Acid Reflux causing asthma and chronic bronchitis?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kyra07, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    Background info...Out of experiment one day, I was having an asthma attack. Something just felt weird and the rescue inhaler wasn't cutting it. For the heck of it, I took a swig of Gaviscon. Moments later, asthma attack stops. Now about 60-75% of my asthma attacks need the Gaviscon. Asthma and chronic bronchitis have been worsening each year, reason until yesterday not offically diagnosed.

    For years, I have felt lumps in my throat, problems swallowing, diffuculty breathing, chronic lung infections, sore throat, hoarness in the morning, hacking up post-nasal drip (usually techno-colored gross stuff), chronic allergy issues, etc.

    Yesterday...I went to my former sinus surgeon (she's amazing, btw!): I am being treated for an infection in the lungs and what was thought to be the sinuses, although there is no congestion. Within seconds of being there, she hands me a brochure about LPRD (Laryngo-Pharyngeal Reflux Disease) and says "I think this is what is going on." Low and behold, ALL of my unexplained symptoms were in there! So I add another med in my arcenal, Nexium. We'll see how it goes!

    She believes the acid from my stomach is getting up into my sinuses (yuck!) and into my lungs causing the symptoms and my chronic breathing problems/infections. My lungs hurt most days and have difficulty breathing although there is no sigh of congestion or wheezing. How I hope Nexium is my magic bullet in keeping me healthier and breathing without pain: one box checked off, next! Amazing how this doctor knew what it was in 5 seconds! I'm so glad Dr. E had me go back to her! :)

    I have posted before about asthma and CB, just thought I'd share this discovery in case this is a light bulb for someone else too! Also, if you have tried to treat LPRD, did it improve your asthma and frequency of respitory infections? Or is my dream of a magic pill, just that...a dream?

    Chipping away, one thing at a time...

    Hugs to all and happy Friday!
  2. frosty77

    frosty77 New Member

    Hey, as long as the treatment seems to work, that's a good thing!

    I was diagnosed with reflux 15+ years ago - then was diagnosed with asthma 3 years ago and told it was due to the reflux. I tend to disagree with this diagnosis as the asthma meds do absolutely nothing for my shortness of breath - and if I don't take the meds, there is no difference.

    After 15 years on proton pump inhibitors (like Nexium), I was recently told that I may not have an issue with too much acid, but perhaps with not enough acid - but that was all I was told, so who knows. From the many PPI's I was on, the only one that actually works to repair things is Nexium - which, unfortunately, is not covered by most medical insurance plans - and none of the 6 or so that I was on would cover it even with a special request from the Dr. Hope your insurance covers it!!!!
  3. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    Thanks! I am using samples, so we'll see if my insurance covers it! fingers crossed. I'll find out this weekend or on Monday if they don't.

    Interesting about not enough acid. Hmmm... This is an area I guess I'll have to research. I have horrible IBS and just know that I have a gut issue here that needs addressing. It's improving, but far from normal. Interesting, back to a "gut issue" I go... I need the asthma drugs now still--they do help some. But maybe I'll need less if the acid gets under control.

    Asthma kickin in again at age 15 (first attack at age 3), when i came down with Lyme and had wicked heartburn at that same time and was medicated for it for about 2-3 years. I was diagnosed with "walking pneumonia" 10 years ago,it worsened and been going downhill ever since. Maybe its just mycoplasma issues and acid reflux versus moderate-severe asthma? Hmmm... Worth investigating...

    thanks for replying! :)
  4. fisher1949

    fisher1949 New Member

    I had been complaining about acid reflux for years, finally one of my pcp ordered an endoscopic study, well, mine is too far gone and I have Barretts Esphogus.

    The lining has relined itself with other material and must be on Prilosec the rest of my life; also can turn to cancer.

    I would ask about this procedure just to make sure everything is fine in your lining.
  5. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I also have Barrett's esophagus. What helped me more than anything is avoiding gluten/wheat. I no longer am bothered by GERD, and need take nothing for it.

    I also chew deglycerinated licorice tabs. It mixes with saliva and coats the lining as it goes down. It's not only protective, but also has some healing properties. The part of licorice that causes high blood pressure is taken out.
  6. lishka

    lishka New Member

    I was diagnosed with asthma almost eight years ago. The acid reflux diagnosis came a few years later, though I believe I had it at the time I was diagnosed with asthma. I had gained 25 pounds and the extra weight seemed to cause more "heartburn." I now realize that the weight gain was an indictator of the beginnings of my thyroid disease, FM and ME/CFIDS.

    I've been on Nexium, Aciphex and now Prevacid. I've had to rotate between those medications because my body seems to adjust after a while. I've been on Prevacid for about a year now. This fall, my asthma flared badly, along with my acid reflux. My doc gave me samples of Nexium and a couple of weeks of that calmed down both the acid and the asthma.

    I'm back on Prevacid now (I actually get it for FREE because of some program they have). Once I deal with some of my other symptoms, I'm going to work on trying to find more natural ways of dealing with the acid. I've been reading how these drugs can create too little acid, which may not be good in the long run. Yet, having too much acid irritating my lungs is certainly not good in the short run! (Why must everything be a Catch-22?)

    So, I've found that when the acid problems flare, so does my asthma. I, too, have difficulty swallowing. It's actually my worst symptom now, to the point where my diet is basically liquid and soft foods. I keep hoping that one of these treatments will help.

    Anyway, my gastroenterologist, pulmonologist and GP have all confirmed what you wrote--stomach acid can worsen asthma, so I think you're on the right track. Good luck!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/08/2008]
  7. nightngale

    nightngale New Member

    I had gotten hoarse and gotten dx with acid reflux and the ent gave me tons of free nexium , then I had an upper endcoscopy and he said no I didn't have acid reflux.

    Well then I quit smoking, had sinus surgery for constant infections? (turned our they were migraines, I am wondering if the doc did surgery just to shut me up) then continued with headaches, finally got dx with migraine. No one can explain why the antibiotics made them go awaY!

    Now when I wake up it is like a freakin mucus facory, I have globs of mucuous in my head draining down my throat and I cough and cough. My lung doc sent me to another ENT and he scoped in there and said YES acid reflux and put me on prevacid 60 mg a day.He said sometimes gastro docs miss the voice box. That is reassuring. This has been about 4 weeks and still no improvement in mucous factory. Cough may be better. I cannot use the flonase I have been on for years because of cortisol issues,not that is was helping anyway, so I tried nasalcrom and xrtec. NOthing is stopping the mucous!! I have to blow nose for half an hour and gag and choke. I have not raised my bed up yet like he said yet. What else is left?????? I am on beta blocker and wondering if that may cause it I have heard people mention it though it is not listed as side effect. I am allergic to everything but cannot afford shots. AM to go back soon for check up.
  8. nightngale

    nightngale New Member

  9. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    I feel gross all the time! I am allergic to everything too, so taking better control of my environment has to happen. Once I get the money, allergy covers for mattress, air purifier, etc. Zyrtec and mucinex just don't keep it under control, yuck, but maybe this nexium will at least reduce my lung infections. Fingers crossed! :) No one can tell me how to keep the mucus under control, either. :( Going to see about reducing dairy, I've heard that can help.

    I had sinus surgery, because they couldn't drain. Looking back, I've probably only had 1 true sinus infection in the last 2 years. But migranes are still a problem. What do you do about migranes? I used to take Maxalt, but they ran out and have been dealing with other issues first, so this is next on my list. When I had Lyme, they put me on some BP medicine to help with migranes, Inderal, I think it was. But I have Raynaud's and Inderal makes it worse... Would love to hear what helps you, and others, if anything.

    May you be mucus free! :)
  10. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    I'm so sorry you have Barretts Esphogus. Thank you for the heads up. I will surely ask to be checked further for damage this might have caused. It probably has been going on for so long, I wonder how much damage there might be.

    Hang in there all! THanks for your replies and support. Interesting that many of us are having similar issues. Isn't so frustrating that they don't dx for this earlier?

    Did this dx not help others? Has anyone got the mucus thing under control?

    (((((((((HUGS)))))))))) to all!
  11. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Now, Dr. David Bell says most of us have too little acid, not too much; causing same symptoms and GI problems!

    Wish these drs would get on the same page!

    I hope the meds help your problems and prevent Barrett's, too....

  12. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    Geeze... OK. So how does one know if they have low acid, if it causes the same symptoms?! I am assuming not getting relief from Nexium would show my acid is low and not high?

    I guess if it doesn't work, I'll drink that apple cider vinegar...just like my grandma used to, but she liked

  13. findmind

    findmind New Member

    i think dr bell says to take betaine, to increase stomach acid. Maybe you could make a Post that asks how to do that, if the Nexium doesn't solve your problem?

  14. findmind

    findmind New Member

    I'm sure this is very confusing!

    I probably should have made it more clear that Dr. Bell says some people with CFIDS do not have too much acid, but too little, and without the endoscope test to prove which it is, many are misdiagnosed with GERD.

    Maybe someone will locate the article(s) I'm referring to for us; it would really help to be more precise, I'm sure, and I'd sure not like to be one who gives out false or wrong information.

    Thank you, jadegirl, for the really clear explanation of GERD.


    LISALOO New Member

    Also heard that it's due to too little stomach acid. Your body can't break down food in the stomach, so it can come up.
  16. munch1958

    munch1958 Member

    I had the asthma, GERD, chest pain thing for years.

    After doing an elimination diet and cutting out gluten and other intolerance or food allergens I no longer have GERD. I switched from soda to water or juice. I'm off meds for the first time in 25 years.

    In the past I had a Nissen Fundoplication done becase a double dose of Nexium was not stopping the GERD. I couldn't bend over to tie my shoes without the mini-vomit.

    This set off the hoarseness and asthma. If it's all worse in the morning you can bet the stomach contents are backing up while you sleep. I elevated my bed. Got a wedge pillow. You name it I tried it.

    I tried the apple cider vinegar thing and the Betaine HCL. I'm allergic to beets. Betaine is sourced from beets. Makes sense that it made this all worse.

    About 6 weeks after I started the protocol with two 100 mg of Minocycline per day my GERD started to go away. AFter 8 weeks I was off GERD meds. After 12 weeks, I no longer needed my 3 inhalers (1-sinus and 2-asthma.)

    What I'm trying to say here is that I think it's a combination of things going on. Food intolerances, some stomach bacteria (or that new virus maybe?), too much sugar and too much white flour, smoking, caffeine, soda or carbination, etc.
  17. nightngale

    nightngale New Member

    r: the sinus headaches, they did say the antibiotic may have worked as a antiinflamatory. When I first went to the neruo nothing would work . The maxalt, etc, would help a bit, then he did a week of prednisone,Vicodin, then finally tried topomax. It worked. I only take 25 mgs a day and he didn't want me to take any more if that was good. I am very med sensative. In fact i think it makes me cranky like most of my other meds, but when i went off of it for three day my headache came back so fast I was right back on it. Cant believe it. Still dealing with mucous. I can't find a mucinex for nose. Is there a spray? I have started 1/2 zyrtec, maybe it is helping a bit. not much.
  18. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    Yes, Mucinex now comes in a spray, I saw a commercial for it the other week. I haven't gotten it yet or looked for it as I'm finishing up my extra strength pills up. I hate swallowing that horse pill, but am hoping I don't react bad to the spray. I have a tendency of getting nose bleeds on nasal sprays.

    I find abx to fix my headaches. Once I go off, they come back. I have a friend who does not have CFIDS and she has the same issue, could be living in this polluted city! Maxalt only helped with full blown migranes. Am on nothing for those anymore, just take advil migrane (half dose) and then do my ice/heat/head-on/silence/dark routine. Seems to help with those migranes once I get one...

    Am bummed. I'm still having chest pain (off the abx and here it is again), but am having moments of relief. Maybe that's a step in the right direction. Funny,I'm noticing heart burn for the first time! Now the lung pain is down to moderately bad, but wonder if my trigger points are activated causing it. Will see chiro next week then will give Nexium another week or two and will see how the chest does. If no improvement, then maybe my issue is not enough acid and I'll try the vinegar experiment.

    Good luck! I understand about the sinus issues. Hard to do anything when you feel like that!

  19. Hootie1

    Hootie1 New Member

    My doc said that nexium takes about 6 weeks to get rid of the mucous.

    I just started so we'll see.
  20. kyra07

    kyra07 New Member

    Good luck! Nexium caused intense heart burn when I took it, so I am on Zegerid. Insurance company wants me on Nexium or OTC...Huh? So it's a constant battle. Z works for me rather well. If I have break through reflux I just take a Zantac or Gaviscon and I'm fine.

    I'm pushing myself beyond belief right now: 7 credits at school, working full time, volunteering. So now I'm getting sick, but I have been infection free (sinuses, throat and lungs) since I started the Zegerid. In fact 95% of my asthma attacks were caused by the acid relux! It has taken everything a long time to heal, several months, but it improved my health 10 fold!

    Keep us updated on how you do! Hang in there! You will see improvement, just give it some time!


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