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So confused! Please help!

Just got the final result through from Maddies bronchoscopy. It shows aspirated food on her lungs!

She had a PH study done a few months ago which showed no reflux so why now does it show aspirated food on lungs?

I have a very vague letter from the consultant stating this and that she'll discuss it at the next appointment. In the meantime we have to start her on Omeprazole and Gaviscon.

Does this mean she has Reflux? Is this what's making her ill and not Asthma?

Has she got Asthma??

Is aspirated food the same as reflux or different?

I'm very confused by it all! We were just beginning to feel settled after a couple of very very scary years! She is finally beginning to show a response to treatment! (Budesonide/pulmicort 1mg nebules twice daily, Montelukast, sere vent and salbutamol!)

Really need some help and advice now!


6 Replies

not sure if i can help or confuse u in any way.

just a note.. asthma can certainly worsen reflux symptoms.

also, aspirating food into your lungs is not the same as reflux.

you really need to go your GP, or ask to bring your next consultant appt forward sooner to go through the results with you so that their clearer in your head and you understand your childs condition -

1. is it asthma?

2. is it reflux?

3. did the asthma get worse cos of the reflux? which it normally does, BUT NOT IN ALL CASES

4. did the reflux get worse cos of the asthma? which can also happen

i think the consultant would be the obvious better choice as they would have arranged the bronchoscopy.

have the list of questons u have with you.

hope u get all the answers you need, and i hope i havent made u all the more confused!!

either way i am glad as u say she is finally begining to start to respond to treeatment thats a good start, a way forward :)

x x x


Thanks loads for your reply.

Can I ask in what way aspiration of food stuff different to reflux?

I will definately be seeing the gp mon for the new meds.

On the bronchoscopy, maddies lungs, airways and valves looked normal so I just don't understand these findings.

Also, she has responded to Asthma medications alone and her symptoms, in the last 2 months, since doubling her meds, have all but gone. Would Asthma meds help reflux??

Sorry for all the questions.


I'm a bit confused by what you are asking. Forgive me if you know this already. Aspiration is inhaling small food particles that can cause inflammation in the airways. I think reflux could happen at night which could then be inhaled into her lungs so the medication will hopefully reduce the levels of acidity in stomach and stop the reflux? guessing that bit.

Does Maddy cough a lot at meal times?

But I think this is sort of good news, you should get advice about foods, sleeping positions etc

Good luck sorry if I've got the wrong end of stick.



Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I understand the reflux thing as she was on gaviscon as a baby. What was confusing me was that she'd had a ph study just two months before the bronchoscopy. The 24 ph study showed no reflux, however the bronchoscopy showed the food particles. (Aspiration)

I guess I was just confused at the difference in results of two tests. Especially as she was quite poorly when she had the ph study and in contrast, very well when she had the bronchoscopy.

I just wondered if the aspiration could have been without acidity, therefore causing the ph study to come back as negative. If that makes sense.

Also, if it were purely reflux causing her serious breathing problems, then why would she be so responsive to Asthma medications and also why would her triggers be so clearly cold air, exercise and viral infections. All of which have no influence on her eating habits.


sorry for delay in my response emily been back in Costa del Nhs monday till last night :( took a long time get over this attack and got pneumonia as well, still not right.. strugglin a bit.. anyways...

asthmatics at risk of reflux cos of meds they on with the steroids etc... cos of the slight acidity of them. not all asthmatics get it though. unfortunately i do1 so i can sympathise! so i take omeprazole as gaviscon, ranitidine etc. no good. reflux causes the acid level increase in tummy and can make it increase up into the chest i.e. heartburn.

not 100% mind but,

with food aspiration, she would cough up the food, or breath it down into her lungs and that would cause her to cough or have problems breathing, wheezing, so present as asthma symptoms. so whn she takes the blue inhaler to open up the airways, this makes asthma symptoms go away.

although she may have asthma as well ?

sorry if this is clear as mud!!

did you go back to GP, hospital ? how is maddie doing ?

x x x


yes in reply to you post,

reflux more often than not happens at night as your lying down, so better to be positioned at night whilst asleep, at an angle, so you dont suffer as bad, and tae your anti-reflux meds early enough so that the have chance to work before yo go to sleep



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