare up and produce any irregularities. I am not on any meds, as I refuse to take medications since I believe this is a gastrointestinal issues that predates to my hiatal hernia diagnosis back when I was in my 20s. Not one cardiologists is willing to concur or further investigate my theory, they in turn immediately suggest some sort of heart rhythm medication. Just today, while lying down I started to have irregular heart beat runs after eating. Once I stood up and burped a couple times, the irregularities subsided. I truly feel the condition I have and the flare ups of heart rhythm irregularities are caused by some sort of gastrointestinal issue and when these flare ups occur, anxiety and fear compound the problem and cause the heart rhythm to produce irregularities until I either burp, calm myself down or drink cold water. My email for a chat group is rubiodre@aol.com

  12. RHONDA 4th August 2021 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I am so glad I can put a name to what I have been dealing with, I just happened upon this site, and this explains everything. I have palpitations/PVCs after meals, but also occur sometimes when I feel there is excess gas. Last night for example, laying down, I started having the palpitations. I knew in my heart for the longest time it is stomach related, and vagus related. I got up, took an extra strength gas pill and a metoprolol and it stopped. I also have GERD as well, and had a flare up in the last two weeks followed by the palpitations. The only combo of meds that remotely helped was the Simethicone and the Famotidine. Doctors looked at me like I was nuts, but I KNEW it was gastrointestinal in nature. I am so glad I am not alone.

  13. Rose 7th August 2021 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Same as all of you and sooooo happy I found this. Also Always felt it was trapped gas and vagal nerve associated…but when it hits it can be very scary. A forum would be amazing.

  14. Rose 7th August 2021 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I feel the same as all of you… no one could ever tell me what it was so tho I always suspected it was trapped gas and Vagus nerve related. Extremely scary when it comes on. I take Gas-X but wonder if there’s more I can do.
    A forum would be so helpful! Just not to feel ‘crazy’ and alone with this.

  15. Jacqueline 12th September 2021 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    I’m experiencing the same thing. Although I recently had gallbladder surgery the problems started a week or two before the surgery. Mine mostly only happens when I lay down for bed I’m assuming it’s because I’m laying down and can’t physically get the burb up. It wakes me up several times a night an the palpitations don’t stop until I burn and sometimes I can’t burb. So I’m up on and off all night long. I’m 31 years old and before the onset of these issues I was over all a healthy person. I’ve been to the ER several times an they recommended me to see a cardiologist and a GI doctor in which my primary Cary doctor won’t do because she’s got it in her head that all this is stemmed from anxiety and depression which I’ve never been treated for depression only anxiety because things like this scares me when I keep being told I’m fine. I’m not taking any medication for this besides mylanta and if any one has any medicine ideas or natural remedies to help it would be greatly appreciated as I just want my life back 🥺

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