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Asthma and acid reflux: Are they linked?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma-and-acid-reflux/AN02116
- With Mayo Clinic asthma and allergy specialist
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.James Li, M.D.
"People with allergy or asthma can lead full and healthy lives." — Dr. James Li
Dr. James Li is chair of the Division of Allergic Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine and a board-certified asthma and allergy specialist. He hopes his expertise and the information on the site educates health care consumers in an area of rapid change both in medications and diagnoses.
"There are a lot of misperceptions about allergy and asthma," says Dr. Li, a New York City native who has been with Mayo since 1985 and works with a group of subspecialists in allergy, asthma and immunology. "I believe it's important to provide truthful, accurate information about allergy and asthma to the public. The more people know, the better they can take care of these conditions."
Dr. Li is a professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic. He's a past director of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He's a fellow in the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology honored him with the Distinguished Service Award, and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology with its Special Recognition Award.
Tests and diagnosis (1)
- Reactive airway disease: Is it asthma?
- Asthma and acid reflux: Are they linked?
Treatments and drugs (2)
- LABAs for asthma — Should I stop taking them?
- Albuterol side effects: What's normal?
Lifestyle and home remedies (3)
- Ozone air purifiers: Can they improve asthma symptoms?
- Asthma diet: Does what you eat make a difference?
- Asthma: Why are symptoms worse during my period?
- Hygiene hypothesis: Early germ exposure prevents asthma?
Asthma and acid reflux: Are they linked?
Is there a connection between asthma and acid reflux?
from James T C Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Asthma and acid reflux often occur together. It isn't clear why, or whether one causes the other. But we do know that acid reflux can worsen asthma and asthma can worsen acid reflux — especially severe acid reflux, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Asthma and acid reflux can occur together in children as well as in adults. In fact, about half the children with asthma also have GERD.
When asthma and acid reflux do occur together medications may not work as well to control signs and symptoms of either condition, such as coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest pain.
Treating acid reflux may help ease symptoms. You may be able to control acid reflux with over-the-counter medications — for example, a proton pump inhibitor, such as omeprazole (Prilosec OTC). Avoiding reflux triggers, such as fatty foods, alcohol and tobacco, also may help. If that's not enough, prescription medications may be needed. In severe cases, surgery is sometimes necessary. If you have asthma and think you might have acid reflux, talk to your doctor about the best treatments.
In some cases, asthma medications can worsen acid reflux. This is particularly true of theophylline (Theo-24, Elixophyllin, others). But don't quit taking or change any asthma medications without getting your doctor's OK first.Next question
LABAs for asthma — Should I stop taking them?
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