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Heart Palpitations?
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Can heart palpitations be a sign of gluten intolerance? I have had continuos palpitations since Tuesday night and am wondering if gluten intolerance is the cause. i have been to the doctor and had and EKG, wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours and had an echocardiogram, but I don't go back to the doctor until Monday to find out the results. I do not like this feeling at all! :(

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Yes, Kathleen, there are a few of us posting on the board who have had heart palpitations / atrial fibrillation / tachcardia from gluten. Let us know what your results show and what your doctor thinks of all this. Most doctors are unaware of the association between food intolerances and heart rhythm disturbances. Heck, it's a bonus if they even know about celiac ;)

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Yes. My palpitations which I had for years went away once I was on a gluten-free diet and started supplementing with the nutrients my body needed. I was very surprised.

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Please have your doctor test for low Vitamin B12--this can cause heart palpitations. And, yes, low Vitamin B12 can be caused by celiac.

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I've had odd palpitations for about 3 years. Going gluten-free helped 75% go away. Adding iron and vit d, which I was deficient in has apparently resolved the rest.

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This is so interesting. My husband used to tell me about the heart palpitations he used to get. Now that he is gluten free...he has not complained about them. However, my 17 yr old is getting them more frequently and when at the age of about 11/12 she wore a monitor for 24 hour as well. It was also the time she dealt with joint pain and stiffness daily. They gave a name for what she was feeling but I can't recall the name...but was told it was not serious. Now that she's back in school...and eating more gluten than she would at home...I'm guessing it's the result of the gluten. Interesting. I am having my other 3 kids get endoscopies in December...did not schedule one for her though. Maybe I should have.

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Yes! I wore a holter monitor several times in the last 20 years for heart

palps and erratic beats and A-Fib episodes....always told my heart was "fine"....yet, it felt like it was leaping out of my chest and skipping beats. I would get dizzy and nauseous.

Sometimes, it woke me up!

Heart palpitations in hypoglycemia can occur as well. My blood sugars were all over the place on gluten. Not anymore. Thyroid stimulating hormone and glucose levels ---stabilized and normal.

Once DXed and gluten free for a few months, and the Folate and B-12, D deficiencies all corrected (which can also bring on the palps), all of that stopped. Completely. :)

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Wow. I was reading on the internet where people have lived with constant heart palpitations for months and years. I cannot stand it for the few days I have had it. I took a magnesium tablet last night and it seemed to help it settle down some. I wish I hadn't stopped my gluten free diet a few months ago. :angry:

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So also interesting...that folate and b12 deficiencies can cause this. The year my daughter wore a monitor because we wanted to figure out what was going on...I remember her seeing a Ruematologist for her joint pain and swelling. At one point the Reumi called and told her to take folate and b12 as her blood work showed she was deficient...plus her blood count was low. Not once over those 3 yrs did they ever consider testing for celiac. Now she's getting foot cramps and the heart palps again. Hmmm..and she's the only one I don't have an appointment for getting an endoscopy in December...I'm sure she'll be next.

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So also interesting...that folate and b12 deficiencies can cause this. The year my daughter wore a monitor because we wanted to figure out what was going on...I remember her seeing a Ruematologist for her joint pain and swelling. At one point the Reumi called and told her to take folate and b12 as her blood work showed she was deficient...plus her blood count was low. Not once over those 3 yrs did they ever consider testing for celiac. Now she's getting foot cramps and the heart palps again. Hmmm..and she's the only one I don't have an appointment for getting an endoscopy in December...I'm sure she'll be next.

I would have her tested as well. IMHO. Why wait? You probably know this, but just doing an endo is not going to show celiac....they need to biopsy and you all need to be eating gluten at the time so it is a valid test.

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Well, I'm not so sure of the cause and effect part of folate and B12 in heart papitations. While for me they certainly existed along with the afib and gluten intolerance, raising the B12 and folate and eliminating the gluten did nothing for the afib and palpitations. I think for some it is just all part of the syndrome. Not saying it couldn't be the cause, mind you, just sayin' ;)

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I started back being gluten free today. I also went to the doctor to get test results and my heart is fine structurally. Seems it got off base electrically somehow and my doctor gave me some meds to slow it down. I will only be taking them for 2 weeks, so hopefully the diet will help things improve as well.

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Well, I'm not so sure of the cause and effect part of folate and B12 in heart papitations. While for me they certainly existed along with the afib and gluten intolerance, raising the B12 and folate and eliminating the gluten did nothing for the afib and palpitations. I think for some it is just all part of the syndrome. Not saying it couldn't be the cause, mind you, just sayin' ;)

I agree completely!....in my case, the palps seemed to be more related to the glucose instability. (It may be coincidental that it stopped at the same time the vitamin deficiencies cleared up.) I any case, I am glad they have stopped. That went on for many years...ugh! My hubby has AFib and it has nothing to do with gluten issues. In fact, his cardiologist is completely stumped as to why he has it at all :blink: ...his heart is fine. :)

The human body--a complex machine indeed.

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My hubby has AFib and it has nothing to do with gluten issues. In fact, his cardiologist is completely stumped as to why he has it at all :blink: ...his heart is fine. :)

The human body--a complex machine indeed.

Same here, heart absolutely normal, except for the timing gear :lol: Maybe I need a mechanic!

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Same here, heart absolutely normal, except for the timing gear :lol: Maybe I need a mechanic!

:lol: Hubby giggled at that one, Shroomie...

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I started back being gluten free today. I also went to the doctor to get test results and my heart is fine structurally. Seems it got off base electrically somehow and my doctor gave me some meds to slow it down. I will only be taking them for 2 weeks, so hopefully the diet will help things improve as well.

Glad your heart is fine!!! :)

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I had two bad episodes of tachycardia that started on me on my journey to getting diagnosed with celiac 2 1/2 years after the first episode. I had to go to the ER both times because it was so high. I was given meds first and if they didn't work then they were going to have to cardiovert me. Luckily the meds worked! I did the EKG, holter monitor, meds, and saw a cardiologist. The meds made me feel worse so I went off of them and dealt with the tachy. It never got bad enough to go back to the ER luckily. I eventually found out I had become anemic and had extremely low ferritin. Once I was diagnosed with celiac and got my ferritin level up to an acceptable level, the tachy episodes pretty much went away. Since then I only occasionally get the episodes (I have actually had this occasionally since a teenager) or when I get to much thyroid meds. BTW, they never did find anything wrong with my heart except that my heart rate is a little on the fast side, which they said is normal for me. I do have to watch stimulants or anything that can affect my heart rate. I'm very sensitive to them.

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I'm an A-Fibber, not fun...Docs would like to ablate that section of the heart... Not me having my thyroid ablated was enough for me...But I did want to chime in & say get your thyroid levels checked as well...TSH, FreeT-3 Free T-4 Total T-3

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I'm an A-Fibber, not fun...Docs would like to ablate that section of the heart... Not me having my thyroid ablated was enough for me...But I did want to chime in & say get your thyroid levels checked as well...TSH, FreeT-3 Free T-4 Total T-3

I am thinking of trying ablationif it becomes a real problem again like it did this summer, but at the moment I am doing the "pill-in-the-pocket" routine -- if I go into a-fib and don't autoconvert, I take a flecainide. So far, and crossing fingers, it is working for me and since I am back at sea level once more it does not happen often (except if I accidentally eat some lectins :ph34r: )

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Mushroom------------ I'll have to check out your pill as I was never offered a pill for this..just the ablation which I have refused..I have less since I went on a whole gland thyroid med. Still happens but less often & so far it hasn't required a ICU stay for two weeks like what usually happens...

thanks for the info....

mamaw

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I am thinking of trying ablationif it becomes a real problem again like it did this summer, but at the moment I am doing the "pill-in-the-pocket" routine -- if I go into a-fib and don't autoconvert, I take a flecainide. So far, and crossing fingers, it is working for me and since I am back at sea level once more it does not happen often (except if I accidentally eat some lectins :ph34r: )

This is what my husband does...carries it JIC (just in case). He takes a low dose of metoprolal (My Mom does, too) and that seems to get the rhythm back to normal. There's nothing quite like seeing your husband hooked up to machines in the ER, all red-faced and sweating, heart rate at 226 :blink: ....MY heart almost stopped that day! He was working out at the gym and suddenly, he was winded and his heart accelerated. But, as I said, all testing is normal. Thank God he's okay...scared the beejeepers out of me. I had this happen myself, but not at 226 beats per minute...yikes.

The first thing they checked was his thyroid, as apparently that can cause AFib as well (as mamaw has described)

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Mushroom---- I can't seem to locate anywhere that this med is gluten-free???? I'm allergic to tons of meds & after reading this probably would not work for me due to allergies. They changed synthyroid to the generic brand in Jan& it took me 8 months to recover from the reaction to it,,, angio lymphatic edems...A long time to have a swollen raw mouth , tongue & face.... just now getting taste buds back....I was so swollen I couldn't get a baby spoon into my mouth for five of those months...

But again thanks for the info... wishful thinking on my part....

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I suffered problems with heart palpitations while hospitalized for iron deficiency, which I know now was caused by malabsorption issues due to gluten intolerance. I was offered medicines for the palpitations, but I declined them in hope that things would normalize once my anemia was under control again, which proved to be right.

If you haven't done so already, double-checking your iron levels while doing other blood tests could be an idea, just to be sure. :)

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Hello!  

 

New to the forum!  I just wanted to share that although the medical field is slanted towards blood tests and biopsies due to their high specificity (which means if the test is positive you can trust the result) there are a lot of false negatives (you get a negative result, but you actually have the disease process).  Celiac Sprue (CS) will have a positive biopsy but only insofar as the disease has progressed long enough to do such drastic damage.  Many people will have gluten intolerance that does not cause destruction of the villi (little fingers projecting from the gastrointestinal tract wall which allow for proper digestion etc.)  but will cause serious health consequences including an exponentially higher rate of autoimmune disorders as gluten is ingested chronically (>20 years) many of these folks are otherwise asymptomatic.  

 

So, I would recommend stool sample testing.  The earlier studies had very favorable rates of accuracy but were based on a very involved process that required "cleansing and flushing" of the digestive tract prior to sampling.  Because of this the medical profession (understandably) will not favor this and does not consider this testing reliable.  Also, because the medical field still considers biopsy to be the gold standard, it tended to view the diagnosis of positive gluten sensitivity without evidence of villi destruction dubious results.  In other words, gluten sensitivity is not widely recognized in medicine as disease UNTIL there is evidence of disease or destruction.   You have to remember that medicine is a disease-based discipline.  It is not designed nor (usually) skilled in prevention or promotion.  

 

However, testing has developed quite a bit in the last 10+ years, and I have used it with great success both personally, with family (including my little nephew at 21/2 years old! How happy was his mom to avoid a blood test), and with patients.  The company I have used is Enterolab enterolab.com.  I highly recommend going to their website and reading the article "Early Diagnosis of Gluten Sensitivity: Before the Villi Are Gone".  This may be a little bit of a "thick read" for those without a health-science or research background but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to avoid long term consequences of gluten exposure.  Once you sustain enough damage to provide "evidence" of disease, much of the damage is permanent.  

 

A sad but hopefully helpful example of this is my own family.  My mother who is on a gluten free diet, and has been for many years (not just gluten free, organic, low glycerin, no caffeine, multiple supplements etc.).  However, she did not do this until after being diagnosed (finally) with Sjogren's Disease, she has additionally been plagued with depression most of her life, she has had serious and ongoing dental problems, and wide-spread chronic joint pain.  Unfortunately, she does better on her current diet but has all of the above still, just not in aggressive progression.  I developed the herpatiform skin lesions in my mid 30s, and had been plagued with depression, heart palpitations, and increasing all-over joint pain and knife-like stomach cramps which lead me to do some research, self diagnose, and then get testing done to confirm   Happily, almost all of my symptoms have reduced by @ 80%+ and I continue to improve while following a strict gluten-free diet.  I felt 10 years younger after a few months of being on the diet and after intestinal cleansing to remove the long term plaquing of my GI tract.  Due to long term exposure however I have developed many food allergies and so my diet must be very restrictive to be at my best health (a SMALL price to pay I assure you)!  My brother, who is almost 8 years younger than I had many intestinal complaints, bowel problems and bloating.  He has to follow a strict gluten-free (Gluten Free) diet, and is now very healthy strong and happy, outside of having to give up beer :)!  My nephew was diagnosed before the age of 3 and his devoted mother who immediately and without question converted the whole house (not just my brother) to gluten-free reported an almost immediate decrease in bloating and a restoration of normal bowels (and a great reduction in my sister-in-law's migraines too). He has a diagnosis of Autism and consistently is breaking developmental barriers and exceeding the expectations that were set for him.  I can only imagine how difficult this would be for him and his family had this dietary burden not been removed.  

 

PLEASE!!! I beg of you, if you are a parent, for your children's sake, read up, and be resolute!  Gluten Free can't be done half-way.  I know its inconvenient and requires a constant effort, trust me I DO understand!  But realize that as your children's keepers finding out  early and teaching them how to live well has enormous impact. This is not a decision to be made based on how a child feels day to day "Well I gave him a little cake and he seemed fine so maybe....." For someone who is gluten sensitive, eating gluten is poisonous to the body and the effects are CUMULATIVE!  Gluten Sensitivity gone undiagnosed and untreated is a recipe for ill health, chronic disease, higher risks of cancer, and very high rates of autoimmune disorders.

 

 As a health professional, having read much research on the topic but also living with the consequences of being long-undiagnosed I can tell you that I think the fecal testing is the way to go.  Its easy, accurate, sensitive, and you do not need a doctor to prescribe it.  It is also a fantastic option for testing kids.  Good Luck and health to all, I hope this helps!

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