Sports Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 109–116 | Cite as

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux and Exercise

Important Pathology to Consider in the Athletic Population
  • Anik Shawdon
Review Article


Gastro-oesophageal reflux is commonly found in the general population, and has recently been demonstrated to occur more frequently during exercise than at rest. This fact is significant to the substantial number of athletes who complain of exertional upper gastrointestinal symptoms and exercise-induced chest pain.

A diagnosis of exercise-induced gastro-oesophageal reflux can be confirmed by means of ambulatory pH monitoring. A positive diagnosis allows for appropriate management of the individual. This can involve simple measures, such as recommendations for changes in diet, timing of meals, and nature of exercise. However, pharmacological intervention may be required.

A decrease in morbidity associated with cardiac origins of exercise-induced pain can also be expected with a more comprehensive understanding of this pathology.


Chest Pain Reflux Episode Lower Oesophageal Sphincter Atypical Chest Pain Oesophageal Motility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Moses FM. The effect of exercise on the GI Tract. Sports Med 1990; 9(3): 159–72PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gallup Poll. Gallup survey on heartburn across America. Princeton: Gallup Organisation Inc., 1988Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clark CS, Kraus BB, Sinclair J, et al. Gastroesophageal reflux induced by exercise in healthy volunteers. JAMA 1989; 261: 3599–601PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kraus BB, Sinclair J, Castell DO. Gastroesophageal reflux in runners — characteristics and treatment. Ann Intern Med 1990; 112: 429–33PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Motil KJ, Ostendorf J, Bricker JT, et al. Case report: exercise-induced gastroesophageal reflux in an athletic child. J Paediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1987; 6: 989–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dodds WJ, Dent J, Hogan WJ, et al. Mechanisms of gastroesophageal reflux in patients with reflux esophagitis. N Engl J Med 1982; 307(25): 1547PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    McCallum RW, Berkowitz DM, Lerner E. Gastric emptying in patients with gastroesophageal reflux. Gastroenterology 1981; 80: 285–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shay SS, Eggli D, McDonald C, et al. Gastric emptying of solid food in patients with gastroesophageal reflux. Gastroenterology 1987; 92: 459–65PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Johnson DA, Winters C, Drane WE, et al. Solid-phase gastric emptying in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Dig Dis Sci 1986; 31: 1217–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wyman JB, Dent J, Heddle R, et al. Control of belching by the lower oesophageal sphincter. Gut 1990; 31: 639–46PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dent J, Dodds WJ, Friedman RH, et al. Mechanism of gastroesophageal reflux in recumbent asymptomatic human subjects. J Clin Invest 1990; 654: 256–67Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Johnson LF, Lin TC, Hong SK. Gastroesophageal dynamics during immersion in water to the neck. J Appl Physiol 1975; 38: 449–54PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Babka JC, Hager GW, Castell DO. The effect of body position on lower esophageal sphincter pressure. Am J Dig Dis 1973; 18: 441–2PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dodds WJ, Kahrilas PJ, Dent J, et al. Esophageal peristaltic dysfunction in peptic esophagitis. Gastroenterology 1986; 91: 897–904PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hendrix TR. Consequences of gastroesophageal reflux. Clin Gastroenterol 1976; 5: 155–74Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    DeMeester TR, Johnson LF, Guy J, et al. Patterns of gastroesophageal reflux in health and disease. Ann Surg 1976; 184: 450–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Orlando RC. Esophageal epithelial resistance. J Clin Gastroenterol 1986; 8Suppl. 1: 12–16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Soffer EE, Merchant RK, Duethman G, et al. Effect of graded exercise on esophageal motility and gastroesophageal reflux in trained athletes. Dig Dis Sci 1993; 38: 220–4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Soffer EE, Wilson J, Duethman G, et al. Effect of graded exercise on esophageal motility and gastroesophageal reflux in nontrained subjects. Dig Dis Sci 1994; 39: 193–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Falor WH, Hansell JR, Chang B, et al. Outpatient 24 hour monitoring by telemetry. Gastroenterology 1980; 78: 1163Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Tuttle SG, Ruffin F, Bettarella A. The physiology of heartburn. Ann Intern Med 1961; 55: 292–300PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Proudfit WL, Shirley EK, Sones FM. Selective cine coronary angiography: correlation with clinical findings in 1000 patients. Circulation 1966; 33: 901–10PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    DeMeester TR, O’Sullivan GC, Bermudez G, et al. Esophageal function in patients with angina-type chest pain and normal coronary angiograms. Ann Surg 1982; 196: 488–97PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Thorpe A. Importance of oesophageal function tests in patients with angina like chest pain. Cardiol Pract 1984; 2: 35–8Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schofield PM, Bennett DH, Whorwell PJ, et al. Exertional gastro-esophageal reflux: a mechanism for symptoms in patients with angina pectoris and normal coronary angiograms. BMJ 1987; 294: 1459–61PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mellow MH, Simpson AG, Watt L, et al. Esophageal acid perfusion in coronary artery disease. Gastroenterology 1983; 85: 306–12PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Nebel OT, Fornes MF, Castell DO. Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux: incidence and precipitating factors. Am J Dig Dis 1976; 21: 953–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Paterson WG, Abdollah H, Beck IT, et al. Ambulatory esophageal manometry, pH-metry and Holter monitoring in patients with atypical chest pain. Dig Dis Sci 1993; 38: 795–802PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Hewson EG, Dalton CB, Richter JE, et al. Comparison of esophageal manometry, provocative testing, and ambulatory monitoring in patients with unexplained chest pain. Dig Dis Sci 1990; 35: 302–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Peters O, Peters P, Clarys JP, et al. Esophageal motility and exercise. Gastroenterology 1988; 94: A351Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Yasaki E, Shawdon A, Beasley I, et al. The effect of different types of exercise on gastro-oesophageal reflux [abstract]. Gut 1992; 33Suppl. 2: s42Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Browning TH, et al. Diagnosis of chest pain of esophageal origin. Dig Dis Sci 1990; 35: 289–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anik Shawdon
    • 1
  1. 1.Alphington Sports Medicine ClinicNorthcoteAustralia

Personalised recommendations