...Some experience heart palpitations after eating. Some people only get an
increased heart rate after eating sugar or processed foods. Sometimes heart
palpitations (tachycardia) will happen even when just sitting, watching TV,
laying down or just walking up the stairs.
We'll focus this article on the issues related to heart pounding after
eating. Visit Pounding Heart Beat Causes to learn about other causes of pounding
heart. You might also want to take a look at this article: Extra
There are several possible mechanisms as to why you experience rapid
heartbeat after eating. Both increased and decreased of the heart rate with
the ingestion of food and liquid are normal as digestion naturally increases the
work of the heart. This can be seen from the changes in the blood flow as your
stomach begins digesting a meal. Digesting food also puts extra demand on the
body for oxygen. The occurrence of heart pounding from this process is possible
although it may be a sign of problem with the circulation, the heart or the lung
People with poor digestion may experience heart palpitations after eating
a heavy meal, particularly:
Meal that riches in carbohydrate, sugar or fat such as chocolates;
Food that are high in MSG, nitrates and sodium e.g. processed foods
including pizza, lasagna, or foods high in oil;
Food or drink that contain caffeine or other stimulants.
Some believe that this has something to do with the Vagus nerve which is
shared by both the heart and the stomach. Some find that daily intake of
Pantoprazole (Protonix), a medicine for indigestion, helps alleviate heart
If you experience an increased heart rate after eating sugar, the
amount of sugar you consumed also seems to affect how much pounding you get. You
may feel like getting an adrenaline rush. Sometimes it is so bad that you can't
go to sleep at night. It's also possible to experience shortness of breath,
bloating and indigestion with it on occasion. The episodes of heart pounding
usually begin within 30 to 60 minutes after eating a meal. The heart starts
racing and sometimes goes up to 120 beats per minute or even more. It lasts up
to 6 hours sometimes.
Moreover, those heavy meals such as pizza and lasagna have tons of sodium and
saturated fat in them. If you do not drink enough water, your blood becomes
thicker, and your heart will need to work harder. Also, cholesterol levels can
spike right after a high saturated fat meal meaning your heart is overworking
during this digestion process.
Increased heartbeat after eating certain foods may also sign a food
sensitivity, even if you never had problems with food before. A food diary may
clue you if this is the case.
Being overweight may also worsen the symptoms of heart pounding after eating.
If the heart pounds after eating is irregular or rapid, you could have
cardiac arrhythmia such as premature ventricular contractions.
The cause of pounding heart after eating may turn out to be not
related to heart problem at all. Severe acid reflux disorder (GERD) may cause
the valve at the top of the stomach (between the esophagus and stomach) spasm.
This may result in a sensation of the heart arbitrarily increasing the rate and
beating faster and harder. Night sweats, anxiety attacks at night and heart
palpitations after eating heavy meal might indicate heartburn from acid reflux.
Moreover, hiatus hernia may also cause palpitations after eating symptoms.
Eating puts pressure in the stomach and hernia, which in turn puts pressure on
the vagus nerve that controls the heart rate. It can also cause breathing
The feeling of heart racing is very uncomfortable. It may make you feel very
anxious and lead to a panic attack. Some people who experience rapid heartbeat
after eating may get scared to the point where he or she skips meal to avoid
racing or pounding heart symptoms. Others reduce the amount of food they
consumed to keep away from the unpleasant and frightening episodes.
If your heart pounds after eating, you are suggested to divide your
meals into several small meals and avoid large meals. This will avoid stressing
the response on Vagus nerve and stabilize your blood sugar.
Sudden tachycardia / rapid heartbeat after eating may occur for no appearance
reason. Completely changing your lifestyle should reduce the occurrence of heart
palpitations after eating. Drink green tea after eating meals high in fat may
help minimize the increase in heart rate. Some people find that drinking lots of
water can help too.
Heart pounding after eating can be caused by any of the listed conditions or
a combination. It could be as minor as acid reflux or food sensitivity to as
major as liver or kidney damage. But it may be completely harmless since your
heart works hardest when digesting food. You will have to have the proper
diagnostic testing to determine your real problem and find the appropriate
treatments that work for you.