Asthma UK community forum

Gurgling in oesophagus and acid reflux

Do any of you peeps with acid reflux issues find you get (or got before medication) gurgling noise/feeling in your oesophagus or chest?

Been having this for the last few days (loud enough that other people can hear it and think my tummy is rumbling). I don't want to self-diagnose on the internet but some quick googling suggested it could be related to acid reflux and from reading posts on here I know this isn't uncommon in asthmatics.

For some reason RBH never tested for this as part of the tests when I was in, and later a reg asked me if I'd had the test but didn't follow up (possibly an organisational thing).

I don't want to start demanding more tests or turning into a hypochondriac who wants everything investigated, plus it seems fairly new so maybe it will settle down again, but after reading another thread discussing reflux wondering if I should mention this - though next appt's not till March. Or maybe mention to GP at some point? I don't want to be a massive hypochondriac but if reflux is a possibility it seems from things on here that it's important to test for it in case it is affecting asthma, even though I don't have severe asthma.

9 Replies

Hey you, it be me again!!

Firstly can I just say, u dnt need to have severe asthma to need reflux!!

And then Id like to say...sorry I dont get that symptoms with my reflux, if it helps to know, I generally have the heartburn, when I have ""silebt reflux"" i still kniw its there sometimes as ill get like what feels like a table tennis ball being pulled up my oesophegus. (Thats the only way i can describe it sorry lol) and also, i find in the mornings when i wake, if i have slipped down to far overnight i have a massively croakey voice where the reflux has leaked up and hit throat and lungs again.

But there is no hard in u being tests, as steroids alone can aggrivate ur stomach lining which can cause long term issues and bring on reflux.Whats that saying, unless you ask you dont know!?

Go for it i say, rule all posibilities out, could help you long term!



Note/Edit: ignore the hypo/hyper thing - *I'm* the one who has it backwards. But I don't think you are overly concerned at all.

If you were a *hypo* chondriac - you'd never go to the doctor at all! :-)

But neither are you a *hyper* chondriac (overly concerned about every little health thing) to ask about GERD (a) its already been raised (b) its a common problem that can create asthmatic like symptoms. From what I understand, if you have hard to treat variable respiratory problems, testing for GERD is part of the standard process used to rule out non-asthma reasons for frequent symptoms.


Dont even get me started on the importance of testing and treating reflux... :) did you see my posts on the other thread about it? I think it was with soph, in the 'what next' thread. I cant believe somewhere like RBH wouldnt do ph monitoring as part of their standard workup....

Ask to be tested - it could potentially make a massive difference to your asthma control and infection rate. Youre not being a hypochondriac ;)



Its worth understanding that PPI's do not stop you refluxing. They reduce the amount of gastric secretions thus if you do then reflux it is less damaging. That is why I am also on domperidone - to speed up gastric emptying, as the less time stuff sits in my tummy, the less can end up in my lungs.

If you have reflux which is silent lime I did, you wont notice any difference at all after starting a PPI... You just need to stay on it a few months to see if there is an improvement in your asthma symptoms over time.

I cant stress enough that management is also fundamental to minimising the harm done to your lungs by reflux

> not going to bed with a full tummy (I dont eat or drink after 8pm unless its a bit of water)

> sleeping with your torso raised between 30 and 45 degrees. This means any night time reflux is much less likely to get as far as entering your lungs as it has to climb uphill.

Whilst no test is 100% accurate its the best we have - and far better than just assuming someone with no reflux symptoms isnt refluxing... To be honest the 24hr ph monitoring isnt that bad, the tube is minute in diameter.

Lynda :)


Thank you everyone - lots of helpful advice here! Lynda - yes I did see your discussion on Soph's post which is what prompted this; normally I have a tendency to ignore this sort of thing and wait for it to go but then I thought perhaps best not in this case!

RBH are v good clinically but they can also be a bit scatty on the admin side at times, lovely though they are; took a bit of time to arrange the tests I did have though agree they probably should have done this one even though I didn't report symptoms (actually I think I may have had a few at other times but I am not always that good at noticing symptoms unless they're really obvious).

Am hoping it's not an issue so I don't have to add more meds... I have been emailing the CNS about a bit of a flare-up I'm having atm (not the worst ever which actually makes it harder to decide what to do as I don't think it warrants pred, it just won't go away). So could maybe ask him, though feel like I keep bothering them for relatively little things recently (my perception I think, they never seem to get pissed off but then they are very patient with me and never make me feel like a timewaster). Or could ask GP, but from what Stray says and other things I wonder how much the GP would know about this re asthma; though my GP is generally v good I don't want to just be told to take Gaviscon, because though I normally would for this sort of thing (like just taking painkillers/gel for minor pain instead of seeing dr), it seems from what you've all said that RBH/GP should be aware it's happening and advise on any potential asthma effect.


I started getting problems with regurgitation/reflux after starting LABA's (individual inhaler, not a combined inhaler), once I stopped taking the inhaler, my symptoms stopped which in turn improved my asthma. However, I'm not suggesting anyone stop their medication, and I certainly got my wrists slapped for doing so! I just wondered if/why this happenned to me, and if it could be an issue for others?


The probe goes all the way down the oesophagus. Would be kinda pointless otherwise ;) To be clear, I said the oesophagus doesn't have the protective mechanisms of the stomach.

- would be interested to see the link to the article you are talking about, I've not seen any medical journal/evidence based research articles which say this..

Lynda, who is a nurse ;)


Thanks Stray for all the info and Lynda for the discussion! Looks like it might be less straightforward than I think, but probably still worth asking about. I am not thrilled at a potential pH test but would do it if necessary (main issue there, for me, is the annoyance factor of the 24-hr thing - having a 24-hr tape on 2 occasions was the same.

Butterfly: interesting. Like I said I'm not very good with noticing symptoms and connecting the dots though so I'd have no idea if any signs of possible reflux coordinate with LABA use, esp since for a while I was on and off a variety of them.


those tapes are annoying arent they ;) though I would rather one of those than carrying this damn PEG feed everywhere..! Ultimately regardless of all this discussion, its your clinical team that will make treatment decisions based on up to date clinical evidence (much of which lay people dont have access to) and their own skills and training - not us lot rambling on a forum ;-p

It is interesting about the LABA. It certainly isnt listed in the BNF as a side effect of LABA's, certainly worth informing medics - I wonder if others have had the same experience...

When I was in Papworth before christmas, the lady in the bed next to me was diagnosed with dysphagia (she had recurrent aspiration pneumonia). The SALT was explaining that this isnt uncommon after donkeys years of inhaled steroids. Whether this is an effect isolated to inhaled steroids, or whether it includes other inhaled asthma meds I dont know (lady was in 60's).

Lynda :)


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