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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Heart or Stomach?
Posted by: Cyndi
Date: June 23, 2000 12:59 PM

I am a 40 year of woman, not overweight and with no past illness. For the past year I have suffered from contstant indigestion, severe gas and bloating and even vomit occasionally from bending over my sink to brush my teeth. I feel like my heart beats in a fluttering way and I get quite anxious thinking my heart will stop. It always recovers if I lie down and rest, but I am so scared my heart is going to stop.

I have had many many tests done including:
1. barium swallow......Normal
2. endoscopy ......Normal
3. blood work.....Normal
4. ultasound for gall bladder, pancreas, kidneys, spleen......all normal
5. excercise nuclear heart scans and tread mill test... showed upsloping ST segment depression of +1mm at max heart rate, everything else NORMAL. They said it is unspecific and nothing to worry about consider myself normal.

I am miserable, I feel bubbles going into my chest, it feels like bubbles excaping from a soda can....I am not sure if it is my heart or my stomach. The symptoms are not panic, or anxiety or stress...they are constant and leave me breathless. Any ideas?

RE: Heart or Stomach?
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, MD
Date: June 23, 2000 1:51 PM

OK, I see tests to confirm the normality of the anatomy of the digestive organs and I see tests to confirm the normality of function of the heart. That leaves out two items: (1) tests of the function of the digestive organs and (2) tests of the anatomy of the heart. I would take the least likely first, just to rule it out, and put this question to the doc who measured heart function: can you assure me that I do not have a septal defect, or other anatomical (perhaps congenital) defect of the heart? Then I would seek to discover to answer such questions as: how well do I digest food? Do I have normal gut flora? Am I making sufficient stomach acid? Producing enough enzymes? Do I have parasites? Do I have dental amalgams and if so, could this be mercury toxicity with disturbed digestive functions?



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