When GERD Causes Persistent Cough

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It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Upper GI series or barium swallow. This test looks at the organs of the top part of your child’s digestive system. It checks the food pipe (esophagus), the stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). Your child will swallow a metallic fluid called barium.

A sensor that is similar to a Geiger counter is placed over the stomach to measure how quickly the radioactive substance in the meal empties from the stomach. The advantage of the capsule over standard pH testing is that there is no discomfort from a catheter that passes through the throat and nose. Moreover, with the capsule, patients look normal (they don’t have a catheter protruding from their noses) and are more likely to go about their daily activities, for example, go to work, without feeling self-conscious. Because the capsule records for a longer period than the catheter (48 versus 24 hours), more data on acid reflux and symptoms are obtained.

Finally, it is unclear whether refluxed liquid from the stomach that is not acid can cause reflux laryngitis, and there is no way of testing whether or not non-acid liquid is reaching the larynx. Many physicians use a trial of potent acid-suppression with PPIs to try to prove that acid reflux is the cause of the laryngeal symptoms.

Just make sure to choose exercise that keeps the contents of your stomach where it belongs. The types of food you eat may cause digestive discomfort. If you are prone to acid reflux, avoid eating spicy foods, acidic foods, and other foods that trigger reflux because they relax the LES. Known trigger foods include tomatoes, garlic, citrus fruits, onions, chocolate, peppermint, and fatty foods. Avoiding drinking alcohol.

If a bacterial infection is suspected the doctor will often prescribe antibiotics. People suspected of having a viral infection will not benefit from antibiotics, and will receive treatments directed at their symptoms only. If the patient has an acute cough and have not been to a doctor, he or she may attempt to use over-the-counter cold remedies to relieve the symptoms. If a common cold or flu is suspected, these may provide relief until the infection resolves on its own. Acute coughs that are caused by allergies are often relieved with allergy medication, and coughs due to environmental irritants will respond to elimination of the irritating agent.

Approximately 75% of patients experienced at least a 50% subjective improvement in cough, irrespective of their pH findings. Although this was a small retrospective study without a control group, it indicated that even patients with documentation of GERD on a pH impedance study could respond to treatment targeted toward the abnormal cough reflex instead of simply treating GERD. RM Older studies of standard GERD therapy (PPIs) for patients with chronic cough were predominantly small observational studies. Some of these studies found that up to 70% of patients with chronic cough responded to PPIs.

  • If a person has a chronic lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis, they may have a persistent cough or a cough that worsens with certain locations or activities.
  • A new study finds a strong association between acid reflux and cancers of the respiratory and upper digestive tracts in older adults.
  • The amount of time that the esophagus contains acid is determined by a test called a 24-hour esophageal pH test.

In addition to heartburn, reflux severe enough to cause laryngitis can cause chronic hoarseness, asthma, or a foreign body sensation in the throat (globus phenomenon). Considering the high prevalence of GERD, reflux laryngitis and its symptoms are uncommon. pH testing has uses in the management of GERD other than just diagnosing GERD. For example, the test can help determine why GERD symptoms do not respond to treatment.

For example, waves of contraction may not begin after each swallow or the waves of contraction may die out before they reach the stomach. Also, the pressure generated by the contractions may be too weak to push the acid back into the stomach. Such abnormalities of contraction, which reduce the clearance of acid from the esophagus, are found frequently in patients with GERD.

Patient Care & Health Info

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) sufferers can experience heartburn and the two are often misconstrued as one in the same, but GERD can be more chronic and includes symptoms such as sore throat, laryngitis, coughing, and even vomiting. Heartburn is characterized by indigestion and a feeling of burning in the back of the throat or upper chest, stimulated by acid in the esophagus. Sixty percent of the overall population experiences some form of GERD, and more females than males develop some sort of reflux.

In other cases, the stomach contents only go part of the way up the esophagus. This causes heartburn or breathing problems. In some cases there are no symptoms at all. In some patients with severe symptoms or complications of acid reflux, surgery can be performed for treatment. If appropriate, your physician will discuss this option with you.

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