You Have Sharp Chest Pain
Clearly, chest pain is a telltale sign of heartburnbut it can also be a sign of a heart attack. In fact, many people mistake heartburn for a heart attack. While you definitely shouldn’t diagnose yourself, there are a few ways to tell if your chest pain is heart attack or heartburn related.
In heart-related chest pain, for example, the pain will feel more like a tightness or pressure in your chest, and may spread to the back, neck, jaw, or arms. It’s also often associated with sweating, dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing, or an irregular pulse. Heartburn-related chest pain, on the other hand, is typically a sharper pain that may be precipitated by eating a fatty or spicy meal and is affected by change in position .
Still, if you’re having chest pain and your’e worried, check with your doctor just to rule out a heart attack, says Walter J. Coyle, MD, gastroenterologist with Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
Can You Have Acid Reflux And Not Know It
Acid reflux can manifest in different ways. Other patients may report extreme versions of acid reflux involving constant heartburn and regurgitation, while others might only report trouble swallowing and coughing.
Alternatively, there is another form of esophageal reflux that doesnt exhibit the same symptoms as GERD or heartburn. If youre experiencing classic reflux symptoms such as coughing and sleep apnea, you may be experiencing what is known as silent reflux.
Dietary Factors And Foods To Avoid
Dietary factors often contribute to acid reflux. Certain foods are acids or irritants themselves others will bring out stomach acid in large amounts. Both should be avoided.
The following list of foods is especially known to be troublesome:
- Coffee, tea, chocolate, carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages, citrus beverages or highly spiced foods
- Hard candies, gum, breath fresheners, throat lozenges, cough drops, mouthwashes, gargles, etc., may actually irritate the throat directly and will also stimulate the stomach to pour out acid.
Being overweight also contributes to acid reflux if you are overweight, it would help to lose weight. Large meals at one time are troublesome, and so three or four equal, small feedings are preferable to one or two large meals. One should not eat for 2 or 3 hours before bedtime it is advisable not to lie down right after eating.
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Can Acid Reflux Cause Nerve Pain
Acid reflux symptoms can be typical or atypical in nature. Tingling limbs and nerve pain are considered rare and atypical acid reflux symptoms.
Dr. Mark Babyatsky, a former department chairman at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, explained that inflammation from acid reflux can reach the lungs and trigger pneumonia.
As a result, the diaphragm can become inflamed, affecting the phrenic nerve, which is a nerve connecting the neck, lung, heart, and diaphragm. In this scenario, a patient can feel referred pain in the limbs, specifically the arms and shoulders.
Alternatively, nerve-related issues may be caused by pre-existing neuropathic conditions, leading to acid reflux. An example of this is gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a form of diabetic peripheral neuropathy characterized by slow digestion. This leads to bloating, heartburn, and vomiting of undigested food.
If youre experiencing acid reflux symptoms with nerve pain, theres a high chance that your nerve pain is not reflux-related, especially if you are experiencing temporary reflux. Get in touch with a medical professional to find a separate diagnosis concerning your nerve pain.
Treatment For Acid Reflux Cough
Before presenting some good natural solutions to the root cause of acid reflux cough, we want to list what conventional medicine suggests.
This is the updated list of recommendations, to follow in their precise order.
We report them directly from the CHEST Guideline and Expert Panel Report.
Please, not such an important assumption: when reflux is involved, treatment with chemical drugs and prescription medications is not recommended.
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Instead, using home remedies and the promotion of a proper lifestyle is essential.
These are the recommendations from conventional medicine nowadays.
However, working on acid reflux cough with natural remedies makes life a lot easier and better.
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Gerd Shortness Of Breath
Studies show that stomach acid can inflame the windpipe, which affects breathing. However, esophageal acidity can also trigger the vagus nerve which tells the lungs to tighten , and this can cause GERD wheezing.
TIPThe vagus nerve is an essential part of the central nervous system that is responsible for automatic bodily functions, like breathing and digestion.
Are There Rare Acid Reflux Symptoms
Although a common gastrointestinal condition, not all acid reflux symptoms are shared by patients. Some only experience heartburn and regurgitation, which are two distinct signs of acid reflux. Others may exhibit symptoms that stray from the usual list.
Listed below are some of the usual concerns on uncommon acid reflux symptoms. Keep in mind that the majority of these are caused by chronic acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease and may not be relevant to patients with temporary acid reflux.
If so, a separate issue not related to acid reflux may be the cause of the following symptoms:
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Can Gerd Cause A Sore Throat
Yes. Sore throats attributed to GERD are caused by the sting of stomach acid causing inflammation and soreness in the esophagus. There is also a type of reflux called laryngopharyngeal reflux . In this condition, the stomach acid can damage the delicate tissues of your larynx, also called the voice box.
Like GERD, Its caused by dysfunctional muscles in your esophagus. These muscles called the upper and lower esophageal sphinctersare supposed to keep food moving toward your stomach and prevent stomach acid from going back into your throat. When they weaken or have problems, the result can be GERD and / or LPR.
Why You Should Never Ignore Gerd
After several years, untreated GERD erodes the lining of the esophagus, and as a protective mechanism, the esophagus starts to create a new lining with cells that resemble the makeup of the intestine. At this stage, GERD has progressed into a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus, bringing with it a 30-fold increased risk of eventually developing esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer is deadly — only about 15% of people are still alive five years after being diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. And it’s more common among individuals who have long suffered from GERD that is not properly treated.
According to a study published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine, cancer of the esophagus was nearly eight times as likely among people who suffered from heartburn at least once a week, and almost 44 times as likely in those who had severe, frequent heartburn for more than 20 years. Almost all of these people had only sporadic treatment for GERD, not long-term treatment.
If you have GERD, and you are having any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away:
- If difficulty swallowing or a feeling like food is trapped behind the breastbone becomes a new symptom of your GERD.
- If you vomit blood or have black, tarry bowel movements.
- If you have the sensation of acid reflux into the windpipe causing shortness of breath, coughing, or hoarseness.
- If you lose weight unexpectedly or without trying.
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Treating Reflux To Help Treat Asthma
Doctors believe that some people who have asthma and symptoms of reflux might benefit from being treated with anti-reflux medicine to see if their asthma improves. Other techniques that may help reflux are avoiding eating and drinking in the 2-3 hours before you go to bed , and raising the head of your bed on blocks of about 15-20 cm.
However, although some studies have shown that asthma symptoms improve after treatment for reflux in some people with asthma, lung function itself does not seem to get any better.
Evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment is still under discussion.
Can Gerd Cause Coughing
Yes. not only can GERD cause a dry cough, but it can also lead to hoarseness. In addition, GERD can agitate asthma, causing symptoms such as wheezing, according to the National Institute of Health.
Even if youre not having the traditional GERD symptoms like heartburn, your chronic cough may still be caused by GERD. Many are surprised to learn that the issue behind their cough is not a cold, but is gastroesophageal reflux.
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What Is Acid Reflux
To best understand the link between acid reflux and a chronic cough, you need to know about the underlying mechanisms that ultimately cause the problem. In its most basic form, acid reflux can be defined as a condition that occurs when stomach acid used in the digestive system processes moves upward into the esophagus.
The acid eventually causes irritation to the soft tissue making up this muscular tube. This irritation is what ultimately causes the patient to experience heartburn. Heartburn is generally described by patients as a mild burning sensation in the chest. As mentioned above, if heartburn occurs frequently, a patient may be diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly called GERD.
Unfortunately, not only does GERD carry with it a host of problems associated with the deterioration of the lining of the esophagus, it is also linked to increased risk of esophageal cancer. This is why it is important to be seen by a doctor if you are experiencing heartburn occurring on a regular basis.
Gerd And Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Research has also identified a link between GERD and obstructive sleep apnea , a sleep disorder that involves blockage of the airway that incites pauses in breathing during sleep. Debate exists among experts about whether GERD causes OSA, OSA causes GERD, or if they simply share similar risk factors.
It is possible that GERD affects the airway and ability to breathe normally, causing more apneas during the night. At the same time, people with OSA wake up frequently at night and may then detect GERD symptoms. Lack of sleep from OSA may make the esophagus more susceptible to reflux.
In addition, factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity can increase risk for both GERD and OSA, so the correlation between the conditions may be a result of these factors.
While the exact relationship between GERD and OSA is subject to further research, it is clear that the conditions can occur together and create significant complications for a persons sleep, comfort, and overall health.
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You Have Trouble Swallowing
Struggling to swallow can be a scary experience, and acid reflux may be the cause. “Over time, the continuous cycle of damage and healing after acid reflux causes scarring,” noted Gardner. “This, in turn, causes swelling in the lower-esophagus tissue, resulting in a narrowing of the esophagus and difficulty swallowing.” Not good!
Home Remedy For Acid Reflux Cough
Cough is a symptom, and this is the reason why you must treat the disease as a whole.
In fact, an effective treatment cant simply target one or more symptoms. Its necessary to act on the root causes of your condition, to experience consistent benefits over time.
Acid reflux cough is not an exception.
To be honest, there is not a single suggestion we can make to treat acid reflux cough.
Its much better to start avoiding spicy and fatty foods, as well as a heavy meal. At the same time, you should integrate your diet with some highly beneficial natural products, such as ginger, or turmeric, or honey.
Talking about honey, it is often considered to be an excellent cough remedy, and it certainly is an excellent natural product to use in case of reflux.
So, what about mixing things? Could be honey good for treating acid reflux cough?
According to some studies, the answer to this question is so-so.
In fact, it seems that, at least for acute cough in children, there is no big evidence of benefits, even if some benefits are reported.
In other words, honey can be effective, and we can consider it like a double-treatment for cough and reflux.
But its important to work on lifestyle habits, especially for avoiding sleeping in the right position, during the night.
Heartburn and cough are frequent at night, while LPR cough is more often during the day .
We recommend checking this more comprehensive strategy for getting rid of cough as well as other symptoms of reflux.
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Can Gerd Cause Asthma
Researchers havent nailed down the details of the relationship between GERD and asthma. However, the Cleveland Clinic states that more than 75 percent of those with asthma also have GERD and the heartburn that accompanies it.
In fact, drugs that treat asthma may make GERD worse. However, treating GERD will frequently alleviate asthma symptoms.
Acid Reflux In A Nutshell
Most people will experience the uncomfortable feeling of esophageal burning at least once in their life. In some cases, the wave of digestive juices can literally take your breath away. This very unpleasant, yet quite common problem is called acid reflux.
Many still think that heartburn is caused by too much stomach acid. However, much like the flat earth theory, this is a misconception. Heartburn happens when the acidic digestive juices of your stomach re-enter the esophagus .
If this happens several times per week, it might be a sign of GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease , a condition in which the esophagus becomes inflamed from stomach acid damage. Symptoms of GERD include:
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Rhinitis And Sinusitis Connection: Rhinosinusitis
The most common causes of chronic nasal congestion are allergic and nonallergic rhinitis inflammation of the nose. Nonallergic rhinitis caused by environmental or occupational irritants. Allergic rhinitis happens when you breathe in something to which you are allergic.
Dust, dander, insect venom, or pollen is only a few of the many triggers for allergic rhinitis. Rhinitis and sinusitis can make your life miserable. Recent studies by doctors have better defined the association between rhinitis and sinusitis. Sinusitis is often preceded by rhinitis and rarely occurs without concurrent rhinitis.
Pain When You Lie Down
Sometimes heartburn can make it difficult to lie down without feeling like your chest is on fire. This is due to stomach acid escaping your stomach, and flowing the wrong way into your esophagus. “That’s why people with chronic heartburn raise the head of their bed, and why they shouldn’t eat big meals right before bedtime,” Gardner said.
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Where Are The Esophageal Sphincter Muscles
The upper esophageal sphincter keeps stomach acid out of the pharynx and larynx. When it doesn’t work properly, you can develop symptoms such as hoarseness, loss of voice, chronic cough, phlegm in the back of the throat, and a feeling that something is stuck in the throat. Although the stomach contents come in contact with the lower esophagus before reaching the throat, only about 35% of people with LPR also experience GERD. Experts don’t know why. It may be that the larynx and pharynx are more sensitive to acid than the esophagus. Also, refluxed acid is more likely to pool in the larynx and pharynx, resulting in prolonged exposure. GERD symptoms are usually worst when you are lying down, while LPR often occurs when you are standing or bending over or exercising.
LPR is usually diagnosed by symptoms, although a specialist may look directly at the area with a laryngoscope for signs of swelling and inflammation. The treatment of LPR begins with changes in diet and behavior, including these:
If diet and behavior changes don’t help, a medication may be prescribed usually, treatment starts with a proton-pump inhibitor . Commonly prescribed PPIs include rabeprazole , esomeprazole , lansoprazole , omeprazole , and pantoprazole . They all work by reducing the amount of acid made in the stomach.
Celeste Robb-Nicholson, M.D.
Is Gerd Dangerous Or Life
GERD isnt life-threatening or dangerous in itself. But long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:
- Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
- Barrett’s esophagus: Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barretts esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
- Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barretts esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
- Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.
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How Can I Manage My Chronic Cough Due To Hiatus Hernia
There is no one particular cause that results in the development of hiatal hernia. However, since it traces back to a weakness in the diaphragm, many cases are observed among older individuals.
In addition, anything that increases the pressure within your abdominal cavity might force the stomach up into the thoracic cavity. Persistent vigorous coughing, straining to pass stool, forceful vomiting, heavy lifting, or putting your body through physical strain are just a few of these incidents. Obesity and pregnancy might also lead to the development of a new hiatus hernia or worsen one already present.
So, in a hiatus hernia, managing the underlying cause of the acid reflux can directly reduce the chronic cough with time. Following a confirmatory diagnosis of hiatal hernia, physicians often advise patients to make a few lifestyle modifications to lessen the symptoms they are experiencing. This includes:
- Losing any excess weight
- Staying away from fried and fatty foods
- Avoid laying down right after meals
Other lifestyle habits like reducing alcohol, caffeine and staying away from cigarette smoking can immensely reduce the symptoms of hiatus hernia. In addition, healthcare professionals might prescribe a proton pump inhibitor to supplement the lifestyle changes.