How do you know if acid reflux affects your asthma?

I've had acid reflux (or what I think is acid reflux) for months. I'm also on the highest lot of medication I've been on, ever (symbicort 400/12 two puffs twice daily, montelukast, ventolin - a lot at the moment). I've never taken anything for the acid reflux, but it's getting worse, so I've been to get some gaviscon!

I just wondered how you know if the two are connected and if I treat the acid reflux, is it likely that I'd get more control over my asthma symptoms?

I've got an appt with the consultant a week on thurs so will ask him. But not sure if he'll just tell me to go to my GP.

Also I wondered if there is a particular type of antacid that is best for people with asthma?

Lots of questions - sorry!

10 Replies

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  • Hi, yes acid reflux can make asthma worse I was asked everytime I went into hospital because of my asthma if I suffered from it. I don't but they put me on omeprazole just incase which for me didnt make a difference because ive never had acid reflux. Why dont you see your GP before to try & get things sorted sooner. Good luck getting things sorted

  • Hi EmC,

    I wasn't aware I had acid reflux or that it affected my asthma until I was tried on Omeprazole and Domperidone by the consultant. I have had a touch of heartburn since starting higher doses of Symbicort but didn't think of it affecting my asthma. If I stop either of them my asthma immediately gets worse.

  • Same here JF, in my case I had not realised I had reflux until prescribed lansprazole (which is similar to omeprazole) by an ENT consultant. I did not have typical heartburn either but sore throat and long standing issue with swallowing. I now have domperidone too. My GP is also convinced this is affecting asthma despite rather odd respiratory consultant disagreeing. My mornings are much better and slightly higher peak flows. They can be connected, see here for Asthma UK information Asthma and other conditions it is uncertain if treating gastro-oesophageal reflux may have little benefit on asthma symptoms and control.

    Good luck with your cons appt, EmC

  • I'm the same. I was prescribed Omeprazole and it made a difference, without even knowing there was a problem there in the first place.

  • I am also the same, I did not know I had acid reflux I just assumed it was a side effect of my Seretide 250 inhaler, I was prescribed Omeprazole it has made all the difference to me.

  • I also had no idea that I suffered from gastric reflux until I had an overnight acid reflux test at RBH. This showed signifciant reflux and I went on to Omperazole immediately and adjusted upwards over a period of time. (Now 20mg AM & PM.) During that period (months if I remember, but too long ago to recall clearly), my asthma improved significantly. That along with a doubling at the time of my Symbicort (and some other adjustments) made huge inroads into getting me out of being difficult. My coughing fits, which could be huge, significantly diminished in both frequency and strength.

    AlanJ

  • Can it come and go? They've not mentioned it at RBH with me and I wasn't sure whether to ask - it seemed the asthma component was doing ok at the moment so perhaps not an issue, though I do have some remaining questions about what's going on. I don't want to pester them if it's not a serious possibility based on symptoms, but I'd want to know if it could be a potential issue, given how many people have been surprised by the difference it makes.

  • I don't have an authoritive answer to that, but I do know that one of my colleagues (when I used to work for a living) used to have huge swings in his reflux and his medication would go up and down to match. I think he used to try to lower the dosage when symptoms died down a bit, but I have never changed mine. I do not think there are any side effects to worry about reducing the dosages and I consider that there is too significant a benefit to even think about lowering my own dosage. I guess it is also worth understanding whether the drugs are reliever or preventer. I think more, but not fully, as preventer, but will bow to authoritive answer.

    AlanJ

  • Thanks! Maybe I will ask about it at some point, if the physio's not helping as much as they think it will.

  • It is really interesting to hear how many people have been helped by treating their reflux.

    The consultant said he'd write to my GP and tell her to put me on omeprazole or something similar, and said it sounds like I do have reflux, but he also said although the reflux needs treating in it's own right, the evidence suggests this doesn't have any effect on asthma control. Which is disappointing.

    A separate issue, but I asked if I have non allergic asthma because all my skin prick tests were normal and my IgE test was normal, but he says all asthma is classed as allergic because it is an allergic reaction even if you can't pinpoint your triggers. Confusing.

    I'm seeing my GP tomorrow, so I'll see what she says. There's no harm in trying it I suppose.

    I hope everyone else is doing well :-)

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