Acid reflux, also known as GERD does not directly cause death in
otherwise healthy adults, but it can trigger other disorders that can
cause death. Infants can die from GERD, as could severely ill people,
who may choke on acids, bile or stomach contents that is regurgitated.
Acid reflux disease (GERD) can trigger asthma.
?Some research shows that 'acid reflux' from the stomach, acid stomach
juice moving up the wrong way towards the mouth, can make asthma
worse. Acid reflux can cause painful 'heartburn' which you can relieve
with antacid medicines (medicines which neutralise the acid). It
happens mostly in people who are older and overweight. But it can
happen in children and in all kinds of people.
When researchers put acid into the gullets of people with asthma, it
made their asthma worse.
People who have asthma get acid reflux more often than people without
asthma. This is probably because of the big pressure changes in the
chest during breathing in people with asthma. These high pressures
could force liquid to travel the wrong way.
So asthma sufferers seem to lose out twice over. In the first place it
is bad for them to have acid reflux, and in the second place they have
acid reflux more often than other people.?
?Studies have shown there is a connection between heartburn and asthma
in a large percentage of asthma patients.?
?Barrett's esophagus is a change in the lining of the esophagus as a
result of acid reflux from the stomach. The chronic irritation from
acid causes the cells lining the inside of the esophagus to change to
be more like stomach lining to withstand the acid. That's why you take
Prilosec to stop the acid production in your stomach.
Barrett's is seen in about 10% of patients with gastroesophageal
reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn who have endoscopy (a direct look
with a scope at the esophagus and stomach). GERD is quite a common
condition, and probably 20% of people who have it do NOT have classic
symptoms of acid reflux, but may experience hoarseness, cough,
asthma-like symptoms, or increased mouth saliva.?
?Currently, it accounts for more than 50% of all new cases of
esophageal cancer. Unlike squamous cell carcinoma, it affects mostly
white men, and its pathogenesis is linked to gastroesophageal reflux
disease (GERD) and the development of Barrett epithelium?
?Can GERD lead to Cancer?
Yes. Cancer of the esophagus secondary to GERD is very rare but its
incidence is on the rise. Amongst the risk factors for adenocarcinoma
of the esophagus are long-standing severe heartburn, Barrett?s
esophagus and obesity.?
?They point out that most patients with postnasal drip-induced cough
will have symptoms consistent with postnasal drainage, throat
clearing, and nasal discharge. Yet when upper respiratory symptoms or
signs point to postnasal drip but the cough does not respond
appropriately, physicians should think of either environmental
irritant-induced upper respiratory disease or GERD.
According to the experts, there is nothing distinctive about the
characteristics of cough associated with asthma, and the clinical
diagnosis of asthma is unreliable. Because a respiratory challenge
with methacholine has a negative predictive value of 100 percent, the
procedure can be used to rule out asthma as a source for the
persistent cough. The positive predictive value of the test ranges
between 60 and 82 percent in diagnosing asthma, in an effort to
determine whether the cough will improve with appropriate treatment.
If it is does not get better with asthma medication, the therapy
should be discontinued and other diseases evaluated.
GERD should always be considered a possible cause of cough when
patients also complain of frequent gastrointestinal problems such as
weekly heartburn and regurgitation. In several small studies, say the
experts, cough associated with "silent" GERD responded to antireflux
treatment, including antireflux surgery.?
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Conditions secondary to GERD