Asthma And Reflux…What’s The Link?

When something is going on in our bodies we are quick to place blame on an existing condition or known external factor. But the culprit may not always be what you would expect and can surprise you.

Gastroesophageal reflux, GERD, is a condition in which stomach acid rises from the stomach into the esophagus and causes irritation. Reflux can actually worsen asthma symptoms. The irritation from the rising stomach acid can cause the throat to actually narrow allowing less air in and making it harder to breathe. Reflux is also known to cause coughing and hoarseness which could also affect your asthma symptoms. Other reflux symptoms include heartburn, difficulty swallowing or chest pain. If you feel your asthma symptoms are worsening or not responding to medicine it may be time to consider talking with your doctor about another culprit.

GERD can be treated with both lifestyle changes and medications. It is important to avoid trigger foods that may make your reflux worse such as caffeine, chocolate, greasy and high fat foods and alcohol. Limiting intake of these foods will help to control your reflux symptoms. Try sleeping with the head of bed elevated which allows gravity to force acid to stay in your stomach. There are also over the counter reflux medications you can try.

Whether you are experiencing worsening asthma or other reflux symptoms, it is important to talk with your gastroenterologist and discuss what treatment options may be right for you. You can find a TDDC location near you here .