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Chronic Cough Could Be Acid Reflux Cough

Jul 15, 2008
More than 1/3 of people who visit their doctor with complaints of chronic cough are diagnosed with acid reflux. Even people with no other signs of acid reflux, like heartburn, can experience acid reflux cough. Many people aren't even aware this is possible so it often goes untreated.

Fluids are produced in the stomach to digest the foods you eat. Sometimes these fluids can back up into your esophagus. When this happens, you are experiencing acid reflux. Typically acid reflux will cause symptoms like heartburn or regurgitation. Acid reflux cough is also a common symptom of acid reflux, although most people don't recognize it as such. Acid reflux cough usually happens when the fluids back up so far into the esophagus that they spill over into the lungs. This does not even have to be enough fluid to cause heartburn, but it will cause you to cough. Actually, many people experience acid reflux cough with no heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux at all.

Many people with chronic cough don't understand why cough syrup isn't helping them. This is because a cough syrup is not the right kind of medication for acid reflux cough. A better source of help might be an antacid to keep the reflux from happening. However, too much antacid is likely to have a negative effect on acid reflux symptoms because once the antacid neutralizes the acids, it will cause the stomach to make more fluids for digestion.

Some medications can cause acid reflux cough, as well as some health problems. Heart medications that include nitrates have been found to cause acid reflux cough, as have beta blockers that are prescribed for heart conditions. Certain complications from asthma can cause acid reflux cough, and many people who suffer from asthma don't think to attribute their chronic cough to acid reflux. They assume it is from their asthma condition. If you have asthma and a chronic cough, and your inhaler doesn't help it, get tested for acid reflux. You may be surprised to find that you have both acid reflux cough and asthma. Diabetes has been linked to acid reflux as well. This could have something to do with digestive complications in people with diabetes. Once again, if you are diabetic and have chronic cough, chances are you will also test positive for acid reflux.

There are many tests that can be performed to detect if your chronic cough is an acid reflux cough. Most tests must be performed in your doctor's office, but there are some new tests on the market that can be done from home by simply breathing into a tube. Ask your doctor about the effectiveness of these home tests, though, because they are somewhat new. Your doctor may suggest you try the home test first and if the results are inconclusive then pay him a visit for more comprehensive testing.

Your chronic cough may be an acid reflux cough. Talk to your doctor about getting tested to see if this is the case. You can't take care of it if you don't get the facts about acid reflux.
About the Author
Ryan helps you understand acid reflux and how to stop acid reflux cough.
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