Ok, I thought I’d post again as my symptoms are becoming more defined. Maybe someone out there is more or less having the exact same issue or been thru this. If you recall my saga you might as well skip this paragraph! As previously posted I am a 40+ male, 5’-9”, 190 lbs (gained 15 – 20 pounds over the last decade) and fairly inactive (well I started exercising a week ago). I never had any reflux symptoms. I do have bad allergies/drip/nasal etc and am on meds and allergy shots. In Oct, after dinner a few nights in a row, while sitting I thought I could feel my heart beating. It turned to what I thought was an irregular beat. I freaked out (which likely made things worse) and went to my internal med doc. She sent me for blood work and an eco and had me wear a holter monitor for a day. Everything came back normal. The holter showed a few irregular beats, ironically not when I thought I felt them! She said to calm down, loose some weight and exercise. I actually felt better as the good news about the heart came in. She said I could take pepsid for 2 weeks and that I perhaps had reflux which messed something up inside of me and the pepsid might help it heal. She did not think it was the heart. FYI: I have never had any pain, burning or burping but she said I could have had reflux without knowing it. Also, my allergies had been very bad (drip/cough etc) and this could have inflamed something. I also remembered that back in August I DID have a bout where I actually had trouble swallowing. At the time my drip was horrible. It was at that time my allergist bumped me up to shots ever two weeks instead of monthly and a few other things. That helped. The swallowing incident only lasted a few days and I did not give it any thought thereafter
Well the pepsid helped a bit, I think, but did not eliminate the problem. The problem now seemed less and less an irregular heart beat / palpitations and more a quivering or spasm feeling that would occur anywhere from in the back of my throat down into my belly. On rare occasion I’d swear the heart was beating irregularly but mostly just this quivering inside me after eating….or sometimes when I’d lay down for bed. I returned to my doc after the holidays. She noted I actually had gained a few pounds, again the holidays. She said to try prescription prilosec once a day and I would likely see an improvement in 2 weeks…it should eliminate stomach acid and let whatever might be inflamed in there heal. Prilosec was stonger than the pepsid. Also, again, loose some weight and exercise. If it is helped after 2 weeks, take it the rest of the month and then ween off it and see how it goes. If it gets no better she’ll send me to a gastro for testing. 9 times out of 10 prilosec is the answer she said.
So I started the prilosec, once a day at lunch. I think it was working to some degree, I think my symptoms were not as intense. I even remember ONE night where I felt nothing at all—not even a momentary twitch! But, 2 / 3 days in I caught my kid’s head cold and was sniffy, flemmy and coughing for days. I still have a little ‘cold’ residue in me but am better. Over that week or so any ground I gained in the first 2/3 days was lost. The quivering was back after dinner and at bed time! Could it be the prilosec was helping but the flem and coughing further adjatating something during that time, again offsetting my gains? Irritating what?
Finally, I have been eating less and walking a treadmill after dinner for the last 4/5 days, even while I had the cold. Well last night we all went to the local buffet. I tried to eat less but ate more than I should have I guess. I hit the bathroom then the treadmill when I got home. When I sat down I noticed the quivering….not horribly so but annoyingly so. I went to bed around 12:30 am and was still doing it. Around 1am I decided to take a seocnd prilosec. (I took the first before dinner around 4:30pm instead of at lunchtime). Well, with in one minute my symptoms stopped! I could not believe it! So, it was either all in my head (placebo effect-doubt this), the glass of water I took with the pill helped (???) or the prilosec worked some kind of miracle that fast. WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK? I really do not want to take 2 pills again within a 24 hour period; I won’t make the over-eating mistake again.
If you think it was the prilosec then: 1) What exactly does the drug do and how does it work? 2) If it is stomach acid, why is my body producing so much OR is it that something is inflamed and the acid irritates it? 3) If the acid is needed for digestion, doesn’t the prilosec hurt digestion? 4) The scary question, what could be inflamed and what can be done about it?
I figure, with my cold almost gone, I should try the priloec another week or so and see how things go. My gut tells me I will end up at the gastro and to be honest my mind then starts to wander thinking about cancer and testing and stuff.
Opinions, ideas etc etc.
Thanks for your patience. The frustrating thing is I FEEL fine otherwise. I have an appetite. The minimal exercise might even be making me feel more peppy. But, what is that damn quivering feeling…
HI Robert! You make a really really great point! I am dealing with reflux too. I think Prilosec works great! BUT I am allergic to it. I can go ahead and take it but it gives me stomach cramps and diarrhea. So while I am fixing the reflux problem I am developing another problem in the southern regions. ugh! We are still trying to find something for me to take.
So here are my thoughts on the Prilosec or any other reflux med. The meds stop the acid pumps from over doing it. Which is good, however from the information I have been reading up on. Most people have acid reflux because their stomachs are not producing enough digestive enzymes or acids. So that is contrary to what the reflux meds are doing. In other words shouldn't we be taking digestive enzymes before meals??? Eating more food with living enzymes?? And perhaps taking the apple cidar vinegar which neutralizes things in the stomach and helps us digest??
So if we throw a Prilosec down there do we will do the digestive enzymes and
apple cidar vinegar as well? Do they work together or against each other?
Last night I took my digestive enzymes before my meal. I actually felt great all night and until noon today and then things are a little touchy again.
Any thoughts from anyone on this?? Thanks!
I hope you are doing better. A doctor told me that reflux may irritate the esophagus enough to cause a spasm. (I have similar symptoms to yours, and was checked by a holter monitor and was fine. I know they can be scary. Mine occur more with hot drinks.) Also, there may be spasms due to esophageal sensitivity. Good luck with this! I found this online:
diffuse esophageal spasm, DES, spasm of the esophagus
Esophageal spasm is an uncoordinated contraction of the muscles of the esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
What is going on in the body?
Normally, the esophagus muscles contract and relax in order, from top to bottom. This moves the food from the mouth to the stomach. In esophageal spasm, all the muscles contract in an uncoordinated pattern. This causes pain and fails to move the food along. As a result, the person may have trouble swallowing. Sometimes the condition is triggered by eating hot or cold foods.
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
Symptoms of esophageal spasm may include:
burning or pain with swallowing
palpitations (an abnormal sensation of the beating of the heart)
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Women are more likely than men to have esophageal spasm. The cause of the spasms is not known, though gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is felt to increase the likelihood. Someone who gets spasm after eating hot or cold food may have a hypersensitive esophagus.
What can be done to prevent the condition?
If a person's esophageal spasm is triggered by hot or cold foods, he or she should avoid them. If the person has GERD, the provider will treat it with medication.
How is the condition diagnosed?
Esophageal spasm can be diagnosed by a test called manometry. In this test, which takes about 60 minutes, a special tube is inserted down the esophagus. The tube measures the muscle activity of the esophagus.
Abnormal contractions mixed with normal movement suppports the diagnosis. A person with a hypersensitive esophagus may be diagnosed by inflating a long balloon in the person's esophagus. If this causes the same symptoms, preventive methods may work.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Esophageal spasm does not usually lead to more serious problems. The pain, however, can be disabling. Sometimes a person is afraid to eat and becomes malnourished or loses weight.
What are the risks to others?
Esophageal spasm is not contagious and poses no risk to others.
What are the treatments for the condition?
Treatment for esophageal spasm may include:
dilation, a procedure in which instruments of increasing size are inserted through the esophagus. However, this usually only provides temporary relief.
nitrate medications, such as nitroglycerin. These medications are the same as those used for chest pain caused by heart problems.
calcium channel blockers, including nifedipine (i.d., TAdalat, Procardia) and verapamil (i.e., Calan, Covera, Ioptin, Verelan)
An individual with a hypersensitive esophagus sometimes improves with low doses of medications normally used for depression, such as imipramine (i.e., Tofranil) or trazodone (i.e., Desyrel).
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Nitrates can cause headaches and low blood pressure. Calcium channel blockers can cause nausea, constipation, and other side effects. Antidepressants can cause side effects that depend on the medication used.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
No treatment for esophageal spasm is effective for everyone. Often several approaches will be tried before one works. In many cases, the symptoms will only partially resolve.
How is the condition monitored?
The person's symptoms are usually the best guide to how well the treatment for esophageal spasm works. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.
Author: William M. Boggs, MD
Date Written: 04/14/00
Medical Review: Jeff Fenyves, MD
Date Written: 9/20/2006
Reviewer: Reginald Finger, MD
Date Reviewed: 10/5/2006
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request"
thanks. The funny thing is, by your definition, I do not have the symtoms. I have no pain or difficulty eating. It only a brief time after eating that the quivering feeling starts. It does not hurt...just feels like, well a quivering that is usually located in a specific area from the back of my throat to my stomach....you never know where it will be.
It only usually happens after eating and I thought those 'scope/tube' tests have you fas for 6 hours before so I doubt they would notice it happening.
I get the quivering feel as well. I used to think it was my heart until one day I laid on the bed and really paid attention to it. Mine to are not painful, but I think it does interfere a little bit with the heart. I"ve had holter tests and all checked out good.