Checked in with my allergist today - sure enough, the reflux was causing my asthma issues. Everything seems fine with the thyroid, but will do some cortisol hormone testing soon (waiting on referral) to make sure it's ONLY reflux that caused my issues.
Physician did state that the reflux can make the lungs sensitive enough that a MC challenge test will be positive, which is what happenned in my case.
She is 100% positive that it is reflux and not asthma.
I started Nexium today and what a change it has already made for me! I don't think I've been able to breathe this well in months, maybe years! Also I suffer from recurrent sinus infections, which physician also linked to the reflux.
Just wanted to share in case someone else was having some indigestion/reflux problems. I was unaware that I was even having reflux until I finally figured out that was the reason I was waking up at night gagging! I knew it was reflux when I got up one morning and couldn't talk. The reflux had been serious that night and that's how I decided to try the Axid to see if I really was having an asthma mimic condition.
Let's just say that my physician is the best! She was very open to my suggestions and research and thanks to the people that helped me on here, we've decided to make sure it's only the reflux (Thanks Chris, I'm working on the cortisol test).
At first, we didn't suspect reflux at all. In fact, it wasn't until I got up one morning and couldn't talk from so much acid refluxing during the night. I had had that happen before and recalled it was from my reflux about 6 years ago. So I went to the grocery store adn purchased the Axid OTC. Began it and weaned off the inhaler.
When I used the inhaler (Advair 500/50), it make me very nervous feeling and my heart woudl just race. I really dislliked taking it, but the Pulmicort just didn't do anythign for me. I bought a full range peak flow meter and used it 2 times a day, soemtimes more depending on if I exercised or not.
So after keeping very accurate and thorough records, I began to realize that only after exercise did my peak flow readings increase. And, that I was usually the same as I was before after being on the Advair if I didn't exercise. Exercise was the key for me to get the higher readings.
As for the inhaler working, I guess it did something - it did increase my peak flows slightly, but like I said, not as much as a good run on the treadmill.
I haven't used an inhaler in months now and haven't needed it. Now that I have Nexium, I doubt I will never need another inhaler. My doctor asked if I had been using my rescue inhaler (albuterol and/or maxair - had scripts for each, just didn't mix them). I told her no, that I didn't need it.
She then informed me that the reflux was the culprit all along!
It took awhile to figure it out and for me to keep very consistent records. I mean, I would even take notes on my triggers to try to figure out this out.
I think the big key for me was waking up and not being able to talk because I had refluxed so much the night before. I had never had indigestion that I could feel, but more like a silent reflux. I never experienced heartburn either. Only being able to not vocalize anything was the key that opened my eyes to the fact that I was literally waking up at night gasping from acid reflux, NOT from a lack of air becuase of asthma.
Luckily, I have a great MD that is willing and open to suggestions that worked with me to help figure this out.
Sidebar - I hated Maxair....I took it after intense aerobics one morning and it burned my entire throat. I called my MD immediatly and she nor her nurse had ever heard of Maxair causing such a reaction....I was terrified! It was very painful. I had eaten a grapefruit (a BIG no! no!) prior to going to the aerobics class. I refluxed SO MUCH during the class that I coudn't breathe. I had to leave a few minutes early. Then, used the inhaler and that's when it burned. Come to find out, the burning was the acid, not the Maxair. I shoudl have put it together that day, but it was actually 2 days later. I avoid grapefruit, as well as the rest of the GERD triggers now.
I have asthma, but I also have acid reflux. I went to three doctors about the strangling feeling in my throat and asked my regular doctor about trouble with my inhalers. My throat and chest would tighten up as soon as I took my inhaler. So even when I was having an asthma attack and took the albuterol, it would make things worse before they got better. So I finally went to my allergist and instantly he was asking me about heartburn and stomach problems, which made no sense to me since I've never had heartburn in my life. But apparently just because you don't feel it doesn't mean you don't have it.
So it turns out that the acid was irritating my vocal chords, and then when the particles from the inhalers hit the vocal chords it irritated them more and they constricted. He gave me a spacer and it made things better. Also I've been taking prilosec and I've now been able to stop using the spacer and my asthma symptoms have decreased.
I am not having a pH test done. I talked with my gastro about it and he said since we know for a fact that I do have acid reflux (at night) then it's best to figure out what is causing the reflux. So I'm scheduled to have an upper GI endoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy procedures done soon. The Nexium really is a miracle pill for me. I'm back to my old habits now - lots of exercise and not a single wheeze or shortness or breathe or tightness in chest.
Thanks for the info on the pH test. I did request it, but Dr. figured since it's a known fact that I have reflux, that I don't need the pH test to tell me such. Plus, I'm not sure I want to walk around with a tube through my nose for a day. I rather have the 2 minute procedures done under 20 minutes of light anesthesia.
Thanks for the info. I think I will mention it to my doctor. I have heartburn & asthma. I use Advair & Albuterol as needed. This info is helpful---- maybe my doctor will start me on Nexium. I have had episodes of strained voice, breathing difficulty. At times the inhalers don't seem to help. Thanks
I knew I had reflux when I had the pH study. I had it done to determine when I was refluxing, and if the meds were working. I thought it might make sense for you to see if the reflux is associated with wheezing, because if you are wheezing when you are not refluxing, it can be something else. Anyways, it sounds like you are doing well. Good luck with the tests you are having. I'm glad the Nexium works for you. It doesn't touch my reflux.