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Old 07-12-2011, 12:18 PM   #1
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GERD and breathing problems??

Hi everyone...I was hoping that someone would share their story concerning breathing problems and GERD.
I've had asthma and environmental allergies my whole life and they've never been a problem for me.
About 2.5 months ago I woke up very short of breath and my rescue inhaler didn't help...since then i've had constant trouble breathing (mainly not being able to inhale well). Some days are better than others...and sometimes i get .
really bad attacks...during one of the attacks a PFT showed restrictive lung function and decreased total lung capacity (which is opposite to asthma).
Then a week later i had a normal PFT.
I've had a CT of neck and chest, echo, EKG, laryngoscopy...all clear.

My primary doctor thinks i have GERD even though i don't have heartburn(which i know there is a silent type) but my question is...has anyone experienced breathing problems due to GERD??

 
Old 07-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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Re: GERD and breathing problems??

Very very common, actually. I have allergic asthma, but I sometimes have coughing attacks after dinner which are due to GI problems.

There are various tests that can be done to see if you have GERD. But if the symptoms tend to show up after a large meal, or during the night or first thing in the morning, that's a sign it could be GERD.

Have you tried any anti-reflux treatments yet?

 
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:56 PM   #3
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Re: GERD and breathing problems??

Oh, one more thing. Do you take any LABA medicines, such as Advair or Symbicort? They can be a reflux trigger for many people.

 
Old 07-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: GERD and breathing problems??

I don't really seem to notice it get worse after meals but if i wake up in the morning and I'm short of breath it will be like that almost all day.

I'm not on a LABA med.
I tried Flovent for 3 weeks and it seemed to help my asthma but not my current breathing issue.

I was just prescribed a med for the reflux to see if that makes me feel better...i know it can take a while for it to start working though.

 
Old 07-12-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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Re: GERD and breathing problems??

Absolutely GERD can cause breathing problems. The acid can irritate the lungs and cause asthma-like symptoms or it can actually irritate the lungs to the extent that it actually triggers you asthma.

I've experienced this for several years on the very extreme side. I don't have much time to chat tonight, but you can look through some of my past history posts to see my story. I was in really bad shape in 2008 so there are a lot of posts from that time period.

For me, it took working in conjunction with my PCP, Pulmonologist, ENT and Gastroenterologist to get things back under control. It was a long road for me.

Some of the things I've learned:
-I can be having severe breathing problems and still have normal PFT's when the acid is causing my lung irritations.
-It took taking PPI's twice a day for a while to see any results. Different PPI's gave me differing results though. My personal favorites were prescription strength Prevacid in the solutab version and Dexilant with Gaviscon supplemented as needed.
-I had to up my treatment of my asthma at the same time I was going full-force to address my acid reflux. (Singulair, Advair 500/50, Albuterol in inhaler and nebulizer, Prevacid or Dexilant, Gaviscon, etc...)
-It is important to make diet and lifestyle changes to help with the acid reflux.
-pH testing, manometry and esophagram/barium swallow testing were most telling for me.
-I was determined to have severe acid reflux, but rarely ever had any "typical" acid reflux symptoms. They call it "silent" reflux.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

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Old 07-13-2011, 05:23 AM   #6
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Re: GERD and breathing problems??

wow thank you so much for your reply!!
i really appreciate it!!

I'm going to start on prevacid shortly (as soon as the insurance company approves it) and hopefully i'll start seeing some results.

GERD never even crossed my mind until someone suggested it...i never experience heartburn either so i would have never suspected it, but i've ruled a lot of other things out, so i'm hoping this is it and the medicine will start helping.

 
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