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Does Acid Reflux Cause Asthma

Acid Reflux Or Heartburn

Asthma and Reflux

Youre more likely to get acid reflux or heartburn if you have asthma – especially if your asthma is severe or difficult to control.

This is where acid from the stomach leaks out of the stomach up into the oesophagus .

You might get a burning feeling in your chest after eating, a bad taste in the mouth, and find it hard to swallow.

If you keep getting acid reflux or heartburn, its known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease .

GORD and obstructive sleep apnoea are linked too, so you may have both at the same time.

How GORD can affect your asthma

If you have asthma and GORD, you need to keep a closer eye on your asthma symptoms. They could get worse because of stomach acid irritating your airways.

The things that make heartburn worse – being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking, and stress – are all common asthma triggers too.

Although its not yet clear whether treating acid reflux improves asthma symptoms, there is some evidence to say it might improve them for some people.

How to lower your risk of symptoms

  • Ask your GP or pharmacist about medicines for acid reflux
  • Keep a food diary to see what makes it worse
  • Ask for help with losing weight
  • Stop smoking

Can Acid Reflux Cause Nerve Pain

Acid reflux symptoms can be typical or atypical in nature. Tingling limbs and nerve pain are considered rare and atypical acid reflux symptoms.

Dr. Mark Babyatsky, a former department chairman at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, explained that inflammation from acid reflux can reach the lungs and trigger pneumonia.

As a result, the diaphragm can become inflamed, affecting the phrenic nerve, which is a nerve connecting the neck, lung, heart, and diaphragm. In this scenario, a patient can feel referred pain in the limbs, specifically the arms and shoulders.

Alternatively, nerve-related issues may be caused by pre-existing neuropathic conditions, leading to acid reflux. An example of this is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a form of diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by slow digestion. This leads to bloating, heartburn, and vomiting of undigested food.

If youre experiencing acid reflux symptoms with nerve pain, theres a high chance that your nerve pain is not reflux-related, especially if you are experiencing temporary reflux. Get in touch with a medical professional to find a separate diagnosis concerning your nerve pain.

Asthma Medication Causes Acid Reflux

To treat asthma, your doctor prescribes medication. There is an interesting relationship between acid reflux and asthma medication.

Two kinds of drugs exist for treating asthma:

  • Quick relief drugs to open your lungsairways if you feel short of breath.
  • Long-acting openers and steroidinhalers . These are anti-inflammatory drugs that make your lungs lesssensitive to triggers like cold air, dust, allergens.

Medication that is designed to ‘open’ your airways works on the smooth muscle tissue inside your lungs.

Unfortunately, your stomach valve is a smooth muscle too and experiences the same relaxing effect as the circular muscles inside your lungs. That is how your asthma medication can cause acid reflux.

If you suffer from both asthma and acid reflux, inhaled steroids will be the first choice of treatment. If taken daily, they are able to control asthma and don’t have any adverse effect on the stomach valve.

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Acid Reflux And Headaches

While there are no studies showing that gastrointestinal disorders can lead to headaches, there are publications that illustrate how gastric problems, in particular acid reflux, can coincide with headaches.

A study involving 43,782 patients studies the possible prevalence of headaches in patients with gastrointestinal problems. Compared to diarrhea and constipation, patients with acid reflux symptoms report higher prevalence of headaches.

Another study involving 1,832 migraine patients were tested for heartburn and GERD symptoms. Of the group, 22% reported GERD diagnosis, 11.6% reported heartburn, and another 15.8% reported previously undiagnosed reflux symptoms.

These studies show that patients with acid reflux problems also tend to experience headaches, although there are no clear reasons why. Although unclear, doctors confirm that treating gastrointestinal problems also alleviates headache symptoms, which is how acid reflux-related headaches are treated.

What Are The Complications Of Lpr

Acid Reflux Asthma Like Symptoms

In infants and children, chronic exposure of the laryngeal structures to acidic contents may cause long term airway problems such as a narrowing of the area below the vocal cords , hoarseness, and possibly eustachian tube dysfunction causing recurrent ear infections, or persistent middle ear fluid, and even symptoms of sinusitis. The direct relationship between LPR and the latter mentioned problems are currently under research investigation.

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What Causes Gerd And Lpr

GERD and LPR can result from physical causes and/or lifestyle factors. Physical causes can include weak or abnormal muscles at the lower end of the esophagus where it meets the stomach, normally acting as a barrier for stomach contents re-entering the esophagus. Other physical causes include hiatal hernia, abnormal esophageal spasms, and slow stomach emptying. Changes like pregnancy and choices we all make daily can cause reflux as well. These choices include eating foods like chocolate, citrus, fatty foods, spicy foods or habits like overeating, eating late, lying down right after eating, and alcohol/tobacco use .

GERD and LPR in infants and children may be related to causes mentioned above, or to growth and development issues.

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How And When You Eat Can Affect Acid Indigestion

The common phenomenon of acid reflux, or heartburn, is a symptom of a very uncomfortable issue. Many people have experienced the troublesome feeling of acid coming up from their stomach and burning in their throat after a meal. This burning sensation can be very painful and leads to a loss of appetite. Acid reflux occurs when food inflames your lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that keeps the contents of your stomach from spilling into your esophagus.

Acid indigestion can be caused by eating too quickly, eating fatty foods, consuming acidic foods, not chewing food well enough, and smoking. Some practical ways to alleviate acid indigestion are to chew food more thoroughly before swallowing, avoid foods that cause the problem in the first place , stop smoking, drink fluids between meals and snacks, and reduce stress.

When you are done eating a meal, prevent acid reflux by chewing on some gum. More saliva is produced when you chew some gum. The more saliva that is produced during digestion, the less acid is produced, in turn, preventing acid reflux from occurring. Ideally, you should chew on sugar-free gum.

Many people like to lie down and relax after eating a big meal. This is bad for the digestive system and can lead to acid reflux. Instead, try walking around or standing to give the food a chance to digest. Wait at least two hours after eating to lie down. Also, elevate your body while sleeping.

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Gerd May Be Causing Your Uncontrolled Asthma Symptoms

If your asthma is uncontrolled, especially if you are having nighttime symptoms, gastroesophageal reflux disease may be to blame. As many as 75% of patients with difficult to treat asthma also experience frequent heartburn. GERD is one of the most common conditions that contribute to uncontrolled asthma, and you may need to get evaluated. Symptoms of GERD include:

  • Regurgitation or the sensation of the acid and your food backing up the wet burp is another way patients sometimes describe this
  • Frequent heartburn or pyrosis, the painful burning in your stomach and mid-chest caused by acid from your stomach going up into and irritating your esophagus
  • Sour or bitter taste in your mouth. Depending on the severity, the reflux may cause a sour or bitter taste, or you may get a sudden sensation of a salty fluid in your mouth called water brash. Water brash results from the stomach acid stimulating salivary glands to produce saliva

Roy Morsch / Corbis / Getty

Acid is normally prevented from going up into the esophagus from the stomach by a muscular ring that is present at the junction of the stomach and esophagus. When this ring relaxes acid can move from the stomach upward. Once acid is in the esophagus, it is possible for you to aspirate it into the lungs. Another hypothesis is that acid entering the esophagus stimulates nerves there and triggers airways to narrow.

Masquerading Symptoms: Asthma Or Acid Reflux

Is Your Asthma Due To Your Reflux | Acid Reflux and Asthma

Coughing, wheezing, crying asthma is never fun for a child. But now, there are new guidelines for better treatment, unless something else is disguised as asthma.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about one in 10 children have asthma, and the numbers are only increasing in the U.S.

If your child has asthma, youre probably familiar with the coughing, wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath. But now, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has created a guideline that helps doctors understand which treatments belong with different age groups and how parents can set up new therapies if the old ones arent working.

But some doctors are realizing that childrens asthma symptoms may be something else entirely.

Reflux is the great masquerader of our time, and it affects millions and millions of children, Mt. Sinai Medical System Dr. Jamie Koufman said.

Koufman says the junk food given to children at night can make acid reflux look like asthma or allergies.

If your child always has respiratory symptoms be it ear symptoms, nose symptoms, cough symptoms, breathing symptoms, allergy symptoms, sinus symptoms, asthma and theyre not getting better and it goes on and on and on, think respiratory reflux, she said.

Acid reflux symptoms do not always include heartburn it can present as chronic dry cough or difficulty swallowing.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.



REPORT #2599

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Rhinitis And Sinusitis Connection: Rhinosinusitis

The most common causes of chronic nasal congestion are allergic and nonallergic rhinitis inflammation of the nose. Nonallergic rhinitis caused by environmental or occupational irritants. Allergic rhinitis happens when you breathe in something to which you are allergic.

Dust, dander, insect venom, or pollen is only a few of the many triggers for allergic rhinitis. Rhinitis and sinusitis can make your life miserable. Recent studies by doctors have better defined the association between rhinitis and sinusitis. Sinusitis is often preceded by rhinitis and rarely occurs without concurrent rhinitis.

What Is Gerd Asthma

A link between asthma and GERD was first recognized in 1909 by Dr. Henry Osler who wrote, The attacks may be due to direct irritation of the bronchial mucosa, or may be induced indirectly, too, by reflex influences from the stomach.2

Studies showing a link between the two diseases first started appearing in the mid-1970s.

Studies show a whopping 75% of asthmatics have GERD, and that asthmatics are 50% more likely to develop GERD than non-asthmatics. So Oslers theory is now well established. Those with severe asthma, or asthma resistant to traditional asthma medicines, are increasingly likely to develop GERD.3

Asthma GERD is a non-allergic, or intrinsic, subgroup of asthma. When diagnosed in non-allergic asthmatics, GERD tends to be poorly responsive to asthma rescue and controller medicines, and is therefore considered difficult to control, or severe asthma. At the present time, it is unknown whether GERD treatment results in better asthma control.4,5

It is generally considered an adult-onset disease, although it may also be diagnosed, as noted above, in childhood. While an asthma subgroup of its own, it can also be a secondary diagnosis to other asthma subgroups, particularly allergic asthma and obese asthma

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Role Of Surgery In Gerd

Fundoplication surgery is the most common surgery used to treat GERD. It may be used to treat GERD symptoms that have not been well controlled by medications. In fundoplication surgery, the fundus of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. Some relatively new nonsurgical procedures used to treat GERD are still undergoing trials to determine their long-term safety and effectiveness. These include Stretta radiofrequency procedure, in which radiofrequency energy is delivered through an endoscope to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter and EndoCinch procedure, in which an endoscopic sewing device is used to make a series of sutures that adjusts the lower esophageal sphincter so that it blocks acid reflux more effectively.

Approach to diagnosing and managing GERD-related extra-esophageal symptoms

The Connection Between Weight Loss And Acid Indigestion

Asthma Caused By Gerd Symptoms

There is a connection between weight loss and acid indigestion. Acid reflux can cause bloating, gas, chest pain, and persistent heartburn. Its been found that many people who have these symptoms also lose weight when they cut out foods that contribute to their acid reflux. The pain from acid reflux can make it harder to swallow food, and this leads to weight loss.

Some symptoms of acid reflux include pain in the throat, chest, or between the shoulder blades. Other symptoms may include coughing, hoarseness, wheezing, or difficulty swallowing. Losing some weight can help to alleviate some of these troubling symptoms.

Try to lose some weight. If you are overweight, especially around your abdomen, it will put increased pressure on your stomach. This can contribute to an increase in acid reflux symptoms. Simply losing a couple of pounds will reduce the pressure on your stomach, which in turn will reduce acid reflux.

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Ear And Sinus Problems: Common Or Worrisome

GERD is one of the most common gastrointestinal conditions in the U.S. but its symptoms arent always straightforward. More and more physicians are accepting its association with ENT conditions.

Although its difficult to explain how GERD mechanisms affect the ear and sinus, doctors suggest that damages caused by GERD can change how the ear and nose behave.

Inhaling Acid Whilst Asleep

Hi I have had acid reflux for 2 years and been on Lanzoprazole 30mg once a day as a PPI

I am 42, male and overweight

Recently I have had teh most frightening experience of waking up in teh middle of teh night choking and unable to breathe. It lasts about 60 seconds but feels like 10 minutes

The doctor says I could be inhaling acid whilst asleep.

Has anyone information or experience of this and know what can be done about it its VERY scary.

Thank you very much

  • 12 years ago

    No chris you arent mental,, Acid Reflux can definately cause this , it must be some sort of automatic response to acid being in a certain area or something :angel:

  • Posted 12 years ago

    Dear All, I know how you all feel! I have had oesophagitus and major acid reflux since I was 19 and I am now 44. I have had cameras shoved down my throat more times than I care to mention only to be told that yes I have like grade bad oesophagitus. I am currently on nexium which controls it nicely most of the time although i sometimes have need to double the dose.

    I am also awakened in the middle of the night fairly regularily, being unable to breathe nor speak & with terrible pain due to a major gush of pure acid coming up to my throat and burning it to a frazzle. My wife seems to have got used to me hopping around the house in the middle of the night, guzzling milk, water, chewing strange things like brockley stalks in an attempt to get rid of the intence inferno in my throat.

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    Does Gerd Trigger Asthma

    As stomach acid repeatedly travels into the esophagus, it can damage the lining of the throat and the airways to the lungs. This can result in both a nagging cough and difficulty breathing.

    When the lungs are consistently exposed to acid, it can also cause them to be more sensitive to irritants like dust and pollenwell known asthma triggers.

    Another reason the two conditions may be linked is that acid reflux has been known to trigger a protective nerve reflex. In order to keep stomach acid from entering the lungs, this reflex forces the airways to tighten.

    In some cases, this tightening can result in shortness of breath, a common asthmatic symptom.

    What Role Does An Ear Nose And Throat Specialist Have In Treating Gerd And Lpr

    Asthma or acid reflux?

    A gastroenterologist, a specialist in treating gastrointestinal orders, will often provide initial treatment for GERD. But there are ear, nose, and throat problems that are caused by reflux reaching beyond the esophagus, such as hoarseness, laryngeal nodules in singers, croup, airway stenosis , swallowing difficulties, throat pain, and sinus infections. These problems require an otolaryngologisthead and neck surgeon, or a specialist who has extensive experience with the tools that diagnose GERD and LPR. They treat many of the complications of GERD and LPR, including: sinus and ear infections, throat and laryngeal inflammation and lesions, as well as a change in the esophageal lining called Barretts esophagus, a serious complication that can lead to cancer.

    Your primary care physician or pediatrician will often refer a case of LPR to an otolaryngologisthead and neck surgeon for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

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    Acid Reflux: How Does This Condition Trigger Asthma

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease , commonly known as acid reflux, is common among asthmatics and can trigger attacks. But scientists and clinicians continue to debate how often the two are related, the precise pathophysiology, and its clinical significance.

    Most likely, stomach contents back up, irritating the esophagus. Neuroreflexes cause bronchoconstrictions and, in turn, breathing problems.

    The digestive tract is one of the most threatening systems to the lungs, says David Henke, MD, pulmonologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “Just refluxing up into the esophagus is enough to cause problems.”

    Many of the 15 million Americans who suffer heartburn every day dont consult their doctors, and therefore, never learn their problem may be the much more serious GERD.

    Yet, without proper treatment, acid reflux can cause serious problems, including asthma symptoms, severe chest pain, a narrowing or obstruction of the esophagus, bleeding, and a pre-cancerous condition known as Barretts esophagus.

    In response, the American College of Gastro enterology has embarked on a national education campaign hoping to alert people to the potential problem and educate them about the dozens of over-the-counter medications available for heartburn.

    “It really causes some significant problems in people,” Henke says. “In pulmonary practices, its a pretty important concern in patients that have asthma.”


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