What are the Causes & Treatment for Irregular Heartbeats after Eating

Irregular heartbeat following a meal is common in people who are overweight and those who have anorexia.

  • If a patient experiences the symptom for the first time, it is a good idea to go to the doctor for a check up

  • Irregular heart beats are known as arrhythmias. They are also called palpitations and some refer to them as skipped beating.

  • When experienced, the symptom can be very worrying as it can be mistaken for a heart attack

Reason for Irregular Heartbeat after Eating

  • When a person eats, especially large meals, blood flow gets directed into the stomach

  • This causes that drowsy feeling some get after eating

  • In some cases, the irregular heart beats can start during a meal

  • It can also lead to an irregular heartbeat as the heart works to compensate for the sudden volume shift

  • The irregular beating may also be accompanied by a decrease or an increase in the patient’s blood pressure. Other symptoms include:

    • Fatigue

    • Feeling cold or flushed

    • Dizziness

  • Another reason for irregular beats following a meal is eating too fast or too much after a fast

  • Some patients may also observe that there are certain trigger foods that makes the symptom flare up.

  • Patients who have conductive arrhythmias may also experience a worsening of their condition following a meal.

In some cases, patients who have GERD or Acid Reflux Disease may also experience irregular heartbeats after eating.

When to See a Doctor

  • Patients who observe this symptom for the first time should seek medical attention, if only to rule out serious heart problems

  • When the irregular beats are accompanied by signs of a heart attack, they include:

    • Chest pains – the pain does not go away with rest

    • Chest pain that radiates to the back and down the left arm

    • Upset stomach – some heart attacks, especially in women manifest in gastric distress

    • Weakness

    • Fainting

    • Difficulty breathing

  • When the symptom becomes profound enough to disrupt proper functioning

  • When it continues for hours following a meal

Treatment for Irregular Heart Beats

There is no specific treatment for irregular heart beats after a meal. However, there are preventive methods and lifestyle changes that patients can apply to keep in form happening, they include:

  • Eating smaller meals more frequently

  • Eating at regular intervals

  • Eat slowly, avoid eating too fast

  • Weight loss – this can help to reduce the workload of the heart and address the issue

  • Avoid trigger food

  • Exercise regularly

  • Medication may also be used for patients whose irregular heart beats are caused by problems with the heart’s electrical conduction.

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