Heartsy- I'm wondering the exact same thing! I'm 26 and I have a pretty significant Hiatal Hernia. I recently had an EKG done and I was told I have an arrhythmia!? They tried the EKG 3 times and I believe the arrhythmia showed up 2 out of 3. I'm in fantastic shape, I don't smoke, and I eat well. What gives!? What's your story? I'd like to know if it's a closely related situation.
I have never had any indication of heart trouble. I have never had any angina or any other type of chest pain. I have a large hiatal hernia that I went to talk to the doctor about having repaired because it was causing me problems. It has made me very short of breath. At times I feel like I cannot swallow. At times when I swallow I can feel it all the way down as it causes pain. At times I feel a choking sensation in my throught. After eating a small amount I feel like I am so full that I cannot eat anything else. I have a pinching sharp pain in my left side right under my ribs that comes and goes, the doctor said this was not heart pain. It causes me to cough a lot. After eating sometimes I seem to get a panic attack that last for 30 minutes to an hour.
Someone told me about a friend of thiers that had a hiatal hernia repair and I called her and she was glad to talk to me about her surgery. She said that her hernia was causing her to be very short of breath. Her doctor told her that the hernia was right behind the heart and was putting pressure on the heart and lungs and this was what was causing her to be short of breath. She also had some of the same symptoms that I am having. She said that after the surgery she felt wonderful.
The doctor thought maybe my heart may be involved so he ordered a stress test. The stress test EKG was abnormal, so he sent me to a cardiologist. Now I am scheduled for a heart cath, for which I am scared to death to have. I really believe that the hiatal hernia and walking on the treatmill showed the abnormal EKG. Neither doctor will even listen to me when I ask if the hiatal hernia could by any chance be involved.
A hiatal hernia can put pressure on the other nerves that run through the same hiatus that the esophagus does. When it herniates it puts pressure on the other nerves and can cause other problems. I hope this helps.
Very interesting, Heartsy. I just had a plain old EKG (no stress test or treadmill). I also had an ECG (echocardiogram). The doctor looked puzzled at the readout on the screen and he said that every time I breathed in, my lungs would obscure my heart. He had me exhale completely and hold my breathe to get a good reading on the ECG. I'm wondering now if it was my hernia that was obscuring my heart and not my lungs.
I don't have shortness of breath or panic attacks with my hernia, but I have heartburn and reflux constantly. When I do any kind of exercise, I'm constantly clearing my throat, swallowing, gagging, and spitting. Sometimes the reflux is so bad that if I lean over to tie my shoes, I'll just vomit. My doctor told me that the surgery may work for my hernia, or after the surgery, it will just go back to the way it is now.
Does anyone know if a large hiatal hernia could make a stress test or an EKG appear to be abnormal.
If an HH is impeding or restrictng lung capacity, there could be an underlying cause for shortness of breath.
An EKG as it relates to arrhythmia tracks electrical impulses (timing) produced by the sinus node in the right heart's atrium, and followed through the heart's electrical conducting pathways to excite or relax specific smooth muscle cells of the heart's tissue causing contractions or filling of chambers. I don't believe there would be any connection with the heart's conductivity and HH, and the heart would be shielded from any outside nerve impulses. It may have something to do with the different type of cells (neurons) as well.