Palpitations and Celiacs

Heart Diagram
Palpitations are a common symptom.
Expert Fact Checked

Heart palpitations and celiacs often go hand in hand. However, celiac disease is not always directly responsible for this common symptom. The operative term is "directly" when one is seeking to form a link between heart palpitations and celiacs.

Systemic Weakening

Celiac disease can often take a long time to diagnose. For individuals who consult physicians inexperienced with celiac disease, this diagnosis can take as long as ten years. That ten years may be filled with expensive tests and creative misdiagnoses and, meanwhile, gluten continues to be a normal part of the diet. Since celiacs cannot tolerate gluten and this substance acts as a fundamental poison to their bodies, the period of untreated gluten intolerance wreaks havoc upon their systems. Some of the damage may be irreparable, and portions of the digestive tract will endure such erosion that the celiac's system is now susceptible to a myriad of woes.

Autoimmune illnesses such as celiac disease will often lead to secondary conditions. When the body is weakened and vulnerable, it is highly subject to stress. The slow erosion of intestinal villi in response to gluten results in impaired digestion and malabsorption, two effects that can lead to symptoms such as heart palpitations.

Food Allergies

Untreated gluten intolerance can cause heart palpitations. These palpitations are very common in persons with celiac disease. However, many persons looking to establish a link between heart palpitations and celiacs are actually individuals who are treating their gluten intolerance actively with a gluten elimination diet. What do palpitations mean for the celiac who hasn't consumed gluten in months?

As mentioned previously, celiac disease may render the system vulnerable to a number of health woes. Digestive damage is key in this process because once the intestines have been compromised, it's no surprise that other food intolerances slip into the picture. An impaired digestive tract may develop intolerances and allergies to many foods. Common problematic foods are eggs, dairy, soy, nuts and, really, any food that manages to trigger an immune response.

A celiac suffering from heart palpitation will need to journal his symptoms. Did the palpitations begin with a meal? Spending time in celiac forums that discuss such symptoms may help a celiac locate possible allergens or further intolerances.

Trigger Foods

Allergies and intolerances aren't always the cause of palpitations. A weakened system responds poorly to most stressors. Caffeine and sugar products act as temporary stimulants. However, a compromised system does not deal well with an adrenal rush. Hence, a person suffering from heart palpitations should examine his diet for stimulants and stressors such as sugary foods and others containing caffeine. Chocolate, due to its theobromine content, can also act as a temporary stimulant and should be examined in the diet.

Inexplicable Heart Palpitations and Celiacs

Even when gluten is removed from the diet, the body may take a long time to heal. Not all celiacs improve immediately. Some of the damage incurred by limitless gluten consumption may take months or even years. In a few sad cases, the damage will be permanent. When gluten has been eliminated, it is important to watch and record events during the healing process. It is also not unusual for secondary conditions to settle in, even after gluten removal. A weakened system may still be weak during the healing process.

Always consult your physician about distressing symptoms. Heart palpitations accompany a number of medical disorders from hyperthyroidism to heart disease. Treatment of celiac disease and any secondary issues may require more than just a gluten-free diet in the long run.

Palpitations and Celiacs