Your GERD May Be Triggering Your Asthma: Here’s What You Can Do

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When you eat food, and it arrives at your stomach, and a valve at the end of your esophagus does not close properly, acid reflux happens. It’s a normal condition that can happen to anyone. Sometimes you would experience acid reflux and heartburn at the same time. It is also considered normal.

If both acid reflux and heartburn occur for more than two times a week or for several weeks, your condition might have developed to a GERD. This is no longer normal.

What is GERD?

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease and is also known as chronic acid reflux. It is a condition when the acid from your stomach continuously seeps back up to your esophagus. The acid backwash flows up to your throat and mouth. It leaves a sour or bitter taste in your mouth, depending on its severity.

GERD can develop no matter what age you are in. Its symptoms include the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Painful burn in the stomach
  • Coughing
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Regurgitation (the sensation of food going back up your throat)
  • Wet burp
  • Vomiting 
  • Problem in swallowing

If you have a GERD, you should immediately consult your doctor. If not addressed properly and immediately, this can lead to other serious conditions. 

Can GERD cause asthma?

According to a study by the Cleveland Clinic, more than 75 percent of people with asthma have GERD, and they often occur together. There is no proven link connecting GERD and asthma as of writing, but if there’s a common connection between the two, it’s how they are connected through the esophagus.

Though not proven, a hypothesis says that when acid enters the esophagus, it may stimulate nerves, triggering some airways to get narrow. Some symptoms of GERD also damages the lining of the throat, airways, and lungs, which may cause difficulty in breathing and cough. 

If you have asthma and are experiencing GERD at the same time, your doctor may ask you to undergo certain tests. Your doctor may also give you some therapeutic trials to help treat your GERD. 

Some medications for asthma may cause complications to GERD, and GERD may worsen asthma symptoms. Your doctor is the best person to help you handle both situations. 

Can GERD treatment help prevent asthma?

Treating acid reflux may help ease the symptoms of asthma, so it does help. Here are some things you can do to avoid acid reflux.

1. Change your lifestyle

Avoid food that triggers acid reflux. That includes dairy, chocolate, fried foods, or spicy food for some. Consider eating in small amounts too, and avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, if you can. 

Also, avoid eating or drinking at least three hours before you lie down and sleep. Then, elevate your head when sleeping, and the force of gravity keeps the acid in your stomach. 

2. Take Medications

Ask your doctor for medications to help improve your condition. You can get some over-the-counter medications or prescriptions that may provide immediate relief and may help suppress acid production. 

If taking medications is not an option, consider taking probiotics to help treat acid reflux. It can be an alternative. Good bacteria can keep bad bacteria that are causing the symptoms to grow. Make sure your doctor approved of this first before you drop off all your medications. 

3. Consider having a surgery

For patients with extremely bad reflux or for those who do not want to take medications their entire lives, surgery is another option. 

Conclusion

Having GERD may trigger not only asthma but other complicated health conditions as well if not addressed and treated immediately. What you can do is coordinate with your doctor through regular consultations. Be consistent with taking medications and work hard on improving your overall lifestyle. 

If you’re looking for more health tips in dealing with heartburn and GERD, visit the Heartburn No More website today!