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Deglutition Syncope/swallowing Syncope


smiles
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I think I may have this. it flares up when I'm at my worst, which I am again. Need answers. Need help. It is rare. My doc never heard of it. It has to do with the vagal nerve messing with your heart when you eat or drink. Not sure where to turn but to educate my docs.

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Hi. Since my tachy has occurred only after eating, I checked out all sorts of swallowing, eating and respiration, postprandial, etc., issues. I did this via my own online searches and looking up stuff in anatomy books.

I learned about deglutition syncope. I think it is related to an unusual nerve pathway like some forms of re-entrant tachycardia are just pathway variations.

Maybe if your neurologists don't know what this is, a speech therapist might give you some tips on getting a diagnosis. I have a friend who is a speech therapist and she knows alot about swallowing issues.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you want me to dig out what I found (but, of course, it is somewhere "in a logical place").

OLL

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Guest sonotech

Smiles,

I have heard of it before, but don't know anyone that has it! It is a very scary condition! I have to agree with OLL about the "speech therapist". When I worked in radiology, the speech therapist was the one that helped perform swallowing function tests so that would be a good start to contact one!

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So interesting that you have posted this. Where have you read about it? I think I have this too--or some variant. I have episodes after eating where I have wacky heartbeats and I feel faint (just for seconds--I have never actually fainted). It gets worst when food is passing out of my stomach. I am sure it has something to do with the vagus nerve. I can go for months without this symptom and then it flares up again. It is really bad today for me for some reason. It is scary. Have you had a holter monitor? I have had several and it never showed any dangerous arrhythmias.

Katherine

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Well, I was going to make a separate topic, but might as well include it here because it sort of connects...

After several years and 40 or so docs, most of whom didn't relate to eating/tachy connections (either they would study the heart or the stomach, etc.), I was rear-ended in December, hurting my rib cage and thoracic area.

I went to a few chiropractors who did their thing, but couldn't understand about the other issues in the same area (heart, stomach, food, tachy). So I got xrays taken and they were normal for bad things, but I could easily see what I have been trying to tell EVERYBODY (pardon me for shouting). Yesterday, I went to my GP and asked him about it and he GOT IT.

My stomach had breakfast in it, plus I had taken my supplements with lots of water, because you don't need to fast for an xray. In a few positions it was so absolutely VISIBLE that the air pocket in the top of the stomach was exactly next to my heart. Often I feel gas move at times after a meal, then my heart skips, then I get a momentary lightheadedness -- even when I don't get tachy. This happens all the time.

I showed the MD and he said excitedly, "look at this one, your stomach overlaps your heart!" I told him that I have been trying to tell everyone that my heart and my eating and posture are related and if I never ate again I would probably not have the heart episodes. Now he knows.

I am going to take myself to a speech therapist and singing coach to learn how to strengthen my diaphragm so it can move my stomach away from my heart better. I am working with a trainer on posture because slouching obviously makes it worse.

Katherine, about the stomach emptying part, in Gray's Anatomy there is a picture of the pylorus and duodenum sitting right in front of the vena cava, so activity there can cause a change (temporarily) in blood return to the heart.

Isn't this fascinating?

OLL

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Very interesting. My symptoms often start after eating. I always assumed it was postpriandial hypotension, and I think it partially is. But I go through periods where I have terrible gas, and have noticed that my POTS symptoms are much worse during these periods. I do think there is some kind of correlation between gas/stomach issues and HR - in fact I did some internet searches a while ago and found some discussion on a cardiology forum. I slouch terribly too. Thanks for the info, I will definitely read up on this.

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Well, let me know if you find online links because I have never found any. The cardio sites ignore the gastrointestinal system for the most part (except syncope and the aberrant vagal pathway) and the G-I docs are afraid of cardiac symptoms. Structural people refer to the organ specialists who ignore the structure and cannot imagine how it has to do with anything.

It was just such "luck" that I was rear-ended and needed x-rays of the area involved and went to get them after a meal.

OLL

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  • 3 months later...

I stumbled across this swallow syncope on the internet by sheer, 'I've got to help myself if the docs can't help me'. I have finally found a miracle Doc who really thinks I have this. He is sending me to a swallow syncope specialist (or at least has a keen interest in studying this phenomenon). I go to Mobile, AL in just a week and a half for testing (4 hours away). My cardio also put me on a heart event monitor. I keep having convulsions now when I eat. It is worse in the mornings! Don't know why that is. I sure hope they can help me. Thanks for all your inut guys!

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