Sunday, January 27, 2008

Asthma and Acid Reflux

Increased breathing during exercise causes cooling and drying of the lining of the air passages, which can trigger exercise-induced asthma.

Asthma is among several diseases that cause great distress and even disabilities to millions of sufferers worldwide. Now health professionals have been noticing a rather consistent connection between asthma and another bothersome condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or more commonly known as acid reflux. The existence of these two ailments forms an ominous combination of symptoms that are sure to increase the irritation caused by either disease alone.

Numerous things can start an asthma attack in those who are prone to this lung disease. For some it takes as little as a small puff of cold breeze, a little whiff of dust, or a stressful situation, among many other factors. Now it has been discovered that acid reflux can also start asthma episodes, particularly in adult patients.
However it is also common that asthmatic professional athletes must be careful with their medications as it may lead to disqualification.

What is Acid Reflux?

When people eat, the food goes through the mouth to the stomach through the throat and the esophagus. The esophagus is a narrow tube that connects the throat to the stomach. In some people, the esophagus can become irritated and swollen because acid from the stomach backs up. This backing up of acid is known as acid reflux. Acid reflux can reach high up the throat, causing even more swelling and discomfort or triggering other illnesses such as asthma.

What are the causes of Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux may be caused by a breakdown of the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. The LES acts as the gatekeeper of the stomach. When people swallow, the LES opens to allow food particles and liquid into the stomach. Once food has passed through, the LES closes up to prevent the stomach's contents from returning to the esophagus.
With proper breathing techniques as offered for free on my site and a suggested adherence to the dietetic principles above, be assured that you are well on your way to curing your asthma naturally and permanently.

Acid reflux sufferers may have a faulty LES, which does not close properly or opens at the wrong times. This allows acid and some digested food particles to return to the esophagus, causing a sensation of burning due to irritation. This results in a condition that most people refer to as heartburn.

The Link between Acid Reflux and Asthma

It has been observed by many doctors specializing in asthma that asthmatic people are also more likely to have a faulty LES. Furthermore, many reports have revealed that asthmatic people who were treated for acid reflux also experienced some relief from the symptoms of asthma.

Acid reflux can trigger asthma symptoms in two ways. First, acid reflux may cause people to breathe minute droplets of acid into their lungs without them knowing it. This acid can aggravate the very fragile pulmonary lining and cause spasms in the bronchi or airways, which in turn can result in an asthma attack.

Second, recurring episodes of acid reflux may cause digestive acid to melt away the esophageal lining and expose some parts of crucial nerves that are connected to the lungs. The irritation of the nerve endings have been observed to also start the constriction of airways, which could then result in an asthma attack.
Abstinence from the products above is a must and a fact that has been in effect in several asthma treatment programs aimed at correcting respiratory health such as the 'Breath Retaining Program For Asthmatics' developed by the Russian, Dr. Buteyko.

How to Recognize if Acid Reflux Is Causing Asthma

Asthmatics may recognize that their asthma attacks are related with acid reflux if their asthma began after reaching adulthood. Acid reflux is also suspected if asthma symptoms become more noticeable after eating a meal, at night, and after some time lying down. It can also be noticeable if the usual asthma treatments do not work.

With the connection between asthma and acid reflux being recognized, it is therefore smart to test for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The blending of these two diseases can seriously hamper the quality of one's lifestyle and therefore early detection is necessary.
Foras Aje is an independent health researcher and founder of For more information on Asthma Treatment, feel free to stop by his website today.

About the Author: Elizabeth Radisson is the editor of OurGoodHealth is devoted to providing knowledgeable articles about health-related issues. Visit our website for more information about asthma and acid reflux.