there any connection between
asthma and acid reflux? Many acid reflux
sufferers ask this question. In fact, asthma is a
chronic condition characterized by difficulty in
breathing due to the contraction of airways. Many
studies have suggested a significant connection
between acid reflux and asthma. Acid reflux
may worsen asthma symptoms, however, asthma and
some asthma medications may worsen acid reflux. On
the other hand, treating acid reflux often helps
relieve asthma symptoms, further suggesting a
relationship between the two conditions.
reflux can cause asthma in one of the two
Refluxed acid from the stomach can be aspirated
into the airways and lungs, causing difficulty in
breathing resulting in cough and
The refluxed acid causes erosion of the esophageal
lining exposing vital nerves connected to the
lungs. The irritated nerve triggers a reflex that
causes the airways to narrow. This then causes
shortness of breath.
usually suspect acid reflux as the cause of asthma
when the asthma begins in adulthood, when the
symptoms of asthma get worse after a meal or after
exercise, at night or after lying down, and when
the asthma does not respond to usual asthma drugs.
Also, most asthma patients are overweight and
obesity increases acid reflux. Both asthma as well
as acid reflux can cause chronic cough, so asthma
and acid reflux often
can also be a causative factor of acid reflux.
Some asthma medications may trigger GERD-like
symptoms. The medications do this by relaxing the
LES or the lower esophageal symptoms, allowing the
stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus and
possibly be aspirated into the lungs.
many of the symptoms of acid reflux can be treated
and/or prevented by making some lifestyle changes.
Some of these steps include:
Raise the head of your bed by six inches to help
keep down the contents of the stomach.
Do not lie down for at least three to four hours
after eating and avoid bedtime snacks.
Sleep on your left side. This position helps
digestion and prevents acid from
Eat smaller, frequent meals with moderate portions
Maintain an optimal weight to avoid unnecessary
pressure caused by extra pounds.
Limit consumption of fatty foods, chocolate,
peppermint, coffee, tea, colas, and alcohol - all
of which relax the lower esophageal sphincter -
and tomatoes and citrus fruits or juices, which
trigger acid reflux.
Give up smoking, which also relaxes the lower
Wear loose belts and clothing.
Keep a diary to record heartburn and asthma
these changes may be implemented as a first step
of comprehensive holistic treatment which
eliminates the use of drugs to control symptoms
but offers treatment to treat both acid reflux as
well as asthma.