Acid Reflux And Asthma
Q: I recently saw my gastroenterologist and when I told him that I just got
diagnosed with asthma in November he told me that most adult onset asthma is
the result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially in women. He
gave me a pamphlet and told me to take antacids. Although I don't have any
perceived symptoms of GERD (I went to him for hemorrhoids), I'm wondering if
there is indeed a correlation. Would anyone know if this is true?
A:Indeed there is a very strong correlation. I am 60 and have had asthma for 2 years. I too thought I had no symtoms of GERD until I looked into it further. Symptoms can mimic allergies (which drs. thought was the cause) and seem unrelated such as lots of mucous, a full feeling in the throat (globus), ear aches, etc. Also, the more classic feeling of stomach bloating. I rarely have the usual symptoms of stomach or esophegeal pain or heart burn. I watch my diet, no tea, coffee, tomato, chocolate, peppermint, fat, most fruits, coke, the list goes on. I sleep with the head of my bed elevated about 6 inches. Try to eat often, and not just before going to bed. I find that if I avoid bending over, I avoid many asthma attacks. There is a nerve in the esophagus I think, that when touched by the acid starts an attack. I also take a mild tranquilizer which helps in dealing with one of the causes of GERD, anxiety , and use Pepcid when ever I feel it is needed. I tried prevacid, one of the 2 medicines designed to help with this condition and had awful side effects so quit. There are a number of good articles on-line about this relationship, worth having a look around.
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