Reflux or Gas

Hello all, I am a raw recruit to a Medtronic PM to stop pauses in my pulse and resulting fainting. It was getting steadily worse with severe pins and needles in the limbs. The PM seems to be doing its job as it is set at about 70 bpm whereas my normal was 56 bpm.
However since the implant three weeks ago I get these unbearable pains in midsection just below rib cage. It hurts if I laugh and to lie down but eventually I get comfortable.
First time it happened I thought I was having a heart attack and got an ambulance to get to emergency.
The doctors seem to think it is reflux and gave me this useless medication for treating acid. Now I am used to it I notice it happens after meals, especially with lots of vegetables. The bigger the meal the worse the reaction which happens a couple of hours after the meal. I didn't have any problem like this before the PM and noticed some burping, however I have concluded it is gas rather than acid. I went back to consult my GP and requested something to kill gas but he prescribed another medicine for reflux. Ended up getting something called Gasbusters from a chemist so will see what happens.
Is this a common problem after getting a PM or what. I have a follow-up visit with the surgeon in four weeks so will be asking him the same question.


Gas vs PM

by longbreak - 2007-05-31 08:05:32

Thanks for the comment jackie but it seems to be directly related to the PM. I probably had it before but it wasn't a problem. The presence of the PM or the leads seem to be causing some sort of reaction. So far I think I'm on the right track as the Gasbusters seem to be improving things.

Im no medic...

by jbj - 2007-05-31 12:05:06

Hi I am no medic but if your pain is on your right hand side or central, and happens after meals, you might want to be checked out for gallstones. I had them, the pain is unbearable. But probably unrelated to the PM! good luck

Gas vs Pm

by JohnS - 2007-06-01 01:06:27

I thought I was going nuts. I too have had bad gas, and a little bit of acid reflux since my pacemaker was implanted. I talked to the doctor, but he did not believe me, nor did the cardiac nurses. I have been able to control it with tums and diet, but its good to know its not just me

Gas vs Pm

by longbreak - 2007-06-01 02:06:41

What a terrific forum. Its reassuring to have so many nice people willing to share their experiences.
I think what I can feel is the lead into the heart, very uncomfortable and sometimes painful if I eat too much or eat the wrong stuff. I hope the surgeon can shed some light on it when I see him. Will let you know what he says.

Such A Similar Tale

by Lou - 2007-06-01 03:06:46

I have had my Medtronic "Adapta" PM for 6 months now and find myself in the same situation as you with doctors telling me that my thoracic pain and gastrointestinal discomfort are reflux and has nothing to do with my PM. Maddening. Not only have reflux preparations not worked, I feel they make it worse. Am now wondering if for some people the location of the PM leads can cause esophageal spasms. I intend to bring this up with a "new" EP next week and will let you know what she says. I will be very interested also in what your surgeon has to say. My Best! Lou

Similar Tale

by longbreak - 2007-06-01 10:06:51

Hi Lou. I appreciate your comments and looked up your other postings and makes me feel my problem is trivial now I see what others are going through. Your experiences read like an ongoing nightmare.
On the positive side I my pain finally dissappeared overnight and so far hasn't come back. I am putting this down to the Gasbusters as it is the only thing which I am doing thats different. The real name of the chemical is simethicone.
My follow-up visit to the surgeon is not til the 27th June though he has said I can bring it forward if necessary. If nothing else goes wrong I will post his comments a couple of days after that. Take care.

Side effects of antacids

by longbreak - 2007-06-02 10:06:35

Hi Surferman, I couldn't resist commenting on antacids. I recall a few years ago reading that many people have symptoms and resort to using antacids and end up making the condition worse. What they really may have is not enough acid and in that case they should be having a teaspoon of hydrochloric acid with a little water after a meal.

My pain was short

by jimkirschvink - 2007-06-05 05:06:06

I noticed some similar angia-type pain for a few weeks after my impuse was implanted. It was probably from my circulation improving or something, but it went away.

Maybe all of the stress has caused an ulcer-type situation. It will probably go away with time as you get used to your pacer, but maybe you need a perscription other than just antacids, which can cause more problems in some cases. you need to get to the cause of the problem...

retrograde activity

by longbreak - 2007-06-11 07:06:54

Hi again, just had a bit of a wierd setback. I had no more of that pain and feeling stronger so thought after four weeks I should be getting back into normal activities. Went for a 4km walk two days running doing it in 50 minutes - used to take 40 mintes.
Today I did it again and starting to celebrate did it in 45 minutes.
No sooner arrived home than I got the same symptoms I used to get before the pacemaker, ie I must have overdid it because I had bad reaction with being out of breath and palpitations, heart thumping as if after strenuous exercise, feeling faint and lightheaded and only getting relief by lying down the rest of the afternoon.
Best to take it a bit slow I guess. Only two weeks before I see the doctor.

Good result

by longbreak - 2007-06-30 07:06:14

Finally did the follow-up visit with the surgeon and had the technician check out the PM. I read that the technecians can see every cup of coffee you had since the last visit so when the tech saw me and connected his computer to my pacemaker I asked him and he said yes so I said to have a look on 11th June about midday when my heart galloped after a walk and I nearly passed out.
Straight away he said he could see a racing heart episode at 11:30am and made a printout for the surgeon.
The surgeon confirmed that the PM was doing a great job stopping the pauses and recommended medication to stop the racing. He said this was because all my electrics were kaput.
I will never know what the gas problem was but it is long gone and I'm very happy now with what the pacemaker is doing for me.

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