GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and asthma may seem to be unrelated conditions. Stomach acid splashing back into your esophagus provokes heartburn. Allergies and other triggers cause asthma, which narrows your lungs’ airways. But research shows that up to 70 percent of asthmatics also are heartburn sufferers. That’s more than double the typical rate. Acid reflux increases airway sensitivity and worsens asthma symptoms while asthma can increase your heartburn’s severity. Experts advise that controlling your heartburn could help you manage your asthma better.
Why and How GERD Occurs
Your esophagus is the muscular tube that links your mouth to your stomach. During the normal digestion process, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle ring at the end of your esophagus, opens so food will enter your stomach. Then this valve closes quickly to prevent a backflow of food into your esophagus. GERD occurs if your weakened LES malfunctions, allowing your stomach’s contents, including digestive juices, to rise up into your esophagus in an ongoing manner. Or excess stomach pressure can allow acid to flow backward.
Reflux causes most esophageal damage and symptoms. This chronic digestive disorder ranges between mild and severe. Studies indicate that GERD’s negative impacts on patients’ health and happiness can be significant. Heartburn, the most frequent reflux symptom, is a painful burning feeling that starts in your chest and moves up to your neck and into your throat. The pain stems from acid irritating your esophageal wall that doesn’t have natural protection like your stomach. It tends to worsen after eating and when you’re lying down. Episodes may continue for up to two hours.
You also could experience regurgitation when food comes back up into your throat or even your mouth, mainly when you’re in bent-over and reclining positions. A sour or bitter taste may linger in your mouth. Other symptoms include pain or difficulty swallowing, large saliva amounts, hoarseness, sore throat, chronic coughing, chest pains, a sensation that a lump has developed in your throat, an uncomfortable fullness feeling after meals, cavities, inflamed gums, and bad breath.
When These Conditions Happen Concurrently
Doctors have numerous possible reasons for GERD occurring with asthma so often. Any esophageal damage can worsen coughing, a major asthma symptom. Reflux ― especially severe cases ― may lead to asthma. As large acid amounts escape into your food pipe, a nerve impulse tightens your air passages. If you inhale or aspirate acid from your esophagus, direct lung irritation may follow.
Anytime asthma develops during adulthood, GERD could be the trigger. Your doctor also may suspect reflux if your asthma responds poorly to standard treatments or your symptoms worsen during common GERD flare-up times like following meals, workouts, or reclining. Some asthma medications relax the valve separating the stomach from the esophagus so acid can escape more easily.
Dual Treatments Are Necessary
No matter which problem causes the other, GERD treatment may make breathing easier. It’s also vital because untreated severe reflux might raise your esophageal cancer risk over time. Various medications that neutralize stomach acid or block its production can reduce your symptoms.
Even if GERD is your main concern, also following your asthma treatment plan is crucial. You need to take each of these controllable conditions seriously. Save up to 90 percent on medications for both ailments every time you order online from this Canadian pharmacy.
Other acid-controlling measures include avoiding acidic foods, consuming smaller meals more often, staying upright after eating, not smoking, reducing or eliminating caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, wearing loose-fitting clothes, keeping your weight healthy, not eating two or three hours before your bedtime, raising your bed’s head six inches, and staying on your left side while sleeping.
Reflux Complications Arise Rarely
Combining medication with lifestyle changes manages most GERD cases successfully. Although serious complications occur rarely, consult your doctor if your reflux symptoms remain troublesome after several weeks or change. He might prescribe a stronger medication at a higher dose. Or he may order upper GI barium tests, pH probes to measure your esophageal acid level, or an endoscope exam of your upper GI tract. Surgery on the valve separating your stomach from your esophagus could be necessary for it to work better.
According to Dr. James Gray, acid may rise up your esophagus, pass through your upper esophageal sphincter (UES), and reach your throat, damaging its structures. Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR) is a key diagnosis for doctors to consider if you have relentless throat clearing and coughing while feeling as if a lump is stuck in your throat. You may inhale acid that’s lingering in your throat into your lungs, irritating those delicate tissues so your symptoms mimic common lung diseases signs.
If excess acid reflux causes esophagitis, or inflamed esophagus, painful esophageal ulcers or bleeding may occur. Chronic scarring could narrow your food pipe and hinder your swallowing ability, requiring surgery. Barrett’s esophagus, an infrequent complication, causes severe cellular damage at your food pipe’s end. This condition might increase your esophageal cancer chances.