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Asthma or Acid Re-flux or both, and issues using symbicort turbo inhaler.

The doctor reviewed my asthma around 9 months ago.

At the time i was using my Ventolin once or twice a week but just a few weeks previous I had been using it two to three times a day this was winter time.

I was prescribed symbicort as a preventer, with a diagnosis of mild asthma.

I agreed and in fact looked forward to not using my ventolin. I took 2 puffs of the symbicort twice a day and I noticed after a while I was using my Ventolin less if at all but I also noticed that my voice went very hoarse and it felt like I was constantly having to clear my throat because I always had a lump there.

I continued with the symbicort for a few weeks and then as my breathing became better I stopped because of this hoarse throat.

I continued with only occasionally using my blue Ventolin and everything seemed ok for a few months I have been an on/off smoker for a few years struggling to give up and at this time I stupidly started having the occasional one again and inevitably my chest slowly became worse and I noticed that I was reaching for my Ventolin more often maybe twice a week I started to experience pains in chest which i kind of ignored. Then one day out of the blue my asthma was worse again which continued.

I became worried about heart attacks etc. and started reading lots of information on various heart, lung and breathing issues which at this point I gave up smoking and vaping (which I had tried as a smoking alternative) and re-started taking my symbicort inhaler two puffs twice a day but my symptoms didn’t get any better In fact they got worse I had to use my Ventolin more often, my hoarse voice and lump in my throat returned and I had constant feelings of impending doom as my breathing issues were on my mind 24 / 7 (at this point I should’ve returned to the doctors but was for some reason scared to go) instead I stopped using the symbicort again and within a few days the impending doom fear went along with the throat lump and hoarse voice.

But I am now at the stage of having to use my Ventolin up to three times a day,

In the morning I wake with a slight breathing restriction and use my Ventolin and after a minute or so my breathing becomes normal and I clear away a little clear mucus I then may need my Ventolin again after eating lunch and maybe again after eating in the evening.

Occasionally after eating I also have slight chest pain and sometimes my shoulder aches which is a very common effect of Hiatus hernia or acid reflux (I have been taking medication once a day for this for years after being diagnosed after having a camera take a look)

I have now been reading lots about Hiatus hernias and acid reflux which has been recognised to be a major cause of breathing difficulties due to stomach acid getting into the win pipes / lungs. And the fact that my breathing problems seem to be triggered by eating and are apparent when I’ve been laying down i.e. sleeping, I’m more inclined to think that this is my issue rather than just asthma alone.

It’s been around 3 weeks since I stopped my symbicort and while I don’t have the heart burn pain symptoms mainly because I try to eat less and I don’t eat after 6.30pm. I am always experiencing slight tightness daily which makes breathing laboured or at least I’m thinking about when my next tightness will appear and as a result is extremely depressing.

13 Replies

hi this all sound very familier to me i have found the preventative inhailer gives me the same symtoms and i also have bad acid reflux so iv give up using a preventer and just use the blue ventalin , the problem is the doctors and nurse don t seem to beleave me when i tell them its so confusing


Hello mumsue and thank you for your reply.

Its not only confusing its also very annoying that the thing they give you to help only makes matters worse, next doctors visit i'm going to ask for a different preventer and a spacer. I've seen so many posts from people with acid re-flux and or Hiatus hernias that have been diagnosed with asthma but the doctors don't seem to want to link the two conditions in any way.


It depends on the doctor I think. I've certainly had a gastroenterologist say to me that acid reflux issues are not uncommon in asthmatics.

Perhaps it's a pattern that gastroenterologists (being concerned with the disorders of the GI tract) are more aware of.

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Hello MaggieHP

Yes your probably correct in your thinking, on my next visit to the GP i'm going to have a lot of questions and data of my symptoms to ask/show


GPs should know about this. I've certainly had a GP (and a locum at that - so not one of my usual GPs) correctly diagnose an apparent flare of my asthma symptoms as actually being caused by digestive issues. In his case he had noticed that I had recent history of upper GI tract problems; that combined with the fact that I had told him that the problems I was experiencing came on within 30 to 45 minutes of eating or drinking led him to be convinced this flare of breathing problems was connected to reflux. He was absolutely right. I was put on a month's course of Lansoprazole and the problem was solved.


iv tried lots of different preventers and thay all seem to do the same some worse than others , iv just last week been refered to the hospital and the doctor there was very rude and looked at me like i was mad when i said the preventers make me worse and as now said i my have copd which i know i haven t got .He give me ANORO inhailer i used it for the first time yesterday and was awake half the night with acid reflux really don t know what to do next


"ANORO is only approved for use in COPD. ANORO is NOT approved for use in asthma."

People with asthma who take long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicines, such as vilanterol (one of the medicines in ANORO), have an increased risk of death from asthma problems. It is not known if LABA medicines increase the risk of death in people with COPD."


o dear this worrys me that this doctor at the hospital as give me this when it could do me some harm ,i really think he should have made sure i had copd before giving this to me .He did nt do any tests on me to find out

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There is so many different types of inhalers out there. I didn't get on with symbicort too. Maybe you need a MDI inhaler and a spacer device too.

I actually use all of my inhalers via a spacer device as it doesn't aggravate my throat.

Also mild asthma can also rapidly flare to severe and life threatening if left untreated properly.

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Hello Weezer and thank you for your reply

I was thinking that I may need an MDI too because I cant re-start taking this symbicort, I hadn't thought about using a spacer though but that's a good idea which I will also try.

I've never had a big attack and the doctors never explained that the condition may get worse or change they just threw these devices at me and let me get on with it, it's places like this forum that i'm finding out more about my condition.

I started taking my peak flow yesterday and plan to take it when I'm showing symptoms and when I'm not showing symptoms to compare Iv'e also started to make a note of every occasion I have to use my Ventolin, I plan to do this for a few weeks then re-visit the GP with the results.


Oh sounds very familiar to me. I had my asthma flare up twice and with each flare it made mild asthma severe then the second flare it became chronic. GPs often have the 10min slot so I usually go in with something like business case when I see my gp I want this for that because of this! A peak flow diary could help evidence it not working or actually working..

The acid reflux you have is probably what I have it's a condition called LPR and is triggered by a food allergy and histamine Intolerance for me. Could be that the symbicort powder is your trigger?

Is there lactose in it?

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I was diagnosed with a Hiatus Hernia around 10 years ago and have been taking omeprazole daily since but again I never thought about the condition as the tablets kept the re-flux at bay, and I only started to link the condition to my asthma after reading various web sites.

As for the symbicort being a trigger I think your correct in that and it does contain Lactose

each dose contains

200 micrograms budesonide, 6 micrograms formoterol fumarate dihydrate, unspecified "contains Lactose".

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The mdi inhalers do too I think but when you use the spacer the lactose ends up around the spacer device and not in your throat and lungs.


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