A healthy human heart beats between sixty to eighty times a minute. Irregular heart beat indicates either increase in heart beat (tachycardia) or fall in the normal heart rate (bradycardia). Both the conditions are invariably indicative of problems associated with poor functioning of the heart and associated with problems in blood circulation. There are certain factors that may result in change in the normal heart rate, especially after eating.
What Causes Irregular Heartbeat After Eating?
The normal heart rate for an adult individual ranges between 60 and 80 beats per minute while those for younger children may be about 10 to 15 beat higher.
Studies have shown that individuals suffering from circulatory or cardiac problems often experience irregular heartbeats after eating. This is often attributed to the fact that after consumption of a meal, especially a heavy meal, large volume of blood is directed to the gastro-intestinal system in order to aid in the process of digestion and absorption of food.
This often results in reduced availability of blood for the other parts of the body, primarily the peripheral regions. This consequently may result in fall in blood pressure levels. In order to compensate for dropping peripheral blood pressure, the peripheral arteries get constricted which allows maintaining optimum peripheral pressure.
In older adults or individuals suffering from atherosclerosis, this mechanism may not function adequately, which in turn forces the heart of pump faster and harder resulting in increased heart rate. Irregular heartbeats are also referred to as arrhythmias which may be experienced to varying intensity by different individuals. In individuals with nervous disorders coupled with cardiac disorders, the level of arrhythmias experienced may be relatively higher.
On the other hand, individuals who are under treatment for hypertension, especially betablockers, may experience a fall in heart rate especially after eating meals. Beta Blockers then obstruct the calcium channels located in the smooth muscle cells, which prevents the heart from beating faster. In such individuals, a drop in heart rate may be experienced after a meal. Other factors that can result in irregular heart beat after meals include anxiety, elevated body temperature, physical exertion, etc.
Remedies For Rapid Heartbeat After Eating
The treatment of irregular heartbeats after eating often depends upon the underlying cause. In conditions that are associated with the use of certain medications, alternative medications may be suggested by the physician. Here are some simple tips that can help prevent irregular heartbeats after eating,
- Don’t consume large or heavy meals. Consume small quantities of food at frequent durations. This reduces the demand for blood by the gastro-intestinal system which in turn prevents irregular heartbeats.
- Consume low carbohydrate and low fat diet. These foods are easier to digest and don’t result in circulatory variations.
- Consume meals at least three hours prior to going to bed. This prevents complains of irregular heartbeats at night.
- Increase the intake of water and reduce the consumption of alcohol and caffeine and avoid smoking. These factors often result in dehydration, which in turn may force the heart to work harder and result in irregular cardiac rhythms.