This site is a hub for information on Roemheld Syndrome (also known as RS or Gastric Cardia) for those that suffer from it, or are interested in the Vagus nerve and it's effects.

Roemheld Syndrome symptoms:

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Gastro-intestinal issues
  • Trapped stomach and intestinal gas
  • Panic attacks
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Blood pressure fluctuations
  • Dizziness and balance
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vasovagal syncope (fainting)
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea


The Vagus Nerve Connection

During reasearch in the late 1920's to 1940's, Dr. Ludwig Roemheld found that the vagus nerve is central to the syndrome; it is the connection between the brain, heart, lungs, and GI tract. The vagus nerve is also known as the pneumogastric nerve since it innervates both the lungs and the stomach, also known as the 'cranial nerve X', the 'Wanderer' or the 'Rambler' because of its far-reaching effects.

80-90% of the nerve fibers in the vagus nerve are afferent (sensory) nerves communicating the state of the viscera to the brain.

Vagus Nerve Structure: Upon leaving the medulla between the olivary nucleus and the inferior cerebellar peduncle, the vagus nerve extends through the jugular foramen, then passing into the carotid sheath between the internal carotid artery and the internal jugular vein down below the head, to the neck, chest and abdomen, where it contributes to the innervation of the viscera. Besides output to the various organs in the body the vagus nerve conveys sensory information about the state of the body's organs to the central nervous system.


Misdiagnosis and Misunderstandings

Sufferers of Roemheld Syndrome (or RS for short) are often diagnosed with anxiety and depression; which are consequences of RS, or they are dismissed as being hypochondriacs because of RS's far reaching effects on the brain, gut and heart.

A particularly common misunderstanding involves the buildup of intestinal gas and its relationship to tachycardia. Dr. Roemheld's findings are sometimes misunderstood because compression of the heart and vagus nerve result in a SLOWING of the heart rate. What is not understood is that this slowing, as well as the nausea and dizziness from the buildup of pressure, can produce a panic reaction - resulting in tachycardia due to a panic attack. Also, upon the quick release of pressure through gas expulsion, the heart rate increases immediately, especially when lying down, due to the heart compensating for the pressure change. This is the purely physiological tachycardia response. Sufferers often can't differentiate between these three, which makes the symptoms all the more difficult to discuss clearly with their doctors, or receive a proper diagnosis.

RS Resource Library: