Monday, September 26, 2005

Asthma-Reflux Connection

A million thanks to Meg for her comment on my post about the baby last week.

Meg points out that there is a connection between Reflux and Asthma, so I'm off to do some research, which, natch, I'll be posting. I do recall the peds. pulmonologist saying something about this last year when I commented that #1 son tended to burp a lot, and she recommended giving him Tums...but I don't remember why, exactly. Was it that reflux triggers asthma, that they're interconnected...?

Hence the quest for research.

Meg and anyone else -- if you have anything, please share!!


Elizabeth said...

The short answer is that the docs have no idea what the relationship is, other than that there's a correlation between asthma and reflux.

Our doctor said that there were at least three hypotheses:

1) Reflux comes up and irritates the esophogas, causing asthma attacks.

2) Asthma results in mucus dripping down to the stomach, causing reflux.

3) Asthma medications irritate the stomach, causing reflux.

Chrysa said...

Yup. Whenever my son is hospitalized and on large doses of oral steroids, they have him take them with pepcid. Funny, when they prescribe for home use, the docs never seem to mention the pepcid. Perhaps it is a dose-response thing.

My son will sometimes say that his stomach hurts, and it makes it hard to breath. A chewable Rolaids seems to fix him right up. He was never a spitter as a baby or anything. In fact, I think the only times he has thrown up are during very serious coughing fits--usually on the way to the hospital.

Once on the way to the ER, he passed out (no throwup or anything). When I mentioned this to the doc, he was convinced that it was a sign of reflux. Silly me, I assumed he passed out from lack of O2?

We did the barium test at the hospital where he lies down and drinks a milkshake. Low and behold, the radiologist showed us reflux on the computer screen. When my husband suggested that anyone laying down while drinking a milkshake would "urp" it up a bit, the doc ignored radiologist. Meanwhile, the test was done a year ago, and the day-to-day treatment remains the same.

My $0.02 is that there's some connection, but they don't really know what it means or if it is even meaningful.

The Mleziva Boys said...

Out of a last ditch effort our Asthma doc decided to try Zantac for GERD. Regardless of the asthma med that we tried, his night time coughing would not go away. Sure enough within a day or two the night time coughing was done. After a year of use, we took him off of the zantac on a daily basis and only use it during flare ups. B never had the typical "GERD" symptoms other than the night time cough. Then again, he does not have the typical asthma wheeze either.