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British Lung Foundation
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heartburn/indigestion & Copd

morning everybody hope you're all not to bad today,

I seem to be getting a lot of heartburn/indigestion, which can just come on at any time of day or night not just when I've eaten, is this normal with COPD it's yet another factor that stops me sleeping. and can even make my day feel like rubbish, I take lansoprazole and munch on Rennie but they don't seem to help Any suggestions please

12 Replies

Hi Jiffy, how I sympathise with you, I get just the same. I seem to get it really bad over a period of a few days, never know what has set it off, I can have it all night and on and off in the day.

I take lanzaprazole I even started taking one in the morning and one at night, the doctor changed it to another tablet can't remember the name off hand but had side effects so went back to the original one. I am o.k. at the moment until something sets it off again, I find the best thing to use is 2 or 3 peppermint drops in a cup of hot water and just drink it slowly, but hate having to get up in the night to do it.

Dont know about you but it makes me feel so miserable as well. :-(

Hope you find something that works for you soon.

polly xx

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Hi Jiffy

I think I read somewhere that the way elastin tissue is damaged in the lungs can also effect the tissues in the stomach valves making acid reflux/heartburn more common. However this maybe completely untrue as its a very vague memory.

Also a friend of mine had suffered from heart burn for years and took lots of the over the counter antacids, Rennies etc.

He was then told by his doctor that taking too many of these gives you more heartburn as the stomach compensates for having the acid neutralised by making more acid. He weaned himself off them and after a few very uncomfortable days now gets very little heartburn.

Maybe this would be worth discussing with you GP?

All the best



So sorry you've got this Jiffy. I sleep on a wedge which is often advised, so gravity helps keep the acid down. I take 30mg lansoprosole too, morning and night. It does help but i hate taking them. The info about elastin is interesting, I didnt know that. Also many people with acid reflux have hiatus hernias and these often develop in people with breathing difficulties as shallow breathing tends not to use the diaphram muscle, so weakening it.

I have seen some yoga exercises online which are meant to help but i havent tried them yet.

Although I have severe COPD, I find the reflux more disruptive to my life which seems strange.

You can find wedge pillows online, not cheap but I wouldnt be without mine, it really helps in the night. And its VAT exempt when you have a medical condition.

Hope this bad phase passes soon.

Good wishes, jean

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Good Morning Jiffy, reflux is so not nice. I would speak with your doctor about this, reflux needs to be kept under control so as not to cause other problems later down the line.

Hope things settle for you soon.



Hi Jiffy, I too have acid reflux. Have had it for years. Going to get a wedge as i have used pillows to prop me up for years and years. Sleep can be so tricky. Wake up choking and coughing when i slip down the pillows. Have found a v large hiatus hernia. Been told they only really give you Omeprazole which I have been taking for years. However, now have lung problems so have an appointment at last with gastric surgeon. He probably won't do anything (what makes you think I am thoroughly fed uo with being fobbed off) but at last the chest bloke thinks the acid reflux may ge causing lung problems. I wish these people would go online sometimes. Omeprazole worked well for quite a long time but I do wonder about the lng term effects of reducing acid levels in the stomach when it comes to absorption of medication and nutrients. I also have under active thyroid which I have had since youngest child was 6 months old (she is now 27). Please take your reflux seriously, it is not just uncomfortable. If i could have dealt with by using the odd Rennie and a triangular pillow, I would have - I have tried this for years! Also, I have found so many foods make it worse so I avoid anything spice, rich or v fatty. Also have colitis so have to avoid food with skins on eg peas, beans etc. Alcohol is only drunk occasionally as it causes terrible acid - Pimms is more gentle than wine so i have the odd one - not all bad then. Good luck :-) :-) :-) Alison


I was diagnosed with COPD earlier this year and as soon as I was put on inhalers I started to get indigestion and some reflux, never had either before in my life. If your read your inhaler's patient information leaflet you will probably find that indigestion and heartburn can be one of the side effects.

One GP at my surgery prescribed Omeprazole but upon reading the patient information leaflet it wasn't suitable for people where there is osteoporosis so I did not take it and tried different natural ways to help. I started taking a pre-biotic (not pro-biotic) and this helped enormously to the extent that it virtually disappeared completely. I changed to a different brand but that was not as good so went back to the original one and everything is fine again now. My own GP (not the one who gave me the Omeprazole) said I should not have been prescribed it and should not take it and if the pre-biotic is helping then to keep on with it.


After starting steroids 3 months ago I was put on Lansoprazole as the acid reflux I was getting was horrendous. I take 2 x 15mg per day and have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever - thank god!

I was told not to take any other antacids with the Lansoprazole, which I don't. I don't think I could cope without the meds now to combat the acid reflux. Do hope you find something that settles it down very soon.

Jean :-)


I had a camera put into my stomach which showed I had gastritis (inflammation) took Lanzoprazole for 7 months but did not feel better until I stopped taking them. I rely on Gaviscon which does help. I put my problems down to side effects from inhalers.Of course that is only my own view. I have no medical knowledge. Hope you improve soon. Joyce

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hi caroll on Ventolin and Serrtide 500 and Spiriva. Funnily enough my stomach improved after taking an antibiotic for a water infection even though it turned out I was allergic to them.Dont think I am suffering as much as you are .

going away for a couple of days hope you have a nice weekend. Joyce x


Thank you all for the very helpful advice this site has got me through so much in the last few months it's just so good to know there are other people out there going through the same thing, as I'm new to COPD having only had it 14 months some things can be very frightening, but asking on here really has helped so once again thankyou all.

I am going to have a word with my GP on my next visit

wishing you all well and take care x


Hi carol not quite sure what you mean by what stage am I , I was diagnosed with COPD June 2012, having never smoked but been asthmatic since I was a baby I'm now only 56 and feel about 90 I was told my lungs were only working at 42% and the airways had hardened off, and will get progressivly worse, it's really knocked me for six I can't believe how much it has changed my life, walking is my biggest problem, i get so out of breath, even showering, drying myself and getting dressed is a major task, I used to work 36 hours a week, but now can't do hardly anything, I'm thinking of throwing the towel in and packing it in, I've been off work now for 4 weeks after having my first exacasibation, which really frightened me and am really down in the dumps at the moment. i try to keep as active as i can but being the sort of person that has never been able to sit still find everything a struggle sorry to go on but it's so nice to have this site to get things off my chest. not just my phlegm lol and share things So again thank you look after yourself xx


hi jiffy that's a bummer for u,i stopped cigs a while ago.i have a friend 55yrs she as never smoked and as copd bad,er partener smokes cigars an still does they say its with passive smoking,u take care we are not alone with this rubbish,


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