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  • GERD--Lung disease

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    Old 12-24-2003, 08:56 PM   #1
    Cudabeah1978
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    Angry GERD--Lung disease

    To whom it may concern:
    My mother suffered from severe GERD until she had surgery in early 1998. For years, she would wake up in the middle of the night choking on gastric acid. A CAT scan in 1997 showed severe damage to her lungs, especially the upper portion, but she had no symptoms or noticeable problems. In the last year, each of her lungs collapsed and she has lost over 50% of her lung capacity. Recent CAT scans show virtually no change from the scans of 1997. While she has significant damage, the damage doesn't seem to be getting worse, she is just feeling worse and now requires oxygen most of the time. We have gone to the best hospitals and best doctors in NYC and she has recently had a lung biopsy. The doctors cannot figure out what she has and the biopsy has turned up nothing. Is it possible that all of the damage was caused by the acid reflux and that would explain why the CAT scans look the same over the course of the six years since the surgery? I have read that doctors at USC are studying the relationship between GERD and lung disease, and that most doctors throughout the country do not consider this or discount it completely. When approached with this subject, her current doctors have said that this is not likely or possible, even though they have no idea what she has or what has caused the lung damage. We have no idea where to go from here, but we would like to explore the possibility that GERD is responsible for her current state.
    Jon

     
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    Old 12-24-2003, 10:24 PM   #2
    butterflytrans
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    Re: GERD--Lung disease

    It surprises me that you have encountered doctors who dismiss the relationship between GERD and lung disease. Teachings here say, actually, the GERD is one of the top three reasons for chronic cough, and you can imagine that if it is a reason for chronic cough, it's obviously linked to lung disease. I'm very positive that severe GERD can result in chronic lung disease in the right person, especially if s/he is aspirating a lot.

     
    Old 12-25-2003, 02:11 AM   #3
    ellis7
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    Re: GERD--Lung disease

    Yes GERD can cause serious lung problems. See:
    [url]http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/heartbrn/heartbrn.htm[/url]
    Heartburn, Hiatal Hernia, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    Excerpt:
    "What are the long-term complications of GERD?

    Sometimes GERD can cause serious complications. Inflammation of the esophagus from
    stomach acid causes bleeding or ulcers. In addition, scars from tissue damage can narrow
    the esophagus and make swallowing difficult. Some people develop Barrett's esophagus,
    where cells in the esophageal lining take on an abnormal shape and color, which over time
    can lead to cancer.

    Also, studies have shown that asthma, chronic cough, and pulmonary fibrosis may be
    aggravated or even caused by GERD."
    ----------------------------------------

    Tests for GERD are detailed in the above reference.
    It sounds like she needs another opinion from another pulmonologist. For difficult cases its best to go to a teaching institution high rated in respiratory disease. US News & World Report puts out an annual ranking of hospitals in different fields including respiratory. See:
    [url]http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/rankings/specihqpulm.htm[/url]

    #1 National Jewish, Denver
    #2 Mayo Clinic, MN
    #3 Johns Hopkins, Baltimore
    #4 Barnes, St Louis
    #5 Mass. General, Boston
    ..................
    #22 NY Presbyterian Hospital
    ------------------------------
    Another approach is consult [url]www.bestdoctors.com[/url] for a high rated doctor in pulmonolgy in your area; a fee is charged.

    Ellis

     
    Old 12-28-2003, 03:54 PM   #4
    ldolson
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    Re: GERD--Lung disease

    If the acid is going into her lungs, then her vocal cords should also be inflamed, which could be seen on a scope. Her voice would be hoarse, which could also be a result of the chronic cough.

     
    Old 12-28-2003, 04:17 PM   #5
    butterflytrans
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    Re: GERD--Lung disease

    Good call ldolson!

     
    Old 12-29-2003, 02:53 PM   #6
    ldolson
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    Re: GERD--Lung disease

    I just wanted to bring up another issue related to GERD and breathing problems. If indeed the acid is getting into the lungs, your mom could also be having a problem with subglottic stenosis. I happen to have idiopathic subglottic stenosis, which was at first attributed to GERD. Subglottic stenosis is when you have scar tissue that grows in your trachea and it sort of closes your trachea down. It makes breathing sometimes very difficult. This is usually found also by being scoped. It is a rare condition, but if the acid is getting into your mother's lungs, there is no telling the damage that has been done to her trachea. After being on meds for almost a year for reflux, I was finally tested and happen not to have reflux. The testing is not fun, but I had a doc that was pushing for the Nissen procedure and I was very leary since I didn't have symptoms of GERD. She thought that would cure my stenosis problems. Just my thoughts!! Good luck to your mom and to your family on finding out what is really going on.

     
    Old 12-29-2003, 04:03 PM   #7
    Deda
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    Re: GERD--Lung disease

    I belong to a message list/support group of people with pulmonary fibrosis, due to my mother and brother (both deceased) having that, I want to learn more about it. Well, an awful lot of the ppl there with pulmonary fibrosis have GERD, and quite a few think the GERD was the cause. Research in now being done on a relation between the two by 2 of the top IPF specialists.
    Well, I was just DX'd with hypothyroid a few months ago, then GERD came along around Sept. I'm trying an OTC drug, (that just went OTC a few months ago, don't want to get in trouble by giving the name) and it is helping, but this is always going to worry me.
    Can one ever get rid of GERD, or at least stop/arrest it?
    Best of luck to you with your Mother, I hope she can get her lung problems under control.

    Last edited by Deda; 12-29-2003 at 04:04 PM.

     
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