September 16, 2011

GERD Coughing

Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD is a medical condition that causes stomach acid to back up into the esophagus or throat. GERD coughing is common since stomach acid is not only irritating to the esophagus, it is also irritating to the delicate tissues of the throat as well. Although not all cases of acid reflux result in GERD coughing, it is very common. Other signs and symptoms of GERD include frequent throat clearing, a burning sensation in the chest area or throat, persistent heartburn and even chest pain.

Sometimes, symptoms of GERD can be so severe, that they actually can mimic a heart attack. When symptoms of chest pain occur, it should never be assumed that the symptoms are related to acid reflux disease or GERD. When in doubt, a medical evaluation should be sought to make sure the symptoms are not cardiovascular in nature. To ease symptoms of GERD coughing, drinking plenty of fluid can help dilute stomach acid so that they are not as irritating. In addition, over-the-counter acid inhibitors can also help reduce symptoms.

Home remedies that are effective in reducing GERD coughing and other symptoms include elevating the head of the bed when sleeping. This helps prevent the backflow of stomach acid from migrating into the throat. In addition, avoiding certain foods such as chocolate, peppermint and highly spiced and fatty foods can reduce symptoms. Smoking and drinking alcohol can also exacerbate acid reflux symptoms, so cutting down can be beneficial.

Excessive weight can worsen GERD, as can certain medications. These include beta blockers, which relax the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, allowing stomach acid to backflow into the esophagus. Other medications that tend to relax the LES include narcotic pain relievers and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Ativan. In addition to over-the-counter acid blocking medications, antacid tablets can help neutralize stomach acid.

When symptoms of GERD coughing and other acid reflux symptoms occur, the physician may recommend diagnostic testing to determine the extent of the condition. Medical tests that may be recommended include an upper GI series or endoscopy, and a blood test that can check for a condition called h pylori. This bacterium can promote the development of stomach ulcers and cause symptoms similar to those of GERD. In addition, the physician will want to determine if the esophagus has been damaged by acid erosion, and if so, what the extent is. A condition called Barrett?s esophagus can cause significant symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, GERD coughing and heartburn. In addition, untreated Barrett?s may increase the risk of esophageal cancer in certain individuals.

It is important to note that when symptoms of GERD occur, and particularly GERD coughing, remedies such as cough medicine will be ineffective in treating the condition. Unless efforts are made to specifically alleviate the migration of stomach acid into the throat, coughing and pronounced throat clearing will persist. Although GERD is seldom a serious medical condition, symptoms can be intrusive and prevent the enjoyment of certain foods. When home remedies for GERD are ineffective for treating symptoms, the physician can implement an appropriate treatment plan that may include prescription medication, dietary changes and a weight loss program. For more information on the causes and cures of GERD coughing be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at today!

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