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What is Roemheld syndrome?

Roemheld syndrome also known as gastric-cardia, is a complex of gastrocardiac symptoms where the gastrointestinal tract or abdomen trigger cardiac symptoms like palpitations, skipped or extra beats, shortness of breath, sweating and nausea. The Roemheld syndrome is a problem that comes from the complex relationship between the gut and the nervous system, and the nervous system’s connection to the heart. Ever felt a very low or very high heart rate during or after eating a lot or when feeling bloated? Ever felt your heart skip multiple beats or have chest pain and trouble after eating a large meal? You may suffer from gastric-cardia syndrome.

Causes of Roemheld syndrome

An Excessive gas amount accumulated in the transverse colon seems to be the primary cause for Roemheld syndrome. A huge amount of gas in the colon can be caused by food intolerances, IBS, alcoholic beverages, overeating, smoking or chewing gums. Roemheld syndrome happens when gastric distension is formed. Gastric distension is often a result of accumulation of gas in the stomach so that a gastric bubble originates in the area (usually between the abdominal wall and spine) and become capable of making the stomach to interact with the diaphragm muscle. The diaphragm which is no longer correctly positioned, interferes with the heart, which is pushed up and forced to work in a smaller space, in addition to being affected by vagus nerve stimulation. Hiatal hernia’s are known to be a significant mechanical trigger of the syndrome and shift part of the stomach upward putting pressure on the diaphragm.

The vagus nerve’s role in the Roemheld syndrome

The vagus nerve plays an important role in the Roemheld syndrome. This nerve is called pneumogastric cardio nerve and has a very long course, coming to regulate the heart rate in the thoracic area, as well as pushing into the abdominal region, innervating both the stomach and our intestine. The vagus nerve is a very important nerve as it have many functions in the body.
In the brain, the vagus nerve helps mood and controls anxiety and depression. In the heart, it controls heart rate and blood pressure. In the gut, it increases stomach acidity, digestive juice secretion, and promotes gut flow. When the gastric bottom stretches and ends up becoming a sort of balloon, both the diaphragm’s distension, (and the higher and modified position of the heart) and the stimulation of the adiacent vagus nerve, all together lead your body to accusing the Roemheld syndrome.

How to deal and prevent symptoms of Roemheld syndrome

In order to s/uccessfully prevent the appearance of Roemheld syndrome, you should always remember to eat very slowly, chewing well and by properly insalivating foods, so as not to create a rapid gastric distension.

Your daily diet and your food assumption modes play an important role too when it comes to Roemheld syndrome. We must avoid fatty foods, which cause slow emptying of the stomach, coffee, chocolate, spices, fizzy drinks, alcoholic beverages, avoid smoking. The vegetables that most of all increase the formation of intestinal gas, triggering the gatro- cardia syndrome are mainly the legumes, broccoli, onions; therefore you should significantly decrease this kind of vegetables for preventing the symptoms of Roemheld syndrome. Regarding fruit, the main aspect to be considered in the Roemheld syndrome concerns the sugar content of the various fruits, since fructose and some oligofruttosaccharides (very short chain carbohydrates) tend to promote fermentation by the intestinal bacterial flora and, therefore, the production of intestinal gas . To reduce this it is advisable to limit the intake of the most sugary fruit such as raisins, bananas, apricots, plums, figs, papaya, mango and, in general, of all that very ripe, including apples and pears, always preferring slightly green fruits (if they do not create problems of acidity or heartburn).

As far as carbs you should make sure you don’t have gluten sensitivity that can leads to further bloating and trigger the Roemheld syndrome. Also, for decreasing appearance of the gastric-cardia syndrome you should avoid overeating and split your food intake into 5 smaller meals a day and going to bed at least after 2 hours after your last meal. Finally, excessive gas and bloating can also be a result of dysbiotic flora in the small intestine therefore you may need to introduce some probiotics to help your digestive system.

As is well understood, the correct lifestyle and the right attention to the intake of food at the table can be irreplaceable hinge to prevent gastric-cardia syndrome but also to help our body to gain health. If you need any suggestion on how to improve your lifestyle in order to preserve your gut health, don’t hesitate to contact Mandala Clinic to schedule an appointment with us.

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