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Forum Name: Arrhythmias

Question: Heart rate affects from swallowing


 mindxpander - Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:22 pm

I have a rather odd question which i cant seem to get an answer for. I will often lay down and listen to my heart with a heart monitor...this has a soothing affect on me and helps me relax believe it or not...But i noticed that when i swallow my heart rate seems to accelerate for about a millisecond then goes back to normal. It unnerved me a bit and wanted to know if this was common for a heart rate to do that. Is it normal for one's heart rate to be affected by swallowing?

Also, after eating, is it normal for your BPM to go up? or should it stay at its regular pace?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:47 pm

User avatar Hello -

Because there are both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves lying in the neck/throat, swallowing, as well as the passive act of digestion, can either slow or increase the heart rate. While usually it is the vagus nerve (the "brake", which slows the heart rate), which is stimulated, in some people the opposite can occur as well. Neither is abnormal nor abnormal for any give individual, although the slight speeding up usually draws less attention, since it tends to suppress the premature beats that often happen when the heart slows instead.

In short, a normal finding.
 mindxpander - Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:59 pm

Thank you Mr. Kenyon. I have read your posts to other topics on these boards and your expertise is greatly appreciated. Have yourself a wonderful weekend:)

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