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GERD and PVCs, finding relief

I have suffered with GERD (Gastrointestinal Esophogeal Reflux Disease) and heart rythym issues (Atrial Fib and PVCs)  for many years.  I have ended up in the ER twice in the last two years and the heart rythm issues only became worse.  I have taken beta blockers and calcium channel blockers which only help somewhat and I would still have major and long lasting episodes, particularly the PVCs.  I had long suspected the my GERD was somehow contributing to the heart rythym issues.  It seems that when my reflux was worse, so was the other.  I had asked doctors about this and they would either seem skeptical or claimed no medical evidence for such a conclusion.  Well, I decided to do some research on my own.  Sure enough, I came across scores of others online who were convinced that GERD was contributing to their PVCs.  Many also reported the same response from the medical community.  However, many had also found relief for symptoms.  One source of relief was the use of the foaming antiacid GAVISCON (Aluminum Hydroxide + Magnesium Hydroxide).   Recently, I was suffering badly with the PVCs, felt awful, short of breath, the whole range of symptoms, and the GERD was doing its thing.   So, I took 4 GAVISCON chewable tablets.    VIOLA!  Within only a few minutes the PVCs and other symptoms were 100% gone.  Next day, I ate breakfast but did not take the GAVISCON and the symptoms came back.  Took GAVISCON again, symptoms went away again.   I had been suffering for days, but taking the GAVISCON is consistently giving me relief from the heart rythym symptoms.  So, my conclusion is the GERD absolutely contributes to PVCs.  I am also conviced that the best treatment is my case is aggressively treating the GERD.  Here are my recommendations.

1)  Get off the caffeine.  If you have heart rythym issues, drinking a lot of coffee and other caffeinated stimuant beverages is not helping your situtaion.  Just common sense.

2)  Work on your diet, stop overloading your stomach.  Remember that your primary problem is likely GERD.  If you have GERD, overloading your stomach is not wise.

3)  Avoid drinking liquids in large amounts after eating a meal.  GERD sufferers often have stomachs that are slow to empty and you are just overloading it with fluid and making it easier for the GERD.

4)  Take the anti acid medicines such as Nexium, Protonics, etc.  These will help reduce the production of acid in the stomach.  Overproduction of stomach acid is a problem for many with GERD.

5) Most important, take GAVISCON!  It is not only an antiacid, it also forms a physical barrier in your stomach the floats on top of the stomach contents to help prevent them flowing back up into the esophogus.  Even if the reflux occurs, the GAVISCON make the trip up first and coats the esophogus, helping protect it from damage and reduce the irritation caused by the GERD – which is what is causing the PVCs.   Take the GAVISCON after each meal and also at bedtime.   After taking the GAVISCON, do not wreck the good that it is doing by immediately drink a lot of fluids, try to wait a couple of hours at least.  This will also give you stomach an opportunity to empty somewhat.

I hope this helps someone.

My first 5k race!

To put a bow on having lost 80 pounds from a year ago this month, I ran in my first 5k race!   I ran in the Faith 5k which was a fund raiser for the Faith Lutheran Church elementary school.  They put on a very nice event using a professional timing company.   They even emailed us our results following the race, mine are below.   I really just hoped to be able to finish the race so my result greatly surpassed my expectations.   Now I have a time to beat for my next race.   What a fun way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning in Stephenville, Texas.

The email I received following the race:

Congratulations on finishing the Running with Faith 5K on March 31, 2012.

There were 8 finishers in the Male 40 to 44 age group and 147 finishers in the race.

Your overall finish place was 79 and your age group finish place was 6.  Your overall finish percentile was 54 while your age group percentile was 75.  Your time of 30:36.18 gave you a  9:52 pace per mile.

Full results, as well as upcoming races can be found at  Be sure to like us on Facebook for up-to-date information about all local running events.

We hope to see you again next year.