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INDIGESTION AND HEART

About the author:

Dr. Minocha  is a practicing gastroenterologist and author of "Natural Stomach Care: Treating and Preventing Digestive Disorders with Best of Eastern and Western Therapies"

 


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 INDIGESTION AND HEART

The term "Linked Angina" refers to angina triggered by digestive factors without accompanying increase in work of the heart.

This may occur via a neural reflex mechanism and has significant therapeutic implications. It is possible that acid reflux may be contributing, at least in part, to the causation of angina in some patients despite aggressive treatment for angina. Perhaps patients with coexisting acid reflux and coronary artery disease might benefit from routine use of the more potent acid blockers currently available. It is unclear at this time if blocking acid would alter the "cardio-esophageal reflex".

There are several other provocative issues. Since gastro-esophageal reflux is a normal phenomenon, should the patients with coronary artery disease without abnormal acid reflux have similar aggressive acid blocking treatment? Can the cardio-esophageal reflex be caused via other components of stomach contents refluxing into the esophagus. Does the repeated stimulation/irritation of the heart blood vessels through this reflex have any long term effects?

 

Overall, literature points to a neural reflex involving acid reflux that decreases blood flow to the heart by the affecting the blood vessels in the heart. Sir Paul White, an eminent cardiologist of his times, addressing the American Gastroenterology Association in 1936 emphasized the difficulty in distinguishing the source of angina-like chest pain and stated, _This particular field is still a fertile one for further exploration. The last word has not yet been said_. We are certainly making giant leaps towards putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

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This is meant to be an informational exercise and NOT a medical consultation
Your doctor is the only one who can best assess your situation and offer you medical advice
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References:

Sivaram CA and MINOCHA A: Heartburn: Could The Heart Be Really Burning. Am J Gastroenterol 92:178-179, 1997.

>>Chest pain, Angina & Heart burn

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