What Is the Relationship Between Indigestion and Palpitations?

Anxiety can cause indigestion and palpitations.
Drinking a mixture of baking soda and water can help with indigestion.
Both indigestion and palpitations can be signs of a heart attack.
Article Details
  • Written By: Steven Symes
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Indigestion and palpitations of the heart are not always directly related, and can be caused by separate health conditions. When a person is experiencing both symptoms at the same time though, it could be an indication of a more serious medical condition that requires medical attention. When a person has what he believes to be both palpitations and indigestion, the real cause of both conditions can be either heart disease or a heart attack.

Every person can experience both indigestion and palpitations for various reasons. Indigestion occurs when someone eats foods that are spicy, greasy or contain too much caffeine, or if the person eats too much food at one time. Indigestion typically manifests itself in different ways, but people generally experience pain in their upper abdomen. Since indigestion can cause a burning feeling in a person’s chest, it is also called heartburn.

People might commonly experience heart palpitations without serious consequences. A palpitation is when a person feels his heart skip some regular beats. The sensation of the skipped beats might be felt by someone in his chest or throat, and can be a startling event for the person.

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In most cases, indigestion and palpitations of the heart do not indicate any serious health problem. Sustained physical exertion might cause a feeling similar to both indigestion and palpitations. Anxiety or intense stress, such as watching an intense movie or awaiting the results of a high-stakes test, can also cause heart palpitations as well as indigestion.

Heart disease is often misinterpreted by individuals as indigestion or heartburn. Other symptoms of heart disease help indicate that a person is suffering from heart disease and not just indigestion. These symptoms include inexplicable sweating, a shortness of breath, nausea and a rapid resting heart rate.

A person might believe he is suffering from indigestion and palpitations, when in fact he is actually experiencing a heart attack. The symptoms of a heart attack start off mild and progress to a level that is highly uncomfortable. Other than palpitations and abdominal pains similar to indigestion, heart attack symptoms also include discomfort in the arm and chest, an extreme sense of fatigue and an irregular heartbeat. If a person suspects he or someone else is suffering from a heart attack, he must seek medical help immediately to lessen the overall damage from the heart attack.

Home remedies can help verify if there is a relationship between someone’s indigestion and palpitations, if the person experiences both symptoms on a regular basis. Several over-the-counter medicines are available to treat indigestion, but they will not affect the feeling if it is instead heart-related. A person might eliminate the triggers for indigestion by making lifestyle changes. Some of those lifestyle shifts might include eating smaller meals, avoiding spicy or greasy foods and exercising on a regular basis.

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Discuss this Article

bear78
Post 3

As far as I know, it's possible to have a heart attack without any major symptoms. So I think it's a bad idea to rule out heart attack as a possible cause of indigestion and palpitations. It's a good idea to see a doctor if the symptoms continue.

ZipLine
Post 2

@ddljohn-- I agree with you. I have experienced something similar due to too much caffeine, which is a cause of both indigestion and palpitations. I try to avoid relying on caffeine for energy and concentration. If I have one cup too many, not only do I get stomach acidity, but I also experience palpitations and jitters. If I didn't know that caffeine is the culprit, I would panic too.

ddljohn
Post 1

My wife has high blood pressure. She also frequently has indigestion due to a medication she's taking. When she's experiencing indigestion and heartburn, she often thinks that she has a heart ache which worries her. The anxiety also causes her to have heart palpitations. When she's worried or stressed, she can even make her blood pressure rise.

The only way to calm her down is to give her an anti-acid medication. The blood pressure medications she's on already protect her from heart attacks and I remind her about that. When the heartburn is gone, she's fine.

It's easy to get carried away by thinking about the symptoms we're experiencing but like the article said, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is a serious issue.

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