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Why Do You Get Heart Palpitations After Eating

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/01/2019

You just finished eating, and that odd feeling starts to creep up on you again. Suddenly, your heart skips a beat, then flutters.

“Not again,” you say.

You’re concerned.

What on earth is going on? And how can you stop your heart from misbehaving after a meal?

In this article, I’ll explain:

Firs of all, let’s take a look at what palpitations are.

a photo of a young woman suffering heart palpitations


 

What Palpitations Are

A palpitation could be a skipped beat of your heart.

It could be an extra beat.

And another possibility is that you’re experiencing what are referred to as PVC - premature ventricular contractions; or, PAC - premature atrial contractions.

It’s not as important to know which kind of premature contractions you’re experiencing; all that’s important for you to understand is that both of them are extra abnormal beats that can occur.

Simply put, a palpitation is an irregular heartbeat, whether extra ones or skipped beats.

It’s a sensation you feel in your chest area that’s like a flip flop. Or, like your heart stops briefly then starts, then stops, then starts. Over and over again.

Heart Basics

Your inbuilt heart pacemaker comes into play here. The pacemaker is a group of cells that are automatically programmed to keep the heart in a steady rhythm.

The average person at rest has a heart rate of 70 beats per minute. A steady impulse causes the heart to contract and push blood to the lungs, where it obtains oxygen. Then, your blood carries the oxygen throughout your body to distribute it to your cells. The de-oxygenated blood then returns to the other side of your heart, and the cycle starts over again.

At the cellular level, you’re getting an exchange of different electrolytes such as potassium and sodium. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that help support healthy body functionality. Your cells contain tiny pumps made of protein that pump at up to 1,000 times per second, exchanging electrolytes. They travel through your body based on their electrical charge, their pH level, and the difference in their concentration.

On top of that, you have the autonomic nervous system that also plays a role. I know this is complex, and you don’t need to remember all this. I just wanted to provide some context.

Let’s take a look at some common causes of palpitations, both after eating and in general.

 

Common Causes Of Heart Palpitations

There are several very common reasons why you experience heart palpitations.

#1 Digestive Problems and Gallbladder Issues

a woman suffering from acid reflux


Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are very common digestive issues, as are symptoms of gallbladder problems such as burping, belching, and bloating. So too are gallstones and sludge in the gallbladder.

We don’t exactly know what the connection is between palpitations, and digestive problems and gallbladder issues. It may be from pressure within the bile ducts, which are tubes between the liver and the small intestine. It may be from pressure in the tubes between the liver and the gallbladder.

When the pressure in those areas builds up, it causes a lot of soft tissue tension and even spasms. The bile ducts and gallbladder are closely connected to the cardiovascular system; thus, it’s possible the pressure affects the heart and causes palpitations.

#2 Low Potassium

Potassium is the main electrolyte that controls the pacemaker for your heart. If you’re low in potassium, the pacemaker cells can’t properly do their job, putting you at risk of palpitations and possibly a more serious condition called atrial fibrillation.

#3 pH That’s Too Alkaline

Alkaline means your pH goes too high above neutral. Your blood pH should be between 7.35 and 7.45. If it goes higher, your body is excessively alkaline - a condition called alkalosis .Alkalosis can occur when minerals, particularly electrolytes, don’t have normal movement through your body and can’t support your health.

the Ph scale


#4 Too Much Caffeine Or Alcohol

You’ve probably experienced being over caffeinated at some point. You feel jittery and on edge.

And you get heart palpitations. Curiously, too much alcohol can also cause them.

#5 Hyperthyroidism

A hyperthyroid condition such as Graves Disease can also cause heart palpitations.

For our purposes, I’m going to focus on digestive problems, gallbladder issues, and alkalinity.

Simple Remedies For Digestive And Gallbladder Issues

I’ve put together some information for you about these specific conditions

The simplest remedy is intermittent fasting. For those of you who are new to my blog, here’s some introductory information on intermittent fasting. And for those of you who’ve been with me for awhile, you already know a lot about intermittent fasting and the substantial health benefits you can get from it.

Intermittent fasting is the most powerful thing you can do to take pressure off your digestive system. Fasting will allow your system to reset and heal, especially your gallbladder.

As well, I want you to avoid refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils like soy and corn. These two types of foods are very hard on the gallbladder and stomach. They’re strongly associated with causing that pressure buildup I mentioned earlier, that can lead to palpitations.

The simple remedy to avoid refined carbs and unhealthy oils would be to go on the low-carb Healthy KetoTM diet.

a chart with amounts of carbs, fat, and protein for keto


Simple Remedies For Excessive Alkalinity

If you have low potassium, that could be the cause of your body being too alkaline. Or if you have high cortisol from being stressed out, that is another potential cause of being too alkaline.

I know many people are trying to alkalize their body because they think they’re too acidic. If you’re one of them, you may have gone too far and put yourself into a state of high alkalinity.

Being too alkaline will affect your mineral absorption, especially of potassium, leading to heart palpitations.

If your stomach is low in hydrochloric acid, that can also create a problem with your pH level. In this case, the remedy is simple: consume apple cider vinegar.

If you decide to go on Healthy KetoTM, I always recommend apple cider vinegar as part of it. You’ll get a double dose of health for your digestive system, between lowering your carbs and consuming apple cider vinegar.

 

Causes Of and Remedies For Low Potassium

Low potassium is a very common condition that can lead to heart palpitations.

a diagram of the element potassium


Causes of low potassium are:

Taking diuretics

Often, people take a diuretic for high blood pressure. There are three common causes of high blood pressure. One is low potassium! In other words, the low potassium causes your high blood pressure, which causes you to take a diuretic, which depletes potassium.

Talk about a vicious circle.

Low vitamin D

Many people are low in vitamin D, often without realizing it. Insufficient vitamin D can cause hypertension and deplete your potassium reserves.

High Fat Storing Hormone

If you have high Fat Storing Hormone levels, which the majority of people do, you likely have Fat Storing Hormone resistance (link) and are pre-diabetic. This can cause a depletion of potassium.

Diarrhea

A bout of diarrhea can rob you of potassium and put you in a deficient state for it along with other electrolytes.

Antacids

If you’re taking antacids, they can also cause you to become deficient in potassium. It takes a healthy level of stomach acid to absorb the minerals in antacids; hence, why apple cider vinegar will help.

Low Dietary Potassium

Let’s say it’s as simple as the fact that you’re not consuming enough potassium in your diet. Most people don’t. You need 7 to 10 cups of vegetables daily to even get close to the daily amount of potassium your body needs.

The remedy is very simple: eat more vegetables.

If, like me, you’re not super fond of vegetables, try this smoothie I created especially for those of us who don’t particularly like vegetables.

Stop Those Palpitations

You can tell there are some very common reasons why you’re experiencing heart palpitations after you eat.

Happily, the remedies are simple.

Give them a try, especially the combination of the keto diet and intermittent fasting. You’ll feel so much better overall. And, you’ll be able to stop your heart from fluttering or skipping beats. How wonderful would that be?

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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